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Cooking By the Book: Culinary Libraries

Cookbooks offer a remarkable window into the lives and the worlds of those who created them.

Other Libraries

Other Libraries include the following:

Culinary Collections, by Host Institution

           While not universally held, cookbooks and other culinary works are increasingly a part of the collections in a wide range of American libraries.  While they may be part of the general collections in a library devoted to culinary topics, even  in such locations and almost universally in university and research libraries, they are held in the Special Collections as a discrete body so that they can be used together for study and reference.  Included below is a  selection of American culinary collections in the second decade of the 21st century.  Here is given any particular thematic focus, and often the size of the collection, which varies from a few hundred items  to many tens of thousands. This listing is a sampler,

Containing:

Columbia University
   Gottesman Libraries Cookery Collection
St Joseph's University - Academy of Food
   Marketing

   Campbell Collection

Culinary Institute of America
   Conrad N. Hilton Library

State University of New York--Stony Brook
   Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman Chinese Cookbook Collection

Duke University
   Nicole Di Bona Peterson Collection of Advertising Cookbooks

Texas Women’s University
   Women's Collection.  Cookbook Collection

Framingham State University
  Ruth Graves Wakefield Cookbook Collection

University of Alabama
   David Walker Lupton African American Cookbook Collection

Johnson and Wales University, Rhode Island
   Culinary Arts Museum

University of California at Berkeley
   Holl Collection

 Library of Congress: Bitting Collection
   Pennell Cookbook Collection


Michigan State University
   Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project

University of Indiana
   Lilly Library  Cookbook Collection


University of Iowa
   Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts and Cookbooks

 New York Academy of Medicine
   Margaret Barclay Wilson Food and Cookery Collection

University of  Massachusetts
   Beatrice McIntosh Cookery Collection

New York Public Library
 
   Buttolph Historical Menu Collection 
   Helen Hay Whitley Cookbook Collection

University of Michigan
   Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive

New York University
   Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection


University of Texas at San Antonio
   Culinary History and Print Culture
   Mexican Cookbook Collection

Radcliffe Institute - Harvard
   Schlesinger Library Cookbook Collection

 

Culinary Collections Include:

 

Columbia University

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Research Collections.  Gottesman Libraries, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 W. 120th St. | New York, NY 10027 <http://library.tc.columbia.edu/col_overview.php>
Cookery Collection.  "Mostly English language cookbooks and publications on drinks and drinking from 1702."  Columbia  web, viewed May 2016. 

 

Culinary Institute of America

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Conrad N. Hilton Library, (71,000- volumes.). The Culinary Institute of America. 1946 Campus Drive,  Hyde Park, NY 12538-1430.   845-451-1747.   Email: library@culinary.edu  <http://cialibrary.culinary.edu/>
"The breadth of the Conrad N. Hilton Library culinary collection is second only to the Library of Congress in the United States." CIA web viewed April 2016.  Collections include current, classic, and historic culinary works.  Also, archives and a large menu collection.  There is an extensive online presence and a generous provision for visiting scholars to use the library.

Duke University

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icole Di Bona Peterson Collection of Advertising Cookbooks. (6214 items.)  Duke University Library. 411 Chapel Drive, Durham, NC 27708.  919- 660-5870.  <http://library.duke.edu/> 
  "In the middle of the 19th century most American women still cooked with ingredients from their own farm or garden. They purchased in bulk from local grocers or butchers what could not be grown or made at home. With the progress of the Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century, a number of factors came together to begin to change American foodways. By the 1880s manufacturers had begun to extend the reach of their advertising message by the device of offering little booklets filled with, either for free or at a very modest cost."  Duke University Library web, viewed April 2016.

Framingham State University

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Ruth Graves Wakefield Cookbook Collection, (150 volumes) and Cookery Collections (800 volumes). Archives and Special Collections, Framingham State University, 100 State Street, PO Box 9101, Framingham  MA 01701-9101 <https://www.framingham.edu/academics/henry-whittemore-library/special-collections-archives/wakefield-cookbook-collection>
Ruth Graves Wakefield was an innovative cook who developed the concept of chocolate chips, and the famous Toll House Cookie recipe, which was then sold in her family's Toll House Inn.  The Wakefield Cookbook Collection came from her own library of cookbooks and related titles on household management.  Cookery Collection contains additional historic titles.

