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The Peter J. Shields Library, University of California, Davis is home to the finest collection of grape growing and wine making literature in the world. The collection is housed in the Maynard A. Amerine Room located on the third floor of Shields Library. The collection gathers together materials on grape growing, grape diseases, wine making, fermentation science as well as the economic aspects of the wine industry. The primary emphasis is on the technical & scientific, historical and cultural aspects of grape growing and wine making with strong holdings in the economic and business aspects of grapes and wine. In addition to material on the fermentation of grapes, the collection has extensive collections on beer brewing and distillation of spirits.
In physical terms, collection contains approximately 30,000 volumes representing both monographic and serial holdings. Shields Library currently maintains some 120 serial subscriptions and contains over 325 serial titles, both active and inactive in the subject areas of grape growing, wine making, beer brewing and distillation. The form of material in the collection ranges from monographs and serials, to pamphlets, to maps, to printed ephemera, to archives and personal papers. Forty-two different languages are represented within the collection. Roughly one third of the collection is housed in the Department of Special Collections with the remainder in the Maynard A. Amerine Room. Maps are housed with the library map collection in the Government Information Department.
The significance of the Viticulture and Enology Collection is that the collection is the finest of its kind. Historically academic libraries have ranked collections using a scale that assigned a value of zero to five. The assigned numbers rank the level of the collection and the level of effort spent building and maintaining the collection. A zero would denote that there is no collection and no effort and a four would denote a collection that is capable of supporting all levels of teaching and research. While there are many level four collections, there are very few, if any, level five collections as they represent something beyond being able to support any requirements of the modern research university. The grape growing and wine making collections in Shields Library are level five collections and are the only such collections in the United States.