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Food & Drink History Resources @Virginia Tech (and Beyond): Home

Special Collections in the University Libraries can help with your food & drink history research, including books, manuscript collections, ephemera & digital items. This LibGuide also includes resources you can find at other institutions.

Welcome!

Frosted sandwich from “Cheese and Ways to Serve It,” 1931

About Special Collections

New Theatre (the Lyric) and Store Building for the Blacksburg Realty Company
New Theatre (the Lyric) and Store Building for the Blacksburg Realty Company

Hours: 
Monday-Friday 8am-5pm & By Appointment

Contact us:
Email: specref@vt.edu
Telephone: 540-231-6308

Twitter: @VT_SCUA
Information for Visitors

Find us online!
Our website
Our digital collections
Our blog
Our LibGuide (Information about us and our collections)

About this Guide

This site includes a variety of culinary, food, foodways, and food culture history resources you can find at Special Collections, throughout the Virginia Tech University Libraries, and online through other academic and research institutions. You'll also find a list of other academic and research organizations with significant physical collections. There might even be one near you!

If you have questions about the collection, locating resources, need help with a project, or just want to find a historic recipe for fun, feel free to contact me.

About the History of Food & Drink Materials at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech University Libraries is home to a History of Food & Drink collecting area of more than 4,600 books and publications, as well as more than 75 manuscript collections. The majority of this collection is housed in Special Collections. The History of Food & Drink materials consist of several named subsets and a variety of other collecting areas. Specific subsets include:

  • The Peacock-Harper Culinary Collection: the original 750 books donated to Special Collections in 2000. This group of materials contains two private cookbook collections and you can read more about its history online
  • The Ann Hertzler Children's Cookbook and Nutrition Literature Collection: more than 500 cookbooks for children, books about feeding and raising children and families, and storybooks which feature food in some way. You can read more about its history on a related resource guide
  • The History of the American Cocktail Collection: more than 100 books and manuscript collections that document the role of cocktails and entertaining in American history, as well as the social history and culture that have evolved along side. You can find suggestions and help for researching cocktail history on the resource guide.
  • The Food Technology and Production Collection: books and manuscripts relating to the "life cycle" of food. This subset includes materials documenting aspects of the history, as it relates to food, of farming and agriculture, marketing and advertising, transportation, technology in the home and kitchen, and changes of products over time. A resource guide about this collection is forthcoming. 

More broadly speaking, in addition to sharing 350 years of recipes and cookbooks, the History of Food & Drink area also helps document early American cookery, southern cookery, social history, household management, home remedies, domestic economy/economy history, dietetics/nutrition, customs and eating habits, food processing/preservation, and eating/cooking in wartime. You can read more about the History of Food & Drink materials on our website. 

A Brief Visual Tour of the Collection

This slideshow is from a 2012 presentation to library staff about the History of Food & Drink materials. It contains images from a wide range of publications and manuscripts. Although it is not comprehensive, it is a nice cross-section of the kinds of materials we have available for you.

Profile

Kira A. Dietz
Contact:
Special Collections (1st Floor)
University Libraries (0434)
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
560 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-3810
Website / Blog Page
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