Recipe booklets from food manufacturers
Junior League cookbooks and cookbooks for entertaining
Historic African American cookbooks
Cookbooks are a marvelous resource for topics in social history, ethnic traditions, gender studies, and much more. Here are a few ideas to help you brainstorm! Remember, the staff in Special Collections are always happy to work with you.
Even more ideas to pique your interest! Cookbooks are an essential resource for these topics and many more:
♦ The evolution of vegetarianism in the 19th and 20th centuries
♦ The history of soul food and its place in African American culture
♦ Stretching and conserving food resources during World War II
♦ The development of nutritional science in the 19th and 20th centuries
♦ How cooking practices were influenced by refrigeration, which became widespread in the 1930s
♦ Health food movements: what do they reveal about our society's values?
♦ How minority communities have influenced local tastes (and cross-cultural hybrid cuisines)
♦ Popular approaches to using diet to treat illnesses or chronic conditions, such as cancer or asthma
Thanks to Nicole Edge for these ideas!
Food is an essential part of any celebration. Use cookbooks to learn about traditions for religious observances, patriotic holidays, ethnic festivals, and more.
Cookbooks are a tremendous source of evidence about the meeting of cultures.
The transatlantic slave trade, the Jewish diaspora, and European colonization of Africa and Asia all had an impact on cooking traditions.
And, the intersection of food customs still occurs through immigration and international commerce. Here are just a few examples:
♦ Indian Dishes for English Tables (1910)
♦ Mother Africa's Table: A Collection of West African and African American Recipes and Cultural Traditions (1998)
♦ Spanish-American Cookbook, by the American Women's Club of Madrid (1969)
♦ The Kenya Settlers' Church Cookery Book & Household Guide (1944)
♦ Our Favorite Recipes, by the International Women's Club of Yaounde, Cameroon (1950s)
Many 19th century American cookbooks included plentiful advice on household management and raising children -- illustrating the social roles women were expected to fill. Examples:
Cookbooks from before 1900 often included "recipes" for home remedies, such as cough syrups or salves to treat burns, along with advice on caring for the sick. A few titles with especially rich contents in this area:
A collection of above three hundred receipts in cookery, physick and surgery; for the use of all good wives, tender mothers, and careful nurses, by Mary Kettilby (1728) -- Special Collections, XX TX705.K45 1728.
The compleat housewife... Being a collection of upwards of six hundred of the most approved receipts in cookery... To which is added, a collection of above three hundred family receipts of medicines, by Eliza Smith (1746) -- Special Collections, XX TX705.S53 1746.