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A Brief Guide to Cookbooks

Compiled By: Katie Hartman, Curatorial Graduate Assistant

Created March 2021


This short guide is intended to be a quick introduction to the cookbooks and related materials held within the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. This is by no means the be all end all of all the resources offered within the library, it is merely intended to be a jumping off point and may not always reflect our most recent acquisitions.


The Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds a collection of cookbooks and domestic guides which are found throughout the RBML’s holdings. The materials of the University of Illinois’ collection listed in this finding aid, in conjunction with collections around the world, present a window into the cultural and culinary lives of both the working classes and the aristocratic gentry of the world. Cookbooks and domestic guides also offer a unique look at how women wrote and read about themselves, providing a glimpse of the domestic sphere that would shift and change in tandem with the cultural influences and domestic expectations. These changes would, in turn, influence the genre of domestic guides and cookbooks as a whole, eventually molding the cookbook into the brightly colored, uniformly printed and measured recipe books that we know and interact with today.

The books presented here range from an incunabula printed in Germany in the late 1400s to mid-1500s and a manuscript book of recipes from 1634 to modern artist books and reprintings of historical cookbooks. The bulk of the collection is centered upon England and America with some materials from France, Germany, and Italy. The finding aid below is organized by geographic region of publication and then alphabetically by author’s last name.

Key Words

Home Economics

Cookbooks and Domestic Guides


Barnum, H. L. Family Receipts: or, Practical Guide for the Husbandman and Housewife. Cincinnati: A. B. Roff, 1831. Shelfmark: 603 B26f

Benton, Caroline French. A Little Cookbook for a Little Girl. Boston: Page Co, c1905. Shelfmark: S.641.5 B94l

Bicks, Caroline and Michelle Ephraim. Shakespeare, Not Stirred: cocktails for your everyday dramas. New York: A Perigee Book, 2015. Shelfmark: IUB02102.

Girardey, G. The North American Compiler, containing a large number of selected, approved, and warrented receipts. Rossville, 1844. Shelfmark: 603 G44

Just Cocktails. United States: The Mountaineers, c1939. Shelfmark: IUA16498

Mackenzie, Collin. Five Thousand Receipts in all the useful and domestic arts… Philadelphia: A. Small. 1825. Shelfmark: 603 M19m1825

Mackenzie, Collin. Mackenzie’s five thousand receipts in all the useful domestic arts… Philadelphia: James Kay, Jun. and Brother; Pittsburgh: C.H. Kay & Co, 1829. Shelfmark: 603 M19m

Maret, Russell. Hungry bibliophiles: an experiment in utilitarian bookmaking. New York: Russell Maret, 2015. Shelfmark: IUQ04792

Maret, Russell. Hungry Bibliophiles: an experiment in utilitarian bookmaking. New York: Russell Maret, 2017. Shelfmark: IUQ04850

Plat, Hugh, Sir. Delights for Ladies. Herrin, Ill.: Trovillion Private Press, 1939. Shelfmark: 603 P69D1939

Rundell, Maria Eliza Ketelby. … The experienced American housekeeper. Hartford, Ct: Andrus and Judd, 1835

Rundell, Maria Eliza Ketelby. A New System of Domestic Cookery.  New York: R. M’ Dermut & D. D. Arden, 1814. Shelfmark: IUB02459

Tarpey-Schwed, Randall. Plate by Plate: California Recipes from the Gold Rush through “California cuisine.”  2014, San Francisco: The Book Club of San Francisco. Shelfmark: Q. SFFP 550

West, Rebecca. Rebecca’s Cookbook. Washington D.C.: 1942. Shelfmark: Wells 641.5 W52r


Atkins, Arabella. The family magazine: in two parts … London: Printed for J. Osborn at the Golden-Ball Paternoster-Row, 1741. Shelfmark: 640 F211

Beeton, Mrs. (Isabella Mary). The book of household management… London: S.O. Beeton, 1861. Shelfmark: 641 B39b1861

Carter, Susannah. The frugal housewife, or, Complete woman cook… London: Printed for E. Newbery, the corner of St. Paul’s Curch-yard, 1795. Shelfmark: 641.5 C246f

Eighteenth Century Cookery Manuscript. 1733-1740. Shelfmark: Post-1650 MS 0061

Farmer, Fannie Merrit. The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1916. Shelfmark: IUA15831

Glasse, Hannah. The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy. London, 1747. Shelfmark: IUQ04649

Markham, Gervase. The English House-wife. London: Printed by B. Alsop for J. Harison, 1649. Shelfmark: 640 M341E1649

Markham, Gervase. The English husbandman: drawne into two bookes, and each booke into two parts… London: Printed for William Shears, and are to be sold at his shops, 1635. Shelfmark: 630.942 M34e1635

Markham, Gervase. The English Husbandman…  London: Printed by John Norton for Henry Taunton, 1635. Shelfmark: 630.942 M34E

Mason, Charlotte. The Lady’s Assistant for Regulating and Supplying the Table…  London: T. Gillet, 1805. Shelfmark: 641.5 M381ℓ1805

