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Special Collections

50 Features of Special Collections: The Noling (A.W.) Hurty-Peck Library of Beverage Literature

February 16th, 2017 by Daryl Morrison


The Noling, (A.W.) Hurty-Peck Collection is one of the world’s largest collections of beverage literature containing over 6,000 volumes. The collection was donated by the family of A.W. Noling, an Indiana businessman who built a successful beverage flavoring firm, the Hurty-Peck Company. The company was subsequently taken over by Universal Foods Corporation.

The collection presents itself as an industrial collection meant for study and use rather than collected for rarity and condition. Yet, many scarce items are to be found in the collection. The majority of the works date from the middle of the 19th century to mid- 20th century with a number dating back to the 17th century. The oldest work, the Latin book De Naturali Vinorum Historia, is dated 1596. Several other valuable works include: The Compleat Housewife: or accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion a popular cookbook from 1729; A Rational Discourse on the Inward Uses of Water from 1725; and the 1691 Vinetum Britannicum or a Treatise on Cider, and other Wines and Drinks Extracted from Fruits Growing in this Kingdom.



Bookplate for the A.W. Noling Hurty-Peck Library

The Hurty-Peck Beverage Company, first in Indianapolis and then in Southern California, developed and sold flavors for the beverage industry, especially for colas. The company president A. W. Noling amassed a significant collection of books and pamphlets on beverages. The collection began in a very casual way around 1946. Books on soft drinks and soft drink flavors were first collected but then the collection expanded to other types of beverages. The need for more information on the source and processing of the materials required for beverage production became apparent as the search for soft drink literature (and that of the flavorings which went into them) developed. Serious efforts to collect beyond the soft drink field began in the 1950s when Noling relinquished his responsibilities as chief executive officer of the company and had time to devote to building a collection of beverage literature.

Noling TP570 .C43

The collection began to expand to include books on brewing, fermenting, distilling and rectifying which in turn led to collecting books on beer and ale, wine, spirits, etc. and their manufacture. The search for literature also included beverages associated with food such as coffee, tea, and chocolate. Books on fruits and other foodstuffs that could be developed into a flavor, such as bananas, are also found in the collection. Evident are books that illustrate manufacturing equipment and techniques such as introducing carbonation into liquids and water purification.

Prior to today’s world of on-line searching a remarkable collection was built through extensive work. A printed bibliography Beverage Literature: A Bibliography (Metuchen, N.J., The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1971) was created by compiler A. W. Noling.

Noling had always wanted the collection to go into a research institution. Subject Specialist, Axel Borg, had been instrumental in the collection coming to UC Davis. He had first contacted the company to gain access to the collection for a wine bibliography with Maynard Amerine. In 1996 the collection was donated to Special Collections, Shields Library at the University of California, Davis, a particularly appropriate fit for our interest in food, wine, chocolate, tea, and other related interests in food and food science. John Skarstad of Special Collections, hand carried rare books back from Indianapolis for the first transport of books to the department. The collection is fully cataloged and may be found by searching Noling Collection of Beverage Literature. For the catalog record see:

Sources: Beverage Literature: A Bibliography compiled by A. W. Noling and “A Toast to Rare Books,” UC Davis Magazine Spring 1997.

50 Features of Special Collections: Royal Columbian Press

November 9th, 2016 by Daryl Morrison


Royal Columbian Press

Built by Thomas Long of Edinburgh, Scotland, 1832-1850. The Columbian Press was invented by George Clymer of Philadelphia in 1813. Donated to the University Library by the Library Associates of the University of California, Davis, in 1968.

The Royal Columbian Press is housed in the lower level of the library and now is enjoyed by all as an historic piece of equipment. It is beautiful in its own right as well as being an important artifact of printing history.

The Royal Columbian Press (platen size, 25 X 20 inches) was manufactured in Edinburgh, Scotland by Thomas Long of Edinburgh sometime between 1832 and 1850.  Little is known of its ownership history.  The Library Associates purchased and donated the press for the General Library, University of California, Davis in 1968. It was obtained through the assistance of Roger Levenson of the Tamalpais Press of Berkeley and purchased in England.

The invention of the Columbian press by George Clymer of Philadelphia in 1813 represents America’s first important contribution to printing.  Crowned by the American eagle, this beautifully ornate iron printing press, indeed the most ornate of the hand-presses, dispensed with the screw, substituting instead a series of compound levers, which multiplied the pull of the pressman.  Though first introduced in the United States, it was never very popular since its cost was prohibitive for most American printers of the time.dscf0398s

In 1817, at the age of 63, Clymer immigrated to England where the introduction of the Columbian press was heralded by a series of testimonials from American printers giving the impression that the Columbian was in wide use in the United States.  In true American fashion, Clymer expanded his publicity campaign, which included the presentation of Columbians to the reigning monarchs of Russia and the Netherlands.  After the press was tested by four leading printers, the Tsar rewarded Clymer with a gift of 500 rubles, while the King of the Netherlands gave him a gold medal valued at 100 ducats.  Soon after its introduction into England, the Columbian press was fully accepted by the London printers of the day and was manufactured in England and Scotland as well as on the continent.  George Clymer died in August 27, 1834, at the age of 80, but Columbian presses continued to be manufactured throughout the century.