Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Cookbook and Food Collection

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Anticipated Future Trends

Cookbooks reflect a growing interest in cuisine and food that is sweeping the entire world today. Thousands of cookbooks are  published every year and it would be impossible to acquire and make available all of them. Collecting boundaries must be set and be obeyed, yet flexible enough to include new developments as they may arise. Established collecting areas today in the Cookbook and Food Collection would have been almost unimaginable 25 years ago, and in some cases even five years ago. Traditional areas of strength in the collection remain vibrant thanks to donations and key acquisitions, but new, diverse areas of cookbook collecting have recently been emphasized as they relate to areas of interest at MSU. This will continue, especially as areas of "undercollected" cookery is identified.

B. Relationship with Other Resources

Cookbooks and related material exist in the Main Library and the Gast Business Library. It is important that these collections exist primarily to support Hospitality students. Occasionally cookbooks have been transferred to SPC from the Main if they are judged to be important, rare, or in fields of interest. In the winter of 2002, for example, 15 Africana cookbooks were transferred to Special Collections as a result of new collecting guidelines.

The region has a number of fine culinary/cookbook/gastronomy collections. Most notably Special Collections, University of Michigan Libraries; the Lilly Library at Indiana University; and Special Collections, the University of Iowa Libraries all have distinguished, named cookbook collections. Generally these collections collect pre 1945 cookbooks and appear to focus on traditional cookery in the United States and Europe. Currently no formal cooperative collecting policies exist with these collections. It is important, however, to keep informed about the other important regional cookery collections to reduce the possibility of frequent collection duplication. This has occurred between Michigan and MSU with positive results.

C. Relationships to resources treated in other MSU policy statements
Food science/nutrition
Business/School of Hospitality
Mexico, Latin, and South America