Skip to Main Content

Food & Drink History Resources @Virginia Tech (and Beyond): Special Collections and University Archives

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.

About Special Collections and University Archives

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

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm & By Appointment

Contact us:
Telephone: 540-231-6308

Information for Visitors

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

Manuscript Collections @Virginia Tech

We have about 125 manuscript collections in our History of Food & Drink collecting area. Manuscript collections are made up of a variety of primary and secondary source materials, including handwritten recipe books, faculty papers, pamphlets and ephemera, and corporate advertisements. You can browse the list of collections online through ArchivesSpace.

You can also search our finding aids directly by visiting the Archival Resources of the Virginias (ARVAS) website: You'll want to limit the repository to "Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University." To bring up a list of all our culinary-related collections, search "history of food and drink" (alternatively, you can view this list of collections as a live search) Or, you can search on specific terms like "recipe" or "cocktail." This site is two-state portal and may also point you to resources around Virginia and West Virginia. 

We are beginning to digitize food-related manuscripts or items from manuscript collections and will continue to do so in the future. Digitized manuscripts are available online.

Books and Publications @Virginia Tech

In Print

The History of Food & Drink collecting area has more than 7,000 publications. Books, relevant theses and dissertations, pamphlets, extension publications, and other printed materials can be searched through the library catalog or through the discovery system.  

About 2/3 of the book collection is located in Special Collections and University Archives and can be accessed through our reading room, Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm or by appointment (please contact us to arrange appointments). The remaining 1/3 of the book collection is housed in Newman Library or in the library storage facility and is available to be checked out. 


Over 200 books from the History of Food & Drink materials, primarily 19th century cookbooks, household management guides, and nutrition guides, are available in digital form (pdf). The university's institutional repository, VTechWorks, also includes more than 3,000 Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) publications in digital form. 

The Food Timeline

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Kira Dietz
Assistant Director
Special Collections and University Archives
University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Social: Twitter Page