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V&E lectures from 1973 now available online

Special Collections has been pleased to work on a project that makes the historic Viticulture and Enology lectures of Professor Maynard Amerine from his course, VEN 125 Wine Types and Sensory Evaluation, available for viewing.

Building on the sensory work of Rose Marie Pangborn and his collaboration with Edward B. Roessler, this course lays the groundwork for sensory evaluation of wine. The ability to evaluate wines, identify defects and understand sensory qualities is critical to the success of winemakers and to the ongoing improvement of the quality of California wines. This series of lectures was part of an effort to capture in video tape, the lectures of the core courses of the Viticulture and Enology program as taught at UC Davis in the early 1970’s. The faculty teaching these courses in many ways represent the Golden Age of winemaking at UC Davis.

The lectures, which were originally filmed in Winter Quarter 1973, were reformatted from original 1/2″ open reels to digital files by the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) in 2012 for Special Collections.

Acting University Librarian Randolph Siverson was instrumental in recognizing the significance of the lectures and made it a priority to have the old format films transferred to digital files.

Daryl Morrison, Head of Special Collections, oversaw the project and Collections Manager Sara Gunasekara tracked the safe movement of the original tapes and digital files, gave direction to the conversion lab, and provided support throughout the project activities.

This collaborative project included staff from other library departments. Wine and Food Librarian Axel Borg initially received the videotapes from the Viticulture and Enology Department, promoted the project, and viewed the lectures and created the website text. Systems Department Head Dale Snapp and his staff including Hector Villicana, Sean Robbins, and Luis Canales provided technical assistance, web programming and video encoding support. Michael Colby, Head of Original Monograph Cataloging, created a MARC catalog record.

Update: In 2016, the remaining videos in this series were digitized thanks to support from the E&J Gallo Winery and the Napa Valley Wine Library Association.

The videos, which provide a unique window into the history of winemaking, as well as pearls of wisdom that continue to guide some of the world’s best winemakers today, can viewed on the Library’s YouTube channel through this link: VEN Lectures.