Special Collections  Librarian (Retired)

Working on a part-time basis post-retirement to continue work on the Brewchive(r).


Contribute to the CSUSM Special Collections unit activities in acquisitions, processing, and research.

Curator of the Brewchive®, the archive of San Diego craft brewing’s Third Wave (1987-on.)

General reference assistance.

Subject Areas


–San Diego Brewing Industry


Government Information


  • San Diego Craft Beer Industry, from its start in the 19th Century and women’s roles in brewing
  • Helen Hunt Jackson and her work with Native American issues and the US Government


National Organizations: Beta Phi Mu (Library Science Honor Society)
California Organizations: Society of California Archivists, SanDocs, CINCH (Council Interpreting North County History)

Brewing Organizations: Society of Barley Engineers, Pink Boots Society (San Diego Chapter)

Awards & Grants

2020—Promotion to Librarian

2018—American Library Association and EbscoHost John Cotton Dana Public Relations Award—Team member for publicity launching the CSUSM Brewchive(r).

2016. California Audio Visual Preservation Project (CAVPP) – Second round submission by J. Downie and D. Mitchell resulted in additional VHS titles being digitized.

2014. California Audio Visual Preservation Project (CAVPP) – Submission by C. Mitchell and J. Downie and D. Mitchell resulted in unique materials of interest to California history being digitized and hosted on the Internet Archive as part of the California Light and Sound collection.

2012. Native Sons of the Golden West Millard Smallin Western Archives Memorial scholarship for attendance at the 2012 Western Archives Institute.

2011. CSUSM Faculty Development Grant for research on Helen Hunt Jackson and her influence on Native American Policy.

2008. Tenure and Promotion to Associate Librarian.

2008. NewsBank/Readex/GODORT/ALA Catharine J. Reynolds Award for research in the field of documents librarianship.

2007. Distinguished Alumna award from San José State University, School of Library and Information Science. Selected as one of 40 alumni recognized in celebration of the school’s 40 years of continuous American Library Association accreditation.

2007. Distinguished Alumni Award. Given by CSUSM History Department Faculty for “dedication to CSUSM, the History Department and the community.”

2000. NMRT/3M Professional Development Grant Award to attend ALA Conference.

1998. Palomar Library Association. Member of the Year.


Downie, J. [A.] The rise and fall of San Diego’s early brewing industry, 1868–1953. (2022, Spring/Summer). Journal of San Diego History, (68 (1&2) 74-103.

2021, April – “In Special Collections: CSUSM History Through Student Eyes” for publication in the ‘Do You Remember’ section of the Tukwut Times (2021, April).  https://www.csusm.edu/fsra/tukwuttimes/tukwuttimesapril.pdf

Visintainer, S. and J. A. Downie (2021, Spring) Real time collecting and the COVID-19 pandemic: The Together/Apart archive at California State University, San Marcos. Journal of San Diego History, 67 (1) 1-22.

Downie, J.A. (2018, November 1). Tapping into beer history: University creates archive for breweriana. American Libraries. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2018/11/01/tapping-beer-history-brewchive/

Downie, J. (2018, Winter). The early brewing industry in San Diego, California: The San Diego Brewing Company. Brewery History, 177, 14-26. An examination of the various owners and growth of a well-known brewery and its competition.

Downie, J.A. (2004, Summer). The current information literacy instruction environment 2014. “The Cunningham papers: Challenges for a fledgling archive.” Society of California Archivists Newsletter 150, 9-10.

2009. “Cloning Ourselves: One Librarian’s Experience” May 3-5, LOEX National Conference Proceedings.

2007. “Instruction design collaborations with government information specialists: Opening the conversation.” RSR: Reference Services Review 35 (1), 123-136.

2004. “Integrating government documents into information literacy instruction, part II.” DttP: Documents to the People 32 (4), 17, 20-22.

2004. “The current information literacy instruction environment for government documents, Pt. 1.” DttP: Documents to the People 32 (2), 36-39.

