In 1997, the Seagram Company and the Seagram Museum donated the rare book collection and the early archives held by the Seagram Museum Library to the University of Waterloo Library.
The collection of more than 1200 titles covers every aspect of the beverage alcohol industry. Topics include distillation, wine and wine making, brewing, viticulture, bottling and cooperage, taxation and government regulations, temperance and prohibition, the culinary arts, and advertising.
The collection complements the University of Waterloo Library's existing research collections in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the history of technology as well as the decorative arts, temperance, and social history.
The earliest imprint is the 1545 Italian translation of Charles Estienne's Vinetum..., an early work on viticulture. Other notable early works include De Secretis Remediis aut Potius Thesaurus by Konrad Gesner (1554), and Livre du Vigneron et du Fabricant du Cidre ... et Autres Vins de Fruits by Joseph de Mauny de Mornay (1838).
The collection includes many examples of fine bindings and illustrations.
Also present is a small group of books that belonged to the Seagram family.