This guide focuses on the alcoholic beverage industry in the United States with a strong emphasis on historical resources. The focus is on sources that help trace the history and development of the industry though some sources on current business aspects have also been included. The history of specific liquor types as well as the industry generally, including the effects of government policy, can help researchers understand why the industry operates today as it does.
Issue 23: Spring 2015
Alcoholic Beverage Industry: Historical Resources at the Library of Congress
Table of Contents
Beers, Ales, etc.
Temperance Movement & Prohibition
LC Catalog Searches
Caption (image left): Have another
Buffalo, N.Y. : Koerner & Hayes, [between 1885 and 1910]
Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Division
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-16001
While this guide focuses primarily on the United States, this is an industry that does have international scope, so some trade publications and statistical sources are not limited to the United States. If you are looking for literature that covers other countries, the Library has received many publications published in and that do cover other countries including the UK, France, Australia, South Africa, etc., which can be found by searching our catalog.
This guide covers the broader industry of the United States as a whole and is not focused on specific states, regions, and cities. However, a few magazines and books with a local perspective have been included, particularly if understanding the industry as a whole means looking at local sources with a specific geographic focus. Don't limit your research on local industries and companies to trade literature – also look to literature from local and state historical societies which may have published articles that are general histories or stories on specific companies. The most obvious example of this is the California wine industry --understanding the wine industry in the United States means also studying the industry in California. Also, a few local history books and articles have been included as a way to illustrate the local nature of the industry. To find items of a more local nature, the Subject Headings are flexible and including a state name in the subject string can help to identify that material.
Lastly, while this guide is mostly about liquor as an industry and not the science, some scientific and technical aspects regarding alcohol have been included.
Compiled by Ellen Terrell
Business Reference Specialist
Last updated: 10/15/2015