Selected Presentations

2021 –  Stories & Snapshots: Documenting a Year of the Pandemic – Zoom panel to discuss the campus Together/Apart digital exhibition. Panelist member providing insight on the impact and response of the San Diego brewing community and the Glass Half Full subsidiary project – February 23

2019 – CSUSM Faculty Colloquium: “More Than a Barmaid: Women in San Diego Brewing History” – On my research on women in San Diego brewing industry – October 16

2018 — Southern California Homebrewers Festival – Panelist on women in the brewing industry – May 5

2018  – Longship Brewery’s Half Pint Lecture Series – San Diego – March 22, “San Diego Beer’s History”; April 5, “San Diego Craft Beer’s Hidden Women”; April 19, “Early Third Wave of SD Brewing (1987-1997)”; and May 3, “San Diego Beer Myths and Fables”.

2017. “Wort, Women and War: Early San Diego’s Beer Industry” – Celebration of Faculty Scholarship and Creative Activity – CSUSM – October 23

2017 – “Wort, Women and War: Early San Diego’s Beer Industry” – invited presentation at Ebullition Brew Works – Carlsbad – October 14 – included space for a promotional exhibit on the Brewchive™ prior to the presentation

2017. “Beer History Research in San Diego” – HIST 301-14 – Invited to speak on the results of my research to date on San Diego craft brewing, its challenges, and my findings – April 20

2017.  “Applying Genealogical Research Tools to Women in San Diego’s Brewing Industry” – Panel Presentation on Race and Gender in the Beer Culture track – Popular Culture Association National Conference – San Diego – April 14

2015. “Helen Hunt Jackson: Her path to Ramona.” Invited presentation to LTWR 601 on the multicultural aspects of Ramona. CSUSM.

2013. “Focus Group on Mentoring.” September 17 with Janet Fisher, Mary Prophet, Barbara Miller and Netta Cox. Federal Depository Library Program Webinar.

2012. “Helen Hunt Jackson as a 19th Century Woman.” Invited presentation to LTWR 303C regarding Jackson as a writer with a focus on her work in California. CSUSM.

2010. “Undergraduate Research: Digging Up a Brighter Future.” Co-presented with Lezlie Lee-French. Political Economy Lectures. Palomar College, San Marcos, CA — April 8
Lezlie’s Powerpoint and Librarian’s Secrets Handout

2009. “Student Research Journals.” December 11. Librarians Writing Lunch and Learn, University of Southern California.

2007. “Cloning Ourselves: One Librarian’s Experience.” May 4, LOEX National Conference. San Diego, CA
PowerpointSelective Bibliography Brainstorm Summary

2006. “I am a Guerilla Government Information Specialist.” April 14. Southern California Government Document Librarians Meeting. California State University San Marcos
PowerpointSelective Bibliography

2004. “Setting the Stage for Effective Library Instruction with Writing.” January 30 with Yvonne Meulemans. Southern California Instruction Librarians’ Open House. CSU Fullerton

2003. “Thinking About the Process: Student Analysis of Their Research Process.” June 22. Library Instruction Roundtable Poster Session, American Library Association Annual Conference. Toronto, Canada.

Selected Media and Interviews

2021 – Tour of collection and interview with Alexander Nguyen, KPBS – Website story, radio spot and TV coverage under titles “What’s a Brewchive? It’s an Archive of San Diego Brewing History” and “Preserving San Diego’s Beer History One Growler at a Time.”—September 20-21. Posted to YouTube

2021 – Tour of collection and interview with San Diego Union Tribune reporter Pam Kragen and separate session with photographer resulted in article titled “Archive a Trove of County’s Craft Brewing Industry.” – September 12, B1, B8

2019 – History of San Diego Brewing – Podcast panelist – Latchkey Brewing – August 14 – podcast to be available in late August at https://indie.beer/.

2018. “Happy Half Hour Episode 79: Harumama Opens in Little Italy, Super Bowl Specials, and Beer Historian Stops By” — San Diego Magazine [Podcast] — January 3 — starting at 11:30

2018. “Chronicles of the Craft: A Program at CSUSM Strives to Archive San Diego beer History” — San Diego City Beat [Magazine article]  — January 2 — Interview by Beth Demmon on the Brewchive(R)

2017. Palomar College Library and Information Technology Program — Filmed testimonial for promotional videos – November 1, released for airing December.

2017. Interview by Alison McCarty — PublicLibrariesOnline.org — November/December issue 56:6 currently embargoed.

2017. Webmaster for the Brewchive(R) and Student Digital Newspaper sites.