Hatcher North

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

Copyright Camp 2013: Who owns research data, and who cares?

Copyright Camp 2013 image

Join the University of Michigan Library for a community conversation that explores how copyright impacts our professional lives.

Note: This event is free, but for planning purposes we encourage you to register.

Event Information

Date & Time
June 20, 2013 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Location
Hatcher Gallery
Event Type
Talk

Altmannerisms: Opening Remarks

Robert Altman on the set of McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

Frank Beaver, U-M Professor Emeritus, kicks off the Robert Altman Symposium Altmannerisms: Conversations Celebrating the Opening of the Robert Altman Archive with opening remarks. We invite you to take part in any or all of the events.

Event Information

Date & Time
June 7, 2013 - 9:00am to 9:30am
Location
Gallery in Room 100
Series
Altmannerisms: Conversations Celebrating the Opening of the Robert Altman Archive
Event Type
Symposium

Altmannerisms: American Maverick

Robert Altman on the set of McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

Family members, scholars and close colleagues offer their personal and professional reflections on a prolific and versatile master: Robert Altman. Altman remains a titan in the rich American tradition of "maverick directors."

Event Information

Date & Time
June 8, 2013 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Location
Gallery in Room 100
Series
Altmannerisms: Conversations Celebrating the Opening of the Robert Altman Archive
Event Type
Discussion

Altmannerisms: Altman in the Archives

Robert Altman on the set of McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

This roundtable promises a vibrant, lively discussion among students and international film scholars and film makers who have already enjoyed hands-on study of resources in the Robert Altman Collection at the University Library.

Event Information

Date & Time
June 8, 2013 - 10:30am to 12:00pm
Location
Gallery in Room 100
Series
Altmannerisms: Conversations Celebrating the Opening of the Robert Altman Archive
Event Type
Panel Discussion

Altmannerisms: Public Unveiling and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Robert Altman on the set of McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

Paul Courant, Dean of the University of Michigan Library, and Mrs. Kathryn Altman, widow of famed director Robert Altman, lead the official public unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the Robert Altman Archive at the University of Michigan. Brief remarks.

Event Information

Date & Time
June 7, 2013 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Location
Gallery in Room 100
Series
Altmannerisms: Conversations Celebrating the Opening of the Robert Altman Archive
Event Type
Exhibit Opening

Altmannerisms: Sound and Music

Robert Altman on the set of McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

Robert Altman's innovations in sound and music recording and editing are among his greatest achievements as a director. Panelists discuss those innovations from their perspectives as scholars, sound editors, and composers with whom Altman collaborated – including collaboration on an opera production at the University of Michigan when Altman was a visiting artist and instructor.

Event Information

Date & Time
June 7, 2013 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Location
Gallery in Room 100
Series
Altmannerisms: Conversations Celebrating the Opening of the Robert Altman Archive
Event Type
Panel Discussion

Altmannerisms: Acting and Performance

Robert Altman on the set of McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

A panel considers some of the performances Robert Altman committed to film from the perspective of cinematography and acting itself. That so many featured players in Altman’s films returned to work on multiple projects is a testimony to the director’s ability to raise the craft of filming performance to a fine art.

Event Information

Date & Time
June 7, 2013 - 9:30am to 11:30am
Location
Gallery in Room 100
Series
Altmannerisms: Conversations Celebrating the Opening of the Robert Altman Archive
Event Type
Panel Discussion

The Many Hats of Robert Altman: A Life in Cinema

Robert Altman on the set of McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

This exhibit draws on the riches of the University of Michigan’s Robert Altman archive, including examples of his novel approach to overlapping dialogue, his exploration of movie genres, his use of ensemble casts, and how audiences and critics viewed his work.

Event Information

Dates
April 22nd, 2013 through June 30th, 2013
Location
Gallery, Room 100
Location Information
Event Type
Exhibit

Document Delivery Services

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Page maintained by Karen Reiman-Sendi
Last modified: 04/23/2014

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