‘World’s greatest wine library’ at UC Davis continues to grow

(7 January 2019) When Hugh Johnson, author of the ground-breaking World Atlas of Wine, decided to donate his archive of nearly 60 years of wine-book writing to the UC Davis Library in 2016, he explained that he had chosen UC Davis because, “It’s simply the greatest wine library in the world.”

Over the past two years, Johnson’s gift and his ongoing support have helped launch a whole new direction of growth for the library’s wine collection: building the world’s leading collection on wine writers. The most recent acquisition to the wine collections, the Wine Institute’s organizational archives, complements that direction. The institute was co-founded by writer Leon David Adams, whose papers are also at the library, and the archives include speeches and books by wine writers. Also, today a new wine writer collection fellow begins a two-year appointment at the library.

Shortly after giving his own papers to the library, Johnson introduced University Librarian and Vice Provost of Digital Scholarship MacKenzie Smith to fellow British wine writer Jancis Robinson. It was fortuitous timing; Robinson was about to move house and was, as she put it, “surprised [and] delighted to think that there was an alternative to simply throwing out 40 years’ worth of papers.”

With the papers of two of the most influential wine writers alive today, a new collection was born.

UC Davis Library has the story here.