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Beer Research Guide: Prohibition


The 18th Amendment of the United States Constitution mandated the prohibition of the sale and import of "intoxicating liquors" in the United States. This nationwide ban lasted from 1920 to 1933. The 21st Amendment, ratified in December 1933, repealed the 18th Amendment and ended Prohibition.

The Library of Congress has an excellent Guide to Historic Sources on the Alcoholic Beverage Industry, which includes sources that examine the history of the temperance movement and prohibition in the United States. The bibliography on the Temperance Movement and Prohibition contains a list of books, articles, and other materials found in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Use these titles to search in the OSU Libraries catalog or on Hathi Trust, Google Books, and the Internet Archive. 

In addition to have great historical information, the Prohibition Wikipedia page has a robust set of related readings and references. The "See also" will route you to other pages that might help you with related topics. 

The Westerville History Center & Museum has a collection of Prohibition and Temperance materials. 

The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union was founded in Ohio in 1874, and Frances Willard was elected WCTU’s president in 1879.

"Alcohol, Temperance and Prohibition" website at Brown University Library 

  • "The digitized items in the Alcohol, Temperance and Prohibition Collection are from the Alcoholism and Addiction Studies Collection, as well as from various collections in the Brown University Library — broadsides, sheet music, pamphlets and government publications."
  • "The digitized pamphlets were published by various groups leading up to prohibition, during the prohibition era, and ending with the 21st amendment in 1933, which repealed the 18th amendment from 1919 prohibiting the manufacturing, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors."

"Temperance & Prohibition" website at Ohio State University. 

  • There are photographs, cartoons, and posters, as well as data about alcohol consumption.
  • This site was first created in 1996 by Professor Austin Kerr and is updated by the Department of History.

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Things to know


There are many excellent resources available for researching the prohibition of alcohol in America, including archival collections and books available in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center. 

  • The Anti-saloon League year book (1908-1931) 
    • Cherrington, Ernest Hurst, and Anti-saloon League of America, Issuing Body. The Anti-saloon League Year Book : An Encyclopedia of Facts and Figures Dealing with the Liquor Traffic and the Temperance Reform.
  • The Ruth Tibbits Tooze papers (1938-1940)
    • Tooze, Ruth Tibbits, Loyal Temperance Legion, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and Youth Temperance Council. Ruth Tibbits Tooze Papers, 1938-1940. 
  • The Fred Eckhardt papers (1879-2013)
    • Eckhardt, Fred. Fred Eckhardt Papers, 1879-2013 (bulk 1970-2010).

The words you use in your searches matter. For example, note the differences in these search results: 

Try searching several different ways and in multiple places for the most comprehensive results list. 


Many temperance societies, associations, and government agencies published materials to distribute to their members, share with the media, and give to their opponents. Linked below are publications in the Library of Congress catalog, but you can also use the name of the organization to search in our library catalog or on other online sites. 

Prohibition in Oregon

Prohibition features prominently into the story of beer in Oregon, but also into the story of statehood. Conversations about banning alcohol actually pre-date statehood, but when the Oregon's Woman's Christian Temperance Union held its first meeting in 1883 at a Methodist church a few blocks from Weinhard's brewery, the so-called "Bonnet Brigade" became an unstoppable political force. 

Read more about the story of Prohibition in Oregon on the Brewstorian blog.

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