Raffald, Elizabeth. The experienced English housekeeper: for the use and ease of ladies, housekeepers, cooks… London: Printed for R. Baldwin no. 47. Pater-Noster Row, 1794. Shelfmark: 641.5 R12e1794

[Recipe book] England, 1634. Shelfmark: Pre-1650 MS 0207

Rundell, Maria Eliza Ketelby. A New System of Domestic Cookery. London: John Murray, Albemarle-Street, 1823. Shelfmark: 641.5 R871n1832

Smith, E. (Eliza). The compleat housewife, or, Accomplish’d gentlewoman’s companion… London: Literary Services & Production, 1968. Shelfmark: 641.5 Sm55c1968

Trovillion, Violet De Mars. Recipes & Remedies of Early England, 1946. Shelfmark: 640 T75R

William, T. The accomplished housekeeper, and universal cook…London: Printed for J. Scatcherd, no. 12, Ave-Maria-Lane. Shelfmark: IUB02689

W. M., The compleat cook: expertly prescribing the most ready wayes, whether Italian, Spanish or French, for dressing of flesh, and fish, ordering of sauces, or making of pastrey. London: Printed by John Grismond for Nath. Brook at the Angel in Cornhill, 1663. Shelfmark: IUB01722
[Note: bound with Queens closet opened, item barcode 30112104996571] …The Queens closet opened…London; Pritned by John Grismond for Nath. Brook at the Angel in Cornhill, 1663. Shelfmark: IUB01722

Woolley, Hannah. The queen-like closet, or, Rich cabinet : stored with all manner of rare receipts for preserving, candying and cookery : very pleasant and beneficial to all ingenious persons of the female sex : to which is added, a supplement, presented to all ingenious ladies, and gentlewomen. London: Richard Lowndes, 1675. Shelfmark: IUB03258


La Varenne, Francois Pierre de. Le pastissier françois. Amsterdam: Chez Louys & Daniel Elzevier, 1655. Shelfmark: IUB01721


Martha, oder, Haus- und landwirthschaftliches Taschenbuch für alle der Küche und Haushaltung beflissenen deutschen Hausfrauen. Leipzin: Bei Wilhelm Nauck, 1830. Shelfmark: 641 M362


Apicius. Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome; a bibliography, critical review and translation of the ancient book known as Apicius de re coquinaria. Joseph Dommers Vehling, editor and translator. Chicago: W.M. Hill, 1936. Shelfmark: 641.5 Ap3dEv

Apicius. In hoc opere contenta Apicii Caelii De opsoniis et condimentis, siue, Arte coquinaria, libri X : item, Gabrieli Humelbergij medici, physici Isnensis in Apicij Caelij libros X annotations. Tiguri Zurich: In Officina Froschouianam,  1542. Shelfmark: IUB01536

Beccamiche: almanacco per l’anno 1809: che contiene molti segreti utilissimi per conservare la salute, e la bellezza: insegna il modo di fare i sorbetti, varie paste ec., per formare tinture, lustri ec. Milano: Presso i fratelli Galeazzi, 1809. Shelfmark: Mini Cavagna 17063

Faccioli, Emilio. Arte della cuncina: libri de ricette, testi sopra lo scalco, il trinciante e i vini dal XIV al XIX secolo. Milano: Edizioni il Polifilo, 1966. Shelfmark: Cavagna 20392

Reference Materials


Note: All listed books can be found through the library catalog at UIUC libraries or through interlibrary loan

Edible series, full list provided at University of Chicago Press Books website; https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/series/RB-EDIBLE.html

Freedman, Paul. American Cuisine: and How It Got This Way. First edition. New York, NY: Liveright Publishing Corporation, A division of W. W. Norton & Company Independent Publishers Since 1923, 2019.

La Varenne, François Pierre de. La Varenne’s Cookery. Terence Scully, translator. Blackawton, Totnes, U.K.: Prospect Books, 2006.

Notaker, Henry. A History of Cookbooks: from kitchen to page over seven centuries. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2017.

Wall, Wendy. Recipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern English Kitchen. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.

Willan, Anne., Mark Cherniavsky, and Kyri. Claflin. The Cookbook Library: Four Centuries of the Cooks, Writers, and Recipes That Made the Modern Cookbook. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.

Willan, Anne., Mark Cherniavsky, and Kyri. Claflin. Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, From 1661 to Today.  Scribner, 2020.

Wilson, Bee. Consider the Fork: a history of how we cook and eat. New York: Basic Books, 2012.

Online Resources for Primary Materials

CoReMa—Cooking Recipes of the Middle Ages: http://gams.uni-graz.at/context:corema

The Food Timeline: https://www.foodtimeline.org/

The Internet Archive: Cookbooks and Home Economics Collection.  https://archive.org/details/cbk

Noreen Feale Falcone Library Finding Aid for Primary Sources: 19th & 20th Century Cookbooks: https://resources.library.lemoyne.edu/c.php?g=679052&p=4787486

The Sifter Database: https://thesifter.org/

Primary Sources: Food History Digital Primary Sources. The Culinary Institute of America, Conrad N. Hilton Library.  https://library.culinary.edu/primarysources/digitalfoodhistory/

Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts and Cookbooks: http://diyhistory.lib.uiowa.edu/collections/show/7