Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive

Special Collections Library
Hatcher Graduate Library
913 S. University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
(734) 764-9377 (p)

A collection of American culinary history: cookbooks and other materials from the 16th through the 20th century

We are not just what we eat, but how we eat — not to mention when, where and with whom. Cookbooks, menus, advertisements, manuals of table etiquette and the like may not be written to preserve the history of everyday life, but that’s exactly what they do.

And this is what makes the library’s Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive so valuable. Containing more than 15,000 items, it paints a rich and unique portrait of American life over the centuries.

“On one level, the collection is about what people cooked and ate — but that’s just a doorway to explore how people saw themselves and their neighbors,” says collection curator JJ Jacobson.

Through the culinary archive one can explore changing attitudes towards diet and health, homemaking, commercial dining and the industrialization of food production. It also reveals historical ideas about race, class, and gender.

“This is the kind of history that’s not concerned so much with empires, kings and battles, but with where the wheat comes from, how the bread is made, how ethnic groups adopte each others recipes, and what their cultures tell women and men they should be like,” Jacobson adds.

And food continues to be an important part of our culture — contemporary discussions about organic produce, fast food, Atkins and other diet fads, concentrated feed lots, vending machines in schools and the merits of vegetarianism all stem from historical contexts chronicled in the archive.

The collection is shaped by the donation of a rich assemblage of cookbooks, menus, and other material collected over many years by Jan Longone, an adjunct curator in the U-M Special Collections Library, and her husband Dan.

Not so long ago, even the concept of American culinary history was met with skepticism.

“[Critics] said America had no cuisine or culinary history to speak of; all we ate were hamburgers,” Jan Longone wrote of attitudes at an Oxford University food symposium in the 1980s. Yet today the archive is recognized as a premier collection for the study of American culture as it relates to food and home life.

Writing in the Boston Globe, renowned chef James Beard called an exhibit of works from the collection “an unequaled feat of culinary scholarship.”

“Not all the cookbooks are good cookbooks, but they are all interesting and the authors, mainly women, were an amazing group who did a great deal to influence American history,” Beard wrote in the 1984 column.

And the collection has only continued to grow and evolve since then. Formerly held at U-M’s William L. Clements Library, it was transferred to the U-M Library in 2013 where its potential for teaching and scholarship can be fully realized.

Page maintained by JJ Jacobson
Last modified: 06/30/2014

University Musical Society, Season Launch

Join us in Bert's Study Lounge to kick off the University Musical Society (UMS) season and celebrate the latest donation by Bert Askwith.

Event Information

Date & Time
September 13, 2013 - 3:00pm to 5:30pm
Location
Bert's Study Lounge, First Floor
Event Type
Reception

Oculus Rift Hackathon

Oculus Rift

Presented in conjunction with the Ann Arbor District Library, All Hands Active, Ann Arbor Game Makers Meetup and WolverineSoft, the Oculus Rift Hackathon is your chance to experience the dream of the 90’s and the biggest thing in gaming right now.

Event Information

Date & Time
October 11, 2013 - 9:00pm to October 13, 2013 - 2:00pm
Location
Shapiro Undergraduate Library, Center for Entrepreneurship
Location Information
Event Type
Workshop

Imaging the Dream Exhibit Opening

The opening of the Imaging the Dream exhibit begins with a talk by Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson in Chesebrough Auditorium, followed by a ribbon-cutting and reception in the Atrium of the Duderstadt Center.

Event Information

Date & Time
September 12, 2013 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Location
Chesebrough Auditorium, Chrysler Center, North Campus
Series
Imaging the Dream
Event Type
Exhibit Opening

Imaging the Dream

Imaging the Dream is an interactive exhibit developed by JP Morgan Chase and The King Center in Atlanta that allows visitors to view documents and images from and about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other key Civil Rights figures.

Event Information

Dates
September 12th, 2013 through September 20th, 2013
Location
Atrium, Duderstadt Center
Event Type
Exhibit

Costumes by Design

Presented by Professor Jessica Hahn, Department of Theatre & Drama, Costumes by Design features a selection of costumes from plays, musicals, opera and dance from the 2012-2013 School of Music, Theatre & Dance season.

Available during Duderstadt Gallery hours: Mon-Fri Noon-6pm, Sun Noon-5pm

Event Information

Dates
September 5th, 2013 through September 20th, 2013
Location
Gallery, Duderstadt Center
Event Type
Exhibit

Author's Forum Presents: Girls I Know

Girls I Know by Douglas Trevor

The Author's Forum presents Girls I Know: A Conversation with Douglas Trevor and Eileen Pollack. U-M English professor Douglas Trevor reads from his recent book and then jumps into conversation with Professor of Writing Eileen Pollack, followed by audience Q&A.

Event Information

Date & Time
September 25, 2013 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Location
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery
Location Information
Series
The Author's Forum
Event Type
Panel Discussion

Third Thursday in the Clark Library: Collection Highlights

Map of Ukraine
Map of Ukraine

Welcome back! Please join us in the Clark Library for our first monthly open house in the new school year. Our exhibits include Ukraine: Land of Many Borders; Describing Space: Materials from a creative trip in Kyoto; and a Fall Art Show. We'll also have highlights from our map collections on display.

Event Information

Date & Time
September 19, 2013 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Location
Clark Library, 2nd Floor
Location Information
Series
Third Thursday in the Clark Library
Event Type
Open House

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