The purpose of this guide is to give students a starting point when searching for information on the history of food and drink. Always ask for assistance if you cannot find the information you are seeking.
When searching by subject in the Library online calalog, use the following terminology:
Examples of Library of Congress Subject Headings used in the online library catalog:
- Cookery - History
- Diets - History
- Food - History
- Food Habits - History
- Gastronomy - History
- Kitchens - History
Each of these subject headings can be subdivided geographically.
The Michigan State University Library together with the MSU Museum have created an online collection of some of the most influential and important American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. Each title is recreated in full in PDF format. Becasue each book is in PODF format you are able to search within each book for specific information.
Sponsored by the Smithonian Institute, this site exhibits the influences of region and ethnic cusines on American dishes.
Hosted by Cornell Univesity, this site examines American cuisine from the period when it became distinct from European cookery.
This site is geared toward helping those interested in the hands-on exploration of history to find source material. You'll find informative links on culinary history, brewing, and online medieval manuscripts. The site is well organized and easy to navigate. Also links to many more sites on the history of food. A MUST SEE!
“Ornate edible architecture and sculptures were often created for celebrations in the cities and courts of early modern Europe.” This online exhibit, provided by the Getty research Institute, shows festivals, banquets, cookbooks, tablesettings, street fairs, and decorative desserts from the past.
The Food Museum
Find illustrated pages related to most things edible. It is "the one stop source for food exhibits, news/issues, resources, food history, answers to your food questions, book reviews and just plain fun."
Historical Recipes of Difference Cultures
Hosted by the Computer Science Department of Carnegie Mellon University, this recipe archive is subdivided in to the following three collections: Antique Roman Dishes; Medieval and Anglo-Saxon Recipes; and Medieval European Recipes.
History of Vegetarianism
The International Vegetarian Union provides a timeline of vegetairan societies as wellas providing refference to early vegetarians and the history of vegetarianism throughout the world.
The Lure of Spices
Hosted by the American Spice Trade Association, this website chronicles the entire history of the spice trade from ancient times through the present. Also find a bibliography of related works.
Medieval/Renaissance Food Homepage
An online index linking to primary sources, reference, bibliographies, articles, recipes, and more.
Shakespeare and Food
This informal survey of Shakespeare's use of food in his writings reveals much about Renaissance literary convention, about the Elizabethan table, and about Shakespeare himself.
Still Cooking by the Fireside: African Americans in Foodservice
This online exhibit is hosted by the Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture.
The Food Timeline
This timeline begins before the onset of agriculture in 10,000 BC. It tells who invented such famous food such as hot dogs and french fried, ice cream and more. Find out what the Vikings ate, recipes from pubs in 17th century England, dried apples from Paul Revere's kitchen and more. Also check out the Culinary History Timeline dating from the 5th millenium BC in Egypt to futuristic trends. Also included are links to historical menu collections.