Some of the sourdough samples stored at the Puratos Sourdough Library.
The Puratos Sourdough Library, launched in 2013, is a physical library where sourdough samples are stored. Its purpose is to preserve the biodiversity of sourdough, serve as a backup, and conduct research. 

Located at the Center for Bread Flavour in Belgium, the library collects new sourdough cultures each year from around the world, and every year Puratos conducts extensive study on the sourdoughs of a specific region. All this research creates a wealth of knowledge on the science of sourdough

This year, Puratos has inducted its first Canadian sourdough, Toronto-based Blackbird Baking Co.'s sourdough starter.

“We are thrilled that Blackbird Baking Co. has shared a piece of their own history to house in our library and agreed to be the first Canadian inductee,” says Karl de Smedt, librarian and expert at the sourdough library. “As the world that is becomes more and more globalized, it is important to preserve and protect the biodiversities of sourdough and work with small-scale local bakeries to preserve their unique cultures.”

To be included in the sourdough library, each inductee must provide the ingredients needed to feed the starter and keep the cultures alive.

Fresh sourdough samples are kept in glass jars at 4ºC (29ºF) and refreshed periodically, according to the protocols established by the bakery source. The library also makes up additional samples to be kept in four different locations as backups as well as for research and analysis with partner universities.