Discover how wine libraries are expanding the reach of their special collections

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March 1, 2017 by bbutler1969

Last year, I came across a notice for an employment opportunity that was new to me — a “wine librarian” at the Healdsburg Regional Library, part of the Sonoma County Library system in Santa Rosa, California.

In a sentence that posed a diagramming conundrum reminiscent of one of my favorite books — Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences — the notice described how this special library within a public library setting serves wine industry professionals and wine enthusiasts with aplomb:

“With collections and services in business and technical resources, rare books portraying the global history of wine, oral histories and archival information detailing the history of wine in the North Coast region, as well as a comprehensive trove of resources spanning every related subject from growing grapes to pairing wine with anything you might think of, the Wine Library is an indispensable resource for drinkers, aspiring home winemakers, viticulturists, picking crews, hospitality professionals, and corporate business partners alike.”

I was fascinated!  And I don’t even have a taste for wine!

I remembered this intriguing type of special collection this morning, when I paged through the March/April 2017 issue of American Libraries and found “Preserving the Vintage: Wine Libraries Showcase the Stories, Science, and Ephemera Behind One of History’s Oldest Indulgences.” The article describes how four wine libraries are preserving, digitizing and providing hands-on experiences to expand the reach of their collections.  To read it, click here; it begins on page 50.



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