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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.
This page of the guide includes online research and reference tools like bibliographies, monographs, periodicals, food history timelines, and even some podcasts, oral histories, and films. This page also includes a list of LibGuides created by other academic institutions relating to food history.
Special Collections Culinary Links
From Knox Gelatine: Desserts, Salads, Candies and Frozen Dishes, c.1936
Culinaria is a monograph series published by National Food & Beverage Foundation in partnership with Tulane University Law School. The series is designed to quickly publish peer- reviewed articles and other important articles about the law, policy and cultural issues that involve food and drink. Some general categories of interest include food safety/security; innovation and intellectual property; public health; food and beverage law (domestic and international); agriculture, fishing, and aquaculture; policy; environment and sustainability; history; and media and the arts.
The Food Timeline was created by Lynne Olver, reference librarian with a passion for food history. Information is checked against standard reference tools for accuracy. All sources are cited for research purposes. As with most historical topics, there are some conflicting stories in the field of food history.
As of 2021, this resource is managed by Virginia Tech University Libraries.
Gastropod looks at food through the lens of science and history. Co-hosts Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley serve up a brand new episode every two weeks. Each episode, they look at the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food and/or farming-related topic, from aquaculture to ancient feasts, from cutlery to chile peppers, and from microbes to Malbec. They interview experts, visit labs, fields, and archaeological digs, and generally have lots of fun while discovering new ways to understand the world through food.
The History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium is a discovery tool providing keyword search services across a union catalog of finding aids describing archival collections broadly related to the history of medicine and its allied sciences. The Consortium leads to primary source information found in historical documents, personal papers, business records, and more. Finding aids provide contextual information about these collections, often with detailed inventories, to help researchers locate relevant materials. Links to finding aids direct users to web sites hosted by the participating institutions. All questions regarding the collection contents should be directed to the owning institution.
Nitty Grits is the international culinary dictionary. It is the most expansive and inclusive dictionary/thesaurus, which includes the most multi-language translations of food names from around the world.
The Sifter is a finding aid, a searchable database, to assist people with food related questions. At present it includes over 5,000 authors and 5,000 works with details about the authors and about the contents of the works. The central documents are cookbooks and other writings related to getting, preparing, and consuming food, and the activities associated with them, as well as writings about cultural and moral attitudes.
Cookbook Finder is an experimental, works-based application that provides access to thousands of cookbooks and other works about food and nutrition described in library records. You can search by person, place, topic, course, ingredient, method, Dewey and more.
The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) is a core electronic collection of agricultural texts published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century. Full-text materials cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science,forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology, and soil science.
The Food Bibliography is an on-line resource providing a growing data base of bibliographic materials for researchers in the field of food history and, more generally, food studies. It is meant to help ensure the circulation of information to the increasing number of scholars working in these fields. The bibliography (presently version 3.4) contains some 20,880 records in 8 different languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese and Dutch).
HEARTH is a core electronic collection of books and journals in Home Economics and related disciplines. Titles published between 1850 and 1950 were selected and ranked by teams of scholars for their great historical importance. The first phase of this project focused on books published between 1850 and 1925 and a small number of journals. Future phases of the project will include books published between 1926 and 1950, as well as additional journals.
This guide, a revision of Library of Congress Science Tracer Bullet 04-1, focuses on works on food history. The intent is to assist researchers in identifying resources and trends in food history studies, through a broad sampling of writings and bibliographies. Rather than being a comprehensive listing, the titles listed here are intended to give an idea of the breadth of information available, with the focus being on works published in English, during the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, and mainly in the United States, though other time periods and areas have occasionally been included. Not intended to be a comprehensive bibliography, this guide is designed--as the name of the series implies--to put the reader “on target.”