Johnson and Wales University, Rhode Island

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Cookbook Collections. (60,000 volumes)  Johnson and Wales University Library, Downcity Campus, Yena Center 111 Dorrance Street Providence, Rhode Island 02903.  < https://www.culinary.org/>
The Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson and Wales University is "devoted to the preservation of culinary arts and hospitality history." . 

Library of Congress

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Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Washington DC   <https://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/guide/spclist.html>  Among the culinary holdings of the Library of Congress are the following.
Katherine Golden Bitting Collection on Gastronomy.  (4,346 titles). Publications and manuscripts on gastronomy, fifteenth through twentieth centuries.
Elizabeth Robins Pennell Collection. (732 titles). Cookbook collection of Elizabeth Robbins Pennell.
"Writing extensively on gastronomy, Elizabeth Pennell amassed a large collection of European cookbooks. My Cookery Books (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1903) is a personal account of her cooking activities and describes many of the 433 volumes on cookery from the Pennell bequest in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The collection is strongest in French and Italian cookbooks from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries and includes such notable items as a fully illustrated edition of Bartolomeo Scappi's Opera (Venice: 1574"  LC web viewed May 2016

 

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Michigan State University Libraries

Culinary Collections
Michigan State University Libraries. East Lansing, MI.   517-353-8700  <http://www.lib.msu.edu>
Culinary Collections published before 1900, (400 volumes); Reynolds and Grant Collections within Cookbook Collection (10,000 volumes)  Cookery and Food (25,000 volumes.)16th century to the present. 

     Michigan State University was not only the first, but also the pioneering model for Land Grant colleges in the United States.  Initially established by the state of Michigan as a school of agriculture in 1855, it was the first federal land grant college under the U.S. Morris Act of 1862.  Women were admitted in 1870, and a Woman's Course - forerunner of Home Economics, established in 1895.at the behest of Mary A. Mayo of the Michigan State Grange. 
     Such programs in Land Grant Colleges were a critical first step in co-educational higher education for women in the United States. The extensive and strong culinary holdings in Special Collections of the MSU Library today are a continuing legacy and fruition of those early years
.  MSU describes those as follows:
     "Special collecting emphasis is on contemporary cookery of the Americas, including the United States; African American; Jewish American; Caribbean, Latin and South American; and the influence of West African food and diet on the Americas. The Michigan Cookbook Project is an attempt to collect all cookbooks published in the state. In addition to cookbooks there are strong resources in diet, health, and nutrition from the very old to the latest diet fad." MSU web, viewed May 2016.
Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project. <http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/>"The Feeding America project has created an online collection of some of the most important and influential American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. The digital archive includes page images of 76 cookbooks from the MSU Library's collection as well as searchable full-text transcriptions. This site also features a glossary of cookery terms and multidimensional images of antique cooking implements from the collections of the MSU Museum."  .

New York Academy of Medicine

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Margaret Barclay Wilson Collection - Food and Cookery
New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029  (212) 822-7200 
Special Collections, The Library, Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health, Public welcome,.The Library is open Tuesday to Friday by appointment. Contact a librarian by calling (212) 822-7315 or emailing library@nyam.org. For our historical collection, call (212) 822-7313 or email history@nyam.org.
<https://www.nyam.org>
"Some of the most engaging materials in the cookery collection of the New York Academy of Medicine’s Library are late 19th and early 20th century advertising pamphlets. Small books of recipes, histories of coffee, tea, spices, and other foods, and brochures touting the health benefits of one product or another offer a window into the changing tastes of the American public, new innovations in the mass production of foods, and the development of mass market advertising. A number of these pamphlets came to us as part of NYAM Fellow Margaret Barclay Wilson’s collection of books on food and cookery, donated to the library in 1929." NYAM web, viewed May 2016.

