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

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photo by Humberto Mayo, everyday spaces project in Cuba

Award-winning Cuban photographer Humberto Mayol presents a retrospective of thirty years of his work as a photographer who has sought to document shared memories and everyday spaces throughout the island of Cuba.

Event Information

Date & Time
September 26, 2013 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Location
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library
Event Type
Lecture

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
Event Type
Panel Discussion

Poetics of Identity: A Reading by Hiromi Itō and Mutsuo Takahashi

Mutsuo Takahashi (left) and Hiromi Itō

This event brings together two of Japan’s most influential poets for an afternoon of bilingual readings and discussion about the relationship between language and identity.  Hiromi Itō and Mutsuo Takahashi will read from their works and discuss them in Japanese, with translation provided by Jeffrey Angles.

Event Information

Date & Time
September 11, 2013 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Location
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library
Event Type
Discussion

Shun-kin: The Literature of Junichiro Tanizaki and an International Performing Arts Collaboration

Complicite: Shun-kin; photo by Stephanie Berger

In conjunction with Complicite and Setagaya Public Theatre's production of Shun-kin, this panel discussion contextualizes the theatrical production, probing into Junichiro Tanizaki's aesthetics and director Simon McBurney's ingenious interpretation.

Event Information

Date & Time
September 19, 2013 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Location
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library
Event Type
Panel Discussion

Should academics get down and dirty with YouTube?

One of Maynard's Risk Bites videos on YouTube; CC-BY

Is there a role for academic institutions in online informal education? Andrew D. Maynard, Director of the Risk Science Center in the U-M School of Public Health, talks about the growing trend in online video being used as an informal education source by individuals.

Event Information

Date & Time
February 24, 2014 - 10:00am to 11:30am
Location
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library
Event Type
Lecture

Digital Innovations in Writing Studies

Naomi Silver, Sweetland Writing Center Associate Director, and Anne Gere, Professor in the Department of English and Education, give an overview of innovations in digital rhetoric.

Event Information

Date & Time
November 25, 2013 - 10:00am to 11:30am
Location
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery
Location Information
Event Type
Lecture

Finders, Keepers: What Metadata and Digital Preservation Can Do For You

Digital preservation buttons from the Library of Congress to spur awareness: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36892858@N04/5676227237

U-M Metadata Librarian Deborah DeGeorge and U-M Digital Preservation Librarian Lance Stuchell discuss current and possible future metadata and preservation consulting services offered to the Library and campus community.

Event Information

Date & Time
August 26, 2013 - 10:00am to 11:30am
Location
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library
Event Type
Lecture

Overview of the Bioinformatics and DNA Sequencing Cores

Next-generation sequencing; AJ Kann, Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1/5249179350

Dr. James Cavalcoli, Director of the Bioinformatics Core and Assistant Professor in the Department of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics, and Dr.

Event Information

Date & Time
September 23, 2013 - 10:00am to 11:30am
Location
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library
Event Type
Lecture

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