Producer Awareness


The Ford Memorial Library in Ovid has just been awarded a two-year, $50,000 Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Library grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Ford Library’s Cayuga-Seneca Lakes Agriculture and Craft Beverage Memory Project initiates a ground-breaking oral
history project to document the craft beverage industries between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes. The project will feature interviews from winery owners, vineyard managers, winemakers, brewers, distillers, and cider makers. The participants will range from founding members of the first and longest running wine trail in America, as well craft beverage producers who have made the Finger Lakes recognized nationally and globally as a leader in wine and beverage production. The project will document and preserve the unique and personal stories of producers, and will be accompanied by public round-table discussions from historians and industry leaders. Exhibitions are planned in conjunction with the project.

This two year oral history project will include:

  • Conducting field interviews with at least 40 producers – each field interview (45 minutes) will be transcribed and archived and available for viewing.
  • Each interview will be edited and posted on the Ovid Library YouTube Channel.
  • Field interviews will be used as a basis for a short documentary on the beverage industry to be created by library staff outside of the grant project.
  • In conjunction with FLX1, we will create a series of audio podcasts that detail the history of the beverage industry in our area.
  • In conjunction with FLX1, we will hold a series of Round Table Discussions on topics such as women in the industry, effects of COVID-19,
  • The creation of five traveling exhibits to highlight the local industry.
  • Library programs, such as history talks, grafting workshops, tasting workshops will be held over two years.

The Ford Library is seeking to capture the oral history of the beverage industry for future generations. Over the next two years, the library will promote all
components of this project to help bolster interest in the beverage industry. Our exhibits will be placed in the soon-to-be opened Visitor Center in the Three Bears Complex as well as available to travel to tasting rooms.

Library Archivist Monica Kelly will be reaching out to owners over the next two weeks to schedule our first round of interviews this summer. Each interview will take approximately one hour. We are also seeking donations of materials to digitize such as photographs, ephemera, early labels, tasting sheets, or advertisements to create a complimentary archives collection for the library and exhibitions.

If you have any questions or suggestions for this project, please contact any of the project team members below. We look forward to using the national grant to spotlight our community.

Shannon O’Connor

Shannon O’Connor, Library Director and Grant Coordinator: [email protected]
Monica Kelly, Archivist and Interviewer: [email protected]
Luke Hodde, IT Specialist and Cinematographer: [email protected]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.