New York Public Library
 

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  General Cookbook Collection (16,000 volumes) 
   Buttolph Historical Menu Collection  (20,000 items) mid-19th to mid 20th centuries 
   Helen Hay Whitley Cookbook Collection (17 ms, 250 cookbooks ) 15th to 19th centuries, mostly English language
New York Public Library at 125th Street, 224 East 125th St., New York  NY  10035, (212)
534-50501   New  York Public Library at 115th St., 203 West 115th Street, New York, NY  10026  (212) 666-9393 <http://www.nypl.org/node/5629>
In addition to the collections highlighted above, the New York Public Library houses a near encyclopedic range of materials on cookery - their term - and on numerous cuisines.  Their description will suffice to illustrate the breath of these collections:
"Just as food and drink touch all aspects of human culture, these subjects are represented in all parts of the Library, including the Schomburg Center for the Study of Black Culture and even the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. There are substantial holdings in the Dorot Jewish Division, and the Slavic and Baltic Division, as well as in special collections such as the Rare Books Division and the Manuscripts and Archives Division, the Arents Collection, and the Spencer Collection. Many of these are included in the general catalogs, but some will be found only in specific divisional catalogs." NYPL web viewed May 2016.

New York University
 

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Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection, (12,000 volumes, 5,000 pamphlets.)  Fales Library and Special Collections, Bobst Library - Third Floor, New York University, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012.   212-998-2596  <fales.library@nyu.edu.
<http://www.nyu.edu/library/bobst/research/fales/foodcookery.html>
"Documents the evolution of cuisine and food practices in 20th century America, with a particular focus on the food habits and activity of New York City."  NYU web site.

Radcliffe Institute -Harvard

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Schlesinger Library, (20,000 volumes) Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 < http://www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/schlesinger-library>
Email:info@radcliffe.harvard.edu
"
Among its 100,000 volumes tracing the history of women in America, Schlesinger Library has 20,000 cookbooks and cooking related materials. Stars within that collection are the papers of M.F.K. Fisher, the Rombauer Beck team of "Joy of Cooking," and everything Julia Child, from her cookbook collection to television scripts to private letters."  Schlesinger web.  Julia Child's personal culinary collection of 5,000 volumes was donated in 2001,  bringing some remarkably rare early French culinary works to compliment the other American and Continental early treasures already held in Schlesinger. 

Saint Joseph's University

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   Academy of Food Marketing
    Campbell Collection
Saint Joseph's University, 5600 City Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19131  610-660-1000  <http://www.sju.edu/int/academics/hsb/foodmarketing/academy/campbell.html>
"The Campbell Collection is one of the largest repositories of food industry information in the U.S., holding all major industry periodicals and publications.": Campbell Collection web, viewed May 2016.

State University of New York at Stony Brook

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Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman Chinese Cookbook Collection (3.000 volumes.)  Special Collections and University Archives, Frank Melville, Jr. Memorial Library, E-2320, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3323 631.632.7119, <http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/libspecial/collections/manuscripts/newman.html>
"Queens College professor and lifetime collector of Chinese cookbooks Jacqueline M. Newman donated her collection of more than 3,000 books, the largest collection of its kind, to Stony Brook University. These books provide a valuable record of the Chinese Diaspora that has carried its rich cuisine to every corner of the world."  Collection contains a selection of digitized book covers.

Texas Women’s University

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Cookbook Collection  (  volumes.)Women’s Collection. Texas Women's University Libraries, P.O. Box 425528,Denton, TX 76204 940-898-3701   The Woman’s Collection is the largest depository in the Southern United States of research material about women. <http://www.twu.edu/library/cookbook-collection.asp>

Cookbook Collection.
Includes individual cookbook collections from eight donors, and manuscript collections from four.  "From abundance to diets, from prohibition to war, TWU's collection of cookbooks richly illustrates decades of America's changing relationship with food. Collection includes books, vendors' pamphlets, recipe books dating from 1624, conduct manuals, and menus from around the world."  TWU web, viewed April 2016.


University of Alabama
 

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David Walker Lupton African American Cookbook Collection. (450 volumes)
University Libraries, The Hoole Library, University of Alabama, Box 870266, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0266.   (205) 348-6047
<https://www.lib.ua.edu/collections/the-david-walker-lupton-african-american-cookbook-collection/>
"The David Walker Lupton African American Cookbook Collection, is one of the largest collections of African American cookbooks in the country. The collection currently consists of four hundred and fifty volumes covering the period from 1827, when the first book with recipes by an African American was published, through the year 2000. He had a deep conviction that cookbooks compiled by individuals in America of African heritage needed to be identified and preserved, and that culinary texts yield far more than recipes when closely scrutinized. They are written from the point of view of an individual or a community and, as such, have much to say about ethnic identity, family and community life, social history, the roles of women and men, values, religion, and economics, as well as the more obvious fields of diet and nutrition, use of agricultural products, the food supply, and general food history."  U of Alabama web, viewed February 2016.

