Everyone knows that Dr. Konstantin Frank and the winery he founded blazed a trail for East Coast wine. But he was also the owner an extremely extensive book collection, which has been donated to Cornell University.
In doing so, the Frank family has made Cornell’s viticulture and winemaking collection at the New York State
Agricultural Experiment Station’s Lee Library one of the best in the
The Konstantin Frank family book donation consists of 132
titles, composed of 19th and 20th century titles on
a wide variety of topics including horticulture, plant science,
viticulture, enology, chemistry, nature, history and literature with
the largest single subject category being wine- and grape-related
Apparently, when Dr. Frank emigrated to the United States in 1951 from
Europe, he sacrificed all other luggage and only brought his book collection. As a book-obsessed man myself, I can understand why.
Of particular interest in the collection are a number of wine
appreciation titles signed by the authors to Dr. Frank. Also of
special notice are French and Russian ampelographies and a multi-volume history of horticulture in Russia.
The grape growing and wine making titles, which make up the largest
portion of the donation, will contribute greatly to the Lee Library’s
already impressive holdings in those areas. The Lee Library’s
viticulture and enology collection, said to be the finest east of the
Rocky Mountains, features over 2,700 books and over 40 current
subscriptions to periodicals from around the world. Together with the
larger Cornell Library system these holdings in enology and viticulture
exceed 7,000 titles. The Lee Library (located in Geneva, NY) will also
be setting up a display about Dr. Konstantin Frank containing ephemera
found in the book collection. Some of the historical materials found
were vintage photos, tickets and papers.
Like I said, I’m a book lover, so when we finally make it out to the Finger Lakes, I may just have to stop by the Lee Library to check this out.