Wine Books in the Heritage Collections

Page from Edouard Robinet's Traite general des vins

Page from Edouard Robinet’s Traite general des vins

The first group of many historical wine books now have a home on the Sonoma Heritage Collection.  The Biblioteca Vinaria Sonoma draws from the Sonoma County Wine Library’s collection of historic books and documents, primarily from the 16th to early 20th century. The collection covers all aspects of viticulture and winemaking, ranging from proclamations of George III on wine regulations to letters describing the grape production in Sonoma Valley vineyards, and from temperance operas to nursery catalogs.

While the majority of titles are in English, the collection includes texts in French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Latin.

The name of this collection echoes Andre Simon’s three great bibliographies of wine: Biblioteca VinariaBiblioteca Bacchia and Biblioteca Gastronomica.

The Scans

Everything available through this collection is in the public domain and nearly all were published before 1923. We sent most of the books currently available through the Biblioteca Vinaria Sonoma to Internet Archive for digitization, but copies of many our titles have been scanned by other institutions and in light of limited funding, we did not send our copies to Internet Archive (with the resulting loss of unique annotations or other features). Instead, we are linking to those scans in Google Books and Internet Archive whenever they are accessible. We are also scanning a small number of additional documents locally and will add them to the collection in the near future.

Ebook Downloads and Formats

All of the texts available in this collection may be viewed through this site, but many are also available in other formats through Internet Archive and Google Books, including PDF, EPUB, Kindle, Daisy, DjVu and full text. Click on the URI link in the Details section of each record to view options.

Making More Stuff Accessible

In the coming months, we’ll work with Internet Archive and Luna Imaging to digitize a lot of exciting material and making it available through our site, including:

  • Roughly 350 pre-1923 imprints and copyright-cleared materials from the Sonoma County Wine Library
  • 35 oral history transcripts from Sonoma County wine makers — along with the audio interviews
  • 1800 wine labels from Sonoma County wineries
  • Historical photos and films from the Sonoma County Fair

Many of the pre-1923 materials in the Wine Library have already been digitized and are available through Google Books, Hathi Trust and the Internet Archive — with our project, we expect to make the entire set of older materials available online.