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Culinary Arts: History & Culture

Early Cookbooks

An Herbal (John Gerard, published in London, 1633), from the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image. (University of Pennsylvania)  

Historic Food

Gode Cookery  Recipes and food history from the Medieval and Renaissance periods (

Project Gutenberg Cookery Bookshelf  Download free 17th to early 20th century digitized cookbooks (

Feeding America  An online collection of the most influential American cookbooks from the  early 18th through the early 20th century.  A joint project of the Michigan State University Library and the MSU Museum.

Literary Cookbooks

Menus, cookbooks and recipes derived from works of literature may be accessed in the Skyline catalog, Prospector, or Worldcat  catalogs by using term such as "literary cookbooks", or by a keyword search, using terms such as "shakespeare and cookery" or "literary and cookery."  A few examples of literary cookbooks are given below:  

A Literary Feast:  recipes and writings from American women authors from history 

A Chaucerian Cookery (website)

Jane Austen Cookbook and Cooking with Jane Austen (Prospector listing)

A Feast of Words (Prospector listing)

The Literary Gourmet:  menus from masterpieces (Prospector listing)

A Trifle, A Codle, A Fry:  an Irish literary cookbook (Prospector listing)

A Taste of Murder:  diabolically delicious recipes from contemporary mystery writers (Prospector listing)

Cooking with the Bible:  biblical food, feasts and lore (Prospector listing)

Cooking with Shakespeare and Shakespeare's Kitchen (Prospector listings)

 Dinner for Dickens:  the culinary history of Mrs. Charles Dickens' menu books (Prospector listing)