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Olmo (Harold Paul) Papers
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  • Access
  • Arrangement
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation
  • Separated Materials
  • Scope and Content
  • Publication Rights

  • Contributing Institution: University of California, Davis Library, Dept. of Special Collections
    Title: Harold Paul Olmo Papers
    Creator: Olmo, H. P. (Harold Paul), 1909-2006
    Identifier/Call Number: D-280
    Physical Description: 86.5 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1863-2006
    Date (bulk): 1930-2005
    Abstract: The Harold Olmo Papers document his work as a Professor of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. They include correspondence, research files, photographs and slides of grape varieties, research into the vineyards and grape varieties of California counties, international files from Olmo's work abroad, and materials relating to his activities in symposiums, conferences, and advisory boards.
    Physical Location: Researchers should contact Archives and Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Language of Material: English .


    Collection is open for research.


    The Harold P. Olmo Papers are arranged into fifteen series. 1. Department of Viticulture and Enology Papers 2. Teaching Records 3. Foundation Plant Materials Service 4. Wine Institute 5. Organizations 6. Conferences and Symposiums 7. Calendars and Journals 8. Research 9. Consulting Work 10. Patents and Licensing Agreements 11. Correspondence 12. Publications 13. Subject Files 14. Blowers Family Papers 15. Audio/Visual Materials.


    Harold Paul Olmo was a respected Professor of Viticulture at the University of California at Davis. As a grape breeder and geneticist Olmo developed more than 30 new grape varieties, including Ruby Cabernet, Carnelian, Rubired and Royalty. An early pioneer of the practice of clonal selection, Olmo utilized his research to create pest and disease resistant varieties. Olmo was also an accomplished ampelographer. His work in ampelography led him to develop a large collection of grape varieties for the United States Department of Agricultural National Grape Germplasm Repository as well as playing an instrumental role in the development of the Foundation Plant Services Program. Olmo also coauthored three editions of the Brooks and Olmo "Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties."
    Harold Olmo was born in 1910. He earned a B.S. in Horticulture from the University of California at Berkeley in 1931 and a Ph.D in Genetics in 1934. Olmo worked as an Associate at the Experiment Station in 1933 and in 1938 he became an assistant professor of viticulture at University of California at Davis. Olmo worked as a professor of Viticulture until his retirement in 1977. He was married to Helen Olmo and they had three children. He died June 30th 2006.
    Olmo was a frequent traveler. He spent a sabbatical in the Middle East as Guggenheim Fellow, as well as a sabbatical in Australia as a Fulbright Scholar. He worked for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations as a consultant, with a focus on developing agricultural programs in India, Afghanistan, Brazil, etc. He was also a frequent attendant at various international symposiums on wine grapes. Olmo was an active member in professional organizations and advisory boards such as the Wine Institute, American Society of Horticultural Science, and the American Society of Enologists. In addition to his work with grape varieties Olmo dedicated himself to researching the origins of vinifera vines, primarily during his sabbaticals in the Middle East. Olmo also researched the history of grape growing in California, collecting data about historical and modern vineyards and viticulturists in California counties.
    More detailed information about Harold Olmo can be found on the Foundation Plant Services website and the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology In Memoriam page.
    "Harold P. Olmo Professor of Viticulture." University of California, Davis. Viticulture and Enology website. https://wineserver.ucdavis.edu/people/harold-olmo#.  Accessed February 1, 2024.
    Sweet, Nancy L. "Winegrapes of UC Davis – Harold Olmo." University of California, Davis. Foundation Plant Service Website. https://fps.ucdavis.edu/grapebook/winebook.cfm?chap=HaroldOlmo Accessed February 1, 2024.
    "Harold Olmo, 96, Who Created Many Grape Varieties, Is Dead." New York Times Website. https://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/12/us/12olmo.html  Accessed February 1, 2024.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Harold Paul. Olmo Papers, D-280, Archives and Special Collections, UC Davis Library, University of California, Davis.

    Separated Materials

    D-363 Bioletti (Frederic T.) Papers. Frederic Bioletti was a professor of viticulture at the University of California, Berkeley and later Davis, and Olmo's mentor. The Bioletti papers were separated from Olmo's papers to create the Bioletti collection.
    D-760 Alley, Curtis J. Papers. Curtis J. Alley was a professor of viticulture at the University of California, Davis. The Alley papers were separated from Olmo's papers to create the Alley collection.
    D-357, Inventory of Paul Masson Records. Research materials from the Olmo collection were separated and added to the Paul Masson Collection.
    O-009, Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection. Nursery catalogs were removed from the Olmo collection and added to the Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection.

    Scope and Content

    The Olmo papers contains the professional activities of Harold Olmo's life along with a small amount of personal files. The bulk of the collection spans from 1930 to 2005 but some publications and research date back to 1863.
    The majority of the materials are in English, but some materials in the international files are in French, Spanish, Italian.
    Highlights of the collection include papers pertaining to the Department of Viticulture and Enology, Olmo's teaching records, Olmo's research into plant diseases, mechanical harvesting, and grape varieties, photos and slides of grape varieties, organizational minutes and financial records from the Foundation Plant Materials Service and the Wine Institute, a large collection of wine grape publications, travel documents, research, and journals depicting Olmo's work abroad, and files on the history of viticulture in California. This collection also contains papers belonging to the Blowers family, Russell B. Blowers, a fruit grower of Woodland, CA, his son Russell I. Blowers and daughters Carrie and Annie. Olmo also collected the papers of other professors within the Viticulture and Enology Department after they died. Papers belonging to Bioletti, Frederic T., Alley, Curtis J., and Masson, Paul were separated into new collections but some research or correspondence belonging to them, or other professors may remain.

    Publication Rights

    All applicable copyrights for the collection are protected under chapter 17 of the U.S. Copyright Code. 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 Regents of the University of California as the owner of the physical items. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Grapes -- Genetics
    Grapes -- Varieties
    Grapes -- Breeding -- Varieties
    Wine and wine making
    Agricultural colleges -- United States
    Agricultural education -- California
    Agricultural education -- Europe
    Agricultural experiment stations -- California
    Agricultural extension work -- California
    Agriculture -- Argentina -- History
    Agriculture -- California -- History
    Agriculture -- California -- Sacramento County -- History
    Agriculture -- California -- Solano County -- History
    Agriculture -- California -- Sutter County
    Agriculture -- California -- Yolo County
    Farm mechanization
    Grapes -- Diseases and pests -- California
    Grapes -- Rootstocks
    Horticulture -- California -- History
    Pesticides -- Research.
    Pests -- Control -- California
    Pioneers -- California -- History -- 19th century.
    Plant breeding
    Plant collecting
    Plant diseases -- International cooperation
    Plant diseases -- Research -- California
    Plant diseases -- Research -- California -- Davis
    Plant genetics
    Plant nematodes
    Plant anatomy
    Plants -- Nutrition
    Travel -- Guidebooks.
    Viticulture -- California
    Viticulture -- California -- Periodicals
    Wine and wine making -- California -- History
    Wine and wine making -- California -- Periodicals
    Wine and wine making -- History
    Wine and wine making -- Research
    Wine industry -- California
    Wine industry -- California -- Periodicals
    Olmo, H. P. (Harold Paul), 1909-2006 -- Archives
    University of California, Davis -- Faculty -- Archives