Feeding America: Michigan State University’s Cookbook Digitization Project

1920s electric toaster. MSU Libraries.

How did we eat in the past? Michigan State University’s Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook project digitizes 76 historic cookbooks (out of the collection of 10,000) from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. The archives are searchable, there is a brief glossary of culinary terms, and an incredible photograph library of their cooking utensils and kitchenware collection is included. You can search the digitized holdings by alphabetically by title, image, ingredients, dish, or topics like temperance, military cooking, or cooking for children.

For archivists, the site also describes the project and the digitization process.

Mixed messaging? Get the vote and get back in the kitchen? Michigan State University’s Feeding America Project.

From the Woman's Suffrage Cookbook.

Sounds good! From the Woman’s Suffrage Cookbook.



Michigan State University Feeding America Project. Not only are the records important for food history, it’s also a nice site for looking at book cover design.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.