Guide to the William Heintz Papers, 1933-2012

Collection processed and description prepared by:

Jennifer Sturm, Intern, Napa, CA, February 27, 2016

Descriptive Summary

Collection Title
William Heintz Papers, 1933-2012
Span Dates
Bulk Dates
Collection Number
Heintz, William F.
3 Archival gaylord boxes (1.5 linear feet), 1 banker’s box (1 linear foot), 9 library books.
The William Heintz collection contains materials donated to the Napa County Historical Society from the estate of William Heintz. This includes many of his literary works; everything from his well-known books to small essays and articles written early in his career. Early manuscripts of his published and unpublished works can also be found in this collection. There are daily planners and journals, scrapbooks, and magazines with examples of his writing. Some of his correspondence has been preserved as well. There are also a few media materials such as computer disks and photographs.
Photographs are currently being processed.

Administrative & Access Information

Napa County Historical Society
Goodman Library
1219 First Street
Napa, California 9455

William Heintz Papers, 1933-2012, [Box/Series #, Folder #], Napa County Historical Society.
Acquisition Information
Donated by Robert Berner, 2015

Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research. Some folders in this collection may be restricted. See container list for more information.

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.Researchers are advised that violations of the copyright law may have legal ramifications for whichNapa County HistoricalSociety assumes no responsibility.

Collections may also contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for whichNapa County Historical Society assumes no responsibility.

Usage Restrictions
Appointments are not required for accessing collections, but are strongly encouraged so as to ascertain availability of materials.

Duplication of materials is on a case-by-case basis, and permission can only be given by the Research Librarian. Charges may apply.

The donor may have placed additional access/usage restrictions on this collection. The user is responsible for adhering to those restrictions; NCHS is not liable for any misuse.

Approval must be explicitly given by NCHS or copyright holder for publication.

Finding Aid prepared by
Jennifer Sturm

Biography / History

Biographical / Historical Note

William F. Heintz was born on February 9, 1933, in Rudyard, Montana.  He began work on a degree in journalism in Helena, Montana, eventually finishing his studies at San Francisco State University.  He lived in San Francisco until 1969, eventually moving to Sonoma where he lived out the rest of his life.  After receiving his Master’s degree in history from Sonoma State University he was commissioned to write the histories of many wineries in the Sonoma and Napa Counties.  He became the foremost wine historian of the area, producing several well-known books: “Wine Country — A History of Napa Valley (The Early Years 1838-1920)” and “California’s Napa Valley: One Hundred and Sixty Years of Wine Making.”  Other writings could be found in numerous magazines and newspapers, as well as special studies for businesses.  William Heintz died on February 10, 2012, in Sonoma, California.

Scope & Content

Scope & Contents Note
The William Heintz Collection contains a variety of his writings, from his early works to his later materials, including some of the more arbitrary things he has written. He had trouble finding work early in his career, taking the odd writing job (including radio scripts), some of which he mentions in letters he wrote home to his mother during this period. The collection contains many of his literary productions, as well as some of the periodicals they are found in. There are several unpublished essays and manuscripts as well. The aforementioned letters to his mother, plus other correspondence dealing with his books and correspondence with one of Napa Valley’s most famous winemakers, Brother Timothy Diener, are also part of this collection. There is an extensive collection of planners that cover over 20 years of his life, detailing daily events, and a writers’ journal he used for writing exercises and ideas. There are also two scrapbooks that were created by William meant to document his career, specifically the “Heintz on History” magazine series which appeared in the Wines and Vines magazine during the 1970s and 1980s. There are also some inventories of his personal collection of research material, like his wine history card catalog and oral history collection. There are a few personal materials, including some old family photographs and copies of his parents’ marriage certificate. Various miscellaneous items are included, such as computer disks, copies of old documents, and historic photographs.

Indexing Terms / Controlled Heading Access

Subject Headings

Wine History – California – Napa

William Heintz

Brother Timothy

Wine Country – Manuscript

California’s Napa Valley: One Hundred Sixty Years Wine Making – Manuscript

Container List

Series 1: Books

Series 2: Diaries, Journals, and Planners

Subseries 2A: Daily Planners

Subseries 2B: Journal

Series 3: Computer Media

Subseries 3A: 3.5 inch floppy disks

Subseries 3B: CD-ROM, and interactive guide to wine country

Series 4: Correspondence

Series 5: Ephemera

Series 6: Literary Productions

Subseries 6A: Radio Scripts

Subseries 6B: Essays

Series 7: Manuscripts

Subseries 7A: Wine Country, manuscript by William F. Heintz, copyright 1986.

Subseries 7B: A Youthful Rite of Passage: The Post World War Two Years in Montana, by William Heintz, copyright 2004.

Subseries 7C: Duty Station Berlin: American Forces Radio Behind the Iron Curtain 1955-1957, by William Heintz.

Series 8: Official Documents

Series 9: Periodicals

Subseries 9A: Wines and Vines

Subseries 9B: Guidebooks

Subseries 9C: Various Magazines

Series 10: Photographs

Series 11: Scrapbooks and Inventories

Subseries 11A: Scrapbooks

Subseries 11B: Wine History Card Catalog

Table of Contents

Table of Contents