University of California at Berkeley

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Holl Collection, (5,000 volumes)  Special Collections, Marian Koshland Bioscience & Natural Resources Library, 2101 Valley Life Sciences Building, University of California,Berkeley, CA 94720-6000 
<http://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/c.php?g=160897&p=1054424>
 "The Occidental didn’t survive the 1906 earthquake and fire. But its early menus did, republished in one of the 1,500 eclectic books that make up the Holl Collection, the juicy heart of the bioscience library’s holdings of some 5,000 cookery and food-related volumes."  UCBerkeley web viewed May 2016

University of Indiana

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Lilly Library.< http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/collections/overview/food.shtml>
The Lilly Library, 1200 East Seventh Street, Bloomington, Indiana, 47405-5500
"The core of the Lilly Library's gastronomic holdings comes from the collection of American cookbooks assembled by Mrs. John Talbot Gernon and acquired by the Library in 1979, and the much larger collection of cookbooks published outside the United States, which was brought together jointly by Dr. and Mrs. Gernon," Lilly Library web, viewed May 2016.
For more detail see:     American Books on Food and Drink : a bibliographical catalog of the cookbook collection housed in the Lilly Library at the University of Indiana, by William R. Cagle & Lisa Killion Stafford.  (F) Z5776.G2 C177 1998

University of Iowa

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Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts and Cookbooks
Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts, 1600-1963. Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries, 100 Main Library (LIB), 125 West Washington St., Iowa City, IA 52242-142, 319-335-5299.  <http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/>
Iowa Digital Library Project. Searchable access:  <http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cookbooks/>
Guide:  <http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/bai/szathmary.htm>
While many Rare Book and Special Collection libraries today provide electronic access to images of certain key materials, and even some entire small collections, the University of Iowa has made the treasure trove that is the Szathmary Culinary Collection electronically available in a remarkably sweeping and comprehensive way.  This project is especially notable given the large size and  comprehensive scope of the Collection. 
 
                                                                                             

University of Massachusetts

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Beatrice McIntosh Cookery Collection
Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries, 154 Hicks Way :: UMass Amherst :: Amherst, MA 01003 | Ph.: 413.545.2780 |  <http://scua.library.umass.edu/cookbooks/>

University of Michigan

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Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive, (15,000 items.)   Special Collections Library, Hatcher Graduate Library, 913 S. University Avenue,Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190. 734-764-9377
Email: special.collections@umich.edu   <http://www.lib.umich.edu/special-collections-library>
"We are not just what we eat, but how we eat — not to mention when, where and with whom. Cookbooks, menus, advertisements, manuals of table etiquette and the like may not be written to preserve the history of everyday life, but that’s exactly what they do. And this is what makes the library’s Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive so valuable. Containing more than 15,000 items, it paints a rich and unique portrait of American life over the centuries... A collection of American culinary history: cookbooks and other materials from the 16th through the 20th century."UMich web, v
iewed February 2016.

University of Texas at San Antonio

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Special Collections, John Peace Library, 1 UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249-3209  (210) 458-4011
<http://libguides.utsa.edu/content.php?pid=565964&sid=4664620>
Culinary History and Print Culture.  This guide focuses on those aspects of food studies that look at food and society through the lens of print culture. It presents a variety of resources relating to culinary history, with a particular focus on cookbooks.
Mexican Cookbook Collection. (1,500 volumes.)  UTSA’s Mexican Cookbook Collection is comprised of more than 1,500 cookbooks in English and in Spanish, from 1789 to the present, with most books dating from 1940-2000. In addition to broad general coverage, the collection includes concentrations in the areas of regional cooking, healthy and vegetarian recipes, corporate advertising cookbooks and manuscript recipe books.  The core of the collection was donated by San Antonio resident Laurie Gruenbeck, who acquired the cookbooks during her travels in Texas and Mexico over 30 years. The collection continues to grow through purchases and gifts.