Food and Drink in History

From feast to famine, explore five centuries of primary source material documenting the story of food and drink.

The story of food and drink is a unique lens through which to view social and cultural history. The materials in this collection illustrate the deep links between food and identity, politics, power, gender, race, and socio-economic status, as well as charting key issues such as agriculture, nutrition, and food production.

Explore a wide range of primary source material, including printed and manuscript cookbooks, advertising ephemera, government reports, films, and illustrated content - revealing the evolution of food and drink within everyday life and the public sphere. The unique material in this collection has been sourced from across the globe to reflect a wide range of food cultures and traditions, creating an unparalleled research resource.

A veritable feast for food and drink scholars across time and space: with primary sources ranging from cookbooks to company records and ephemeral objects, this is a one-stop collection of exciting materials from all over the globe. 
Professor Beat K√ľmin, University of Warwick

Modules include:

Module I

This module explores a wide range of primary source material including printed and manuscript cookbooks, advertising ephemera, government documents, marketing reports, films and illustrated content to discover the evolution of food and drink within everyday life and the public sphere. The unique material in this collection has been sourced from across the globe to reflect a wide range of food cultures and traditions in this unparalleled research resource.

Highlights in this module include the cookbook collections from the University of California San Diego and Michigan State University, with a focus on Mexican, Latin American, Pacific Rim, Chinese early Californian, African and Asian cuisine. Case studies of certain ingredients, meals, food and drink brands as well as regions will help to build microhistories and provide in-depth insight and comparative context for the researcher.

Module II (Publishing in 2020)

Key Data

Period Covered

  • 1514-1980

Highlights

  • Early, influential and rare cookbooks from the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive at the University of Michigan
  • Cookbook collections from the University of California San Diego and Michigan State University, with a focus on Mexican, Latin American, Pacific Rim, Chinese, early Californian, African and Asian cuisines
  • A collection of manuscript cookbooks providing a unique insight into early household recipes and remedies
  • Material from the Chaston Chapman Brewing collection and the Seagram Company Archive explains brewing, winemaking, and the legal issues surrounding alcohol
  • Government papers from the Ministry of Food at The National Archives
  • Papers from the Audrey Richards collection, a pioneering anthropologist, including diaries and correspondence

Source Archives

  • University of Michigan
  • Michigan State University
  • Brotherton Library, University of Leeds
  • The National Archives
  • Hagley Museum & Library
  • The British Library
  • University of California, San Diego
  • London School of Economics and Political Science 
  • Winterthur
  • History of Advertising Trust
  • State Library of New South Wales

Material Types

  • Printed and manuscript cookbooks from across the globe
  • Government papers
  • Company reports and pamphlets
  • Periodicals
  • Advertising and food packaging
  • Marketing reports and research papers
  • Correspondence and diaries
  • Ephemera, including menus, booklets, posters, adverts and leaflets

Editorial Board

  • Ken Albala, University of the Pacific
  • Martin Bruegel, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
  • Beth Forrest, Culinary Institute of America
  • Ai Hisano, Kyoto University
  • Roger Horowitz, Hagley Museum and Library
  • Beat Kumin, University of Warwick
  • Jan Longone, University of Michigan
  • James McCann, Boston University
  • Anne Murcott, SOAS University of London
  • Fabio Parasecoli, New York University
  • Jeffrey Pilcher, University of Toronto
  • William Woys Weaver
  • Adele Wessell, Southern Cross University

Subjects

  • Food regulation and adulteration
  • Alcohol production and consumption
  • Global and ethnic cuisines
  • Food rituals, feasting, and religion
  • Gastronomy
  • Food retailing
  • Health, nutrition, and diet

Key Features

  • Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology to enable full-text searching of the manuscript cookbook collection
  • Contextual essays
  • Video interviews
  • Case studies
  • Visual gallery