Sonoma County Wine Library

It has been quite a long time since I posted anything, but I have a very good excuse (I think).  I finished my MLIS!  It’s hard to believe that I finally finished my three years and a few months journey through grad school.  It was an exhausting fall and holiday season and I needed some time away from the computer to recuperate and relax!

One thing I did to celebrate was to go wine tasting for the day with the bf.  Coincidentally, BayNet was hosting a tour of the Sonoma County Wine Library that same day.  Even luckier for me, the bf was into supporting my nerdiness and happily went on the tour with me.

The tour was back in October, so forgive the lateness of this post.  Like I said, I’ve been avoiding the computer for a couple of months.  Anyway, it was a good turnout and the Wine Librarian (how do I get that title?!?), Jon Haupt, pulled out some fun items to share with the group.

The library is located inside the Healdsburg branch of the Sonoma County Library system.


They have about 6,000 items in the collection, including 1,000 rare books, ephemera, periodicals, and wine-related clippings.  Topics include agriculture, cooking, viticulture, food, cheese, beer and liquor, regions, the wine business, and winemaking.


They use the Koha catalog system for their OPAC.  The collection is cataloged using the Dewey Decimal System.


The periodicals area, with approximately 60 different magazine subscriptions



The oldest book in the collection, published 1518 (but much older than that), the Libri de re rustica by Marcus Porcius Cato.  (See the digitized version at the Internet Archive!)


This was a beautiful and enormous book from 1900 containing illustrations of French grapes.  (I didn’t catch the name of it, sorry, so please let me know if you know the title.)


This is a fun pop up book – Hugh Johnson’s Pop Up Wine BookPublished in 1989.


Another rare book was one published in Spain in 1584 the Libro de agricultura: que tracta de la labranca y crianca, y de muchas otras particularidades y prouechos del campo, by Gabriel Alonso de Herrera.  The book is on winemaking, which he said they might have used for reference in the California missions.  See the digitized version at the Internet Archive.)


This is the rare books and clippings area.


More rare books


Subject files.  The clippings are in a database, but new items are not currently being added to the existing database.

Like many other special libraries, the Wine Library did not have a collection development policy when the librarian began, and they are out of space for the physical collection. He has not had time to do any deaccessioning. The library also does not have a strategic plan, although he would like to create one.

I thought these were fun..

And then there is the ephemera!  I totally want this game.



And a scrapbook on the region


An interesting special collection at the library is of wine labels.


Some of the food and cooking titles


Finally, I passed by the famous seed library inside the main Healdsburg branch


It is a great special library and I’m so glad I had the chance to see it.  It’s open to the public, and I recommend you visit if you can!


Vank Cathedral Museum and Library, Iran

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!  Look at me disappearing again for a long time.  Sorry.  After the semester finished a couple of weeks ago, I just needed some offline time.  I was so excited to finish my website for my web design class (Libr 240 for SJSU people) that I forgot to submit the link to it!!  Oh my.

All is now well and I’m recovering.  I’ve been wanting to share these photos I took of the Vank Cathedral Museum and Library in Isfahan, Iran for a long time.  Vank Cathedral is in the Armenian Quarter of the city and has a lovely museum with historical books.

(click to enlarge)

Gospel, created 1633

Gospel, written in Istanbul and decorated in Isfahan, 17th century

Missal, created 1687

Phylactery, worn on an arm, 17th century (sorry for the blurry picture, but I wanted to show how large the entire thing is)

Detail of the phylactery with it’s tiny writing.  Each circle was about an inch or so.

Gospel, written in 1607

Another gospel from 1607

Gospel, written in 1671

Gospel from 1627

Missal from 1687

Monolagium written in 1661

Gospel from 1626

I think the colors and ornamentation on these are so gorgeous.

I do have many other ideas for blog posts and now that things have slowed down somewhat for me, I hope to start posting more regularly again!

Now reading: The Secret Place by Tana French

Books to celebrate Mardi Gras

In honor of Mardi Gras next Tuesday, I thought it would be fun to share some books honoring the beautiful city of New Orleans, and the holiday.  I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans, but just haven’t made it yet.  Someday!

Have you ever been to Mardi Gras? Any other recommended books on NOLA?


Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans by Marcelle Bienvenu


New Orleans Carnival Krewes: The History, Spirit and Secrets of Mardi Gras by Rosary O’Neill


Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist


The Southerner’s Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life by the Editors of Garden and Gun


A Guide to the Historic French Quarter by Andy Peter Antippas


The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine by John D. Folse


New Orleans: Facts and Legends by Raymond J. Martinez and Jack D. L. Holmes

And for the kids:

king cake

The King Cake Baby by Keila Dawson


Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival by Janet Wyman Coleman

paper crafts

Paper Crafts for Mardi Gras by Randel McGee

All images via Amazon.

Literary calendar for August [infographic]

From Flavorwire, an infographic of big events in literary history for August!

My favorites are:

  • The publishing of Walden
  • The births of Charles Bukowski and Dorothy Parker
  • And City Lights Bookstore publishing its first book

What are your favorites for this month?

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July’s literary calendar

Here’s a fun guide to July dates related to authors and literature, from Flavorwire!

My favorites:

  • The first item sold on Amazon in 1995 (!!!)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird‘s publishing
  • The start of paperback books
  • The release of the last Harry Potter book in 2007 (was it really so long ago?!?)
  • The first printing of The Fellowship of the Ring

What are some of your favorites from this month?

july literary calendar

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I usually wouldn’t share two book lists in a row, but I couldn’t resist making another list of books on Ireland in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.  This is by no means a comprehensive list of all things Irish, rather just a title or two on a few different topics.  I’m happy to put together a list of suggested titles on other subjects if people would like.  Just let me know in the comments.  As always, these books were well-reviewed in trade publications such as Publishers Weekly.

On a total side note, I have been studying my family’s genealogy for several years and as many who attempt to research their Irish roots have found, it is incredibly challenging!  If you have any suggestions for books, resources, or other tips, please share.

walking in irelandWalking in Ireland: 50 Walks Through the Heart and Soul of Ireland

ireland tripsIreland’s Best Trips: 37 Amazing Road Trips

story irelandThe Story of Ireland: A History of the Irish People  

atlasAtlas of the Great Irish Famine  – starred review in Booklist

tracingTracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide

genealogical atlasA New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland

real irish foodReal Irish Food: 150 Classic Recipes from the Old Country– starred review in Booklist

irish linenIrish People, Irish Linen 

And for kids:

st patrickSt. Patrick’s Day

black potatoesBlack Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850

And then not reviewed, but just for fun

speak irishSpeak Irish Now

irish englishIrish-English/English-Irish Easy Reference Dictionary

If you would like to hear Irish being spoken, check out RTE, Ireland’s national radio station.  To hear live streaming, go to the box in the center labeled “Ar an aer” (on air) and click the play arrow button next to the words “Eist anois” (listen now).  Very interesting!  Now I want to learn to speak Irish.

And on a personal note, I have used The Country Cooking of Ireland and
Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools and liked them both.  The Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French is also good.

Any other suggested books on Ireland?

Still reading House of Leaves.  I’m stuck on the first chapter.

All images via each book’s Amazon page.