The Cookery Manuscript Project

What is the Cookery Manuscript Project? .... How will the information be used? ... How can I submit my recipes and cookery manuscripts? ... What should I include? ... What is a Historic Recipe Road Show?

Call for Submissions for Cookery Manuscript Project

"Regional and Ethnic Identity Through Cooking Practices and Manuscripts" includes the archiving of handwritten recipes, 50 years or older. Many manuscript recipes exist outside of the confines of the traditional cookbook form, notably recipe and household books and recipe cards. Digital initiatives to collate, transcribe, and organize recipes are broadening access to manuscript recipes. Consequently, recipe research is increasingly innovative, contributing new perspectives on cultural, political, and social history topics”

The Culinary Historians of Northern Illinois unlike most other groups, began with a mission, to begin a Cookery Manuscript Project starting within this self-defined area. This is part of a larger national project that kicked off with a conference held at New York University’s Fales Library in May, 2016. The idea is to construct an organized digitized collection of such manuscripts that we hope to have transcribed. Having such a collection of recipes and comments will be an important research tool for those working on new perspectives on cultural, political, and social history topics. The Culinary Historians of Northern Illinois is sending out a call for cookery manuscripts,  least 50 years old and we invite you to participate.

How to Submit the Cookery Manuscript and Narrative

Digitally:  Send the scanned recipes and narrative to: culinary.historians.ni@gmail.com.  If possible, as a bare minimum, set the scanner at grayscale 300dpi, and send the attachment as a JPG format of the highest quality.

In Person: Attend a Historic Recipe Road Show and we will preserve it for you.  Meet with an expert who can tell you more about your family recipes while they’re being digitally preserved to become part of CHNI’s collection. Having such a collection of recipes and comments is an important research tool for those working on new perspectives on cultural