Scope of the Collection and Acquisitions Policy

  • Scope

    The National Brewing Library is an English language collection relating to brewing, distilling, other alcoholic beverages and dependent trades. The collection aims to be the primary and most comprehensive source of information in the UK, on the scientific, technological, historical and social aspects of the above.

    Core areas are (within the context of brewing and distilling):

    • Historical English language books
    • Raw materials - barley & other cereals, malt, hops, sugar, water
    • Yeast
    • Fermentation
    • Microbiology
    • Technology, engineering & production
    • Product quality
    • Sensory / flavour analysis
    • Customs & Excise
    • Company histories
    • Licensed trade, including histories of public houses, guides & inn signs
    • Social customs related to drink / drinking

    Related areas are (within the context of brewing and distilling):

    • Ancillary and support industries - cooperage, transport, suppliers, packaging
    • Other alcoholic beverages - cider, perry, wine, RTDs (ready to drinks), alcopops, etc
    • Licencing law
    • Core science eg "Methods of analysis"
    • Marketing, advertising
    • Alcohol and health
    • The temperance movement

    Scientific, professional & trade publications:

    • Complete runs of scientific and technical journals published by The Institute of Brewing, The International Brewers' Guild, The Institute & Guild of Brewing
    • Information to members, published by The Brewers' Society, Brewers and Licensed Retailers Association, British Beer & Pub association
    • Complete runs of major UK brewing, distilling and trade journals
    • Conference proceedings
    • European Brewing Convention publications
    • American Society of Brewing Chemists journals
    • Master Brewers Association of the Americas journals.

    Company reports

    The NBL recognises the role of the University of Warwick Library in maintaining archive and current sets of company reports. The policy regarding company reports, within the scope of the Collection, is that current reports will not actively be sought. However, any reports obtained, will be added to the NBL and the position reviewed in a few years.


    The NBL hold an incomplete archive set of British patents relating to brewing. The policy is that this set will not be systematically added to.

    Acquisitions strategy

    • To identify potential gaps in book coverage
    • To create a wants list of specific historical items
    • To create a wants list of missing journal issues from the titles held
    • To advertise our wants lists
    • To aim to obtain all newly published English language books in the core areas above
    • To obtain selectively newly published English language books in the related areas above
    • To aim to obtain all current English language journals in the areas of brewing and distilling.

    Acquisitions policy

    Acquisition of material for the collection can be by donation, exchange, deposit, or purchase. The primary group responsible for acquisition of all materials is the Institute and Guild of Brewing Library and Archive Group.


    • All publications of the IGB will come to the NBL via the Library and Archive Group
    • The publishers of newly published books will be contacted, at the time of publication, and asked if they would donate a copy to the NBL
    • The publishers of English language journals in the areas of brewing and distilling will be asked to donate each current issue to the NBL
    • Donations of material, which fall within the scope of the collection, will be welcomed.


    • Exchange arrangements may be set up between the IGB and other organisations to obtain copies of journals and/or other publications for the National Brewing Library.


    • Organisations may be asked if they would be willing to deposit their collections or publications within the NBL. (For example, an archive set of the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists is deposited by the ASBC.)


    • A limited budget may be available to purchase specific items.

    National Brewing Library Management Committee
    May 2004

    Printable version (Word 97 document)