Scope and Content
United States. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
Title: Collection of United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Records On California Wineries
Date (inclusive): 1920-1950
132 linear feet
Abstract: The collection contains applications to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for the establishment of wineries in
California, statements of ownership, corporation papers, materials on bonds and consents, winery plans, capacity, facilities,
and vineyard acreage. Correspondence regarding audits, permits, and inspections is also included. The records cover the time
period from 1920-1950 and therefore include Prohibition and the repeal of Prohibition.
Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as
many are stored offsite.
University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special
Davis, California 95616-5292
Collection number: D-140
Language of Material: Collection materials in English.
Brief History of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1920-1950
Historically, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has been a tax-collecting, enforcement and regulatory
arm of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Its duties related to alcohol included: approving labels and monitoring advertising;
regulating labeling, marking, packaging, and branding of all domestic distilled spirits, wine and beer sold in the United
States, and regulating production in the United States and the importations of all alcohol beverages, including distilled
spirits, malt beverages, and wine.
When the National Prohibition Act was passed, the Secretary of the Treasury created a new branch of the Bureau of Internal
Revenue Service known as the Prohibition Unit. This unit was charged with the enforcement of the new law and the existing
divisions of the Bureau of Internal Revenue dealing with the control of narcotics and industrial alcohol were transferred
to it. On April 1, 1927, the Treasury moved the Prohibition Unit to bureau status within the department. On July 1, 1930 Congress
transferred the penal provisions of the National Prohibition Act from the Treasury's Bureau of Prohibition to the Department
of Justice's new Bureau of Prohibition. However, tax-related and regulatory activities remained at the Treasury, under a new
Bureau of Industrial Alcohol.
After the Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution, repealing Prohibition, was ratified in December 1933, President Franklin
Roosevelt established the Federal Alcohol Control Administration (FACA) by executive order under the National Industrial Recovery
Act. In August 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act which replaced the FACA. The
new FAA was assigned to the Treasury.
On March 10, 1934 the Justice's Prohibition enforcement duties moved into the Alcohol Tax Unit (ATU), Bureau of Internal Revenue,
Department of the Treasury. In 1940 the FAA as an Administration merged with the ATU.
A Historical Guide to the U.S. Government. Edited by George Thomas Kurian. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Schmeckebier, Laurence Frederick.
The Bureau of Prohibition: Its History, Activities, and Organization.
[New York, AMS Press, 1974].
Scope and Content
The collection contains applications to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for the establishment of wineries in
California statements of ownership, corporation papers, materials on bonds and consents, winery plans, capacity, facilities,
and vineyard acreage. Correspondence regarding audits, permits, and inspections is also included.
The records cover the time period from 1920-1950 and therefore include Prohibition and the repeal of Prohibition.
Arrangement of the Collection
The finding aid arranges the files alphabetically by the name of the winery. However, the files themselves are not arranged
alphabetically in the boxes. The geographic location of the winery is listed after the winery name.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online
public access catalog.
United States. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms--Archives
United States. Alcohol Tax Unit
United States. Bureau of Prohibition
Wine and wine making--California
Collection is open for research.
Negotiations for the donation of the collection from the United States Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF)
to the University of California, Davis (UCD) began in 1971 after an oral historian discovered that most of the files were
slated for disposal. The historian, who had used the files in her research for the California Wine Industry Oral History Project,
alerted Maynard Amerine, Professor of Enology at UCD of the situation. Professor Amerine's interest in the records initiated
the involvement of the UCD Library.
University Librarian J.R Blanchard noted the research value of the collection and requested that the collection be donated
to the Special Collections Department of the UCD Library, in part because of its connection with the University's research
on the history of agriculture in California and its research in viticulture and enology. The request was granted.
The ATF reviewed and weeded the files before they were donated and efforts were made to obtain written waivers from the winery
or its successor to authorize the donation of the files to the University.
The collection was officially donated to Special Collections in 1974.
This electronic finding aid was produced by Sara Gunasekara from an existing print finding aid. Assistance was provided by
student employees Christina Lee, Jane Oh, Linda Trach, and Michelle Xie.
[Identification of item], Collection of United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Records On California Wineries,
D-140, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to
publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, General Library,
University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.