Communal Cuisine:
Community Cookbooks 1877-1960

Book for a Cook

Welcome to the online exhibit of community cookbooks at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. This virtual exhibit coincides with the exhibit in the hallway of the Main Library scheduled June 9-July 16, 2006. The collection of 643 community cookbooks was donated by Mrs. Hermilda Listeman, who collected cookbooks her entire life. The cookbooks can be read for their 'receipts' as well as for their representation of American food preferences, the advancement of technology in the kitchen and the evolution of nutritional theory. There are 62 cookbooks included in the exhibit highlighted by kitchen artifacts donated by library employees. The full list of community cookbooks can be found in the University of Illinois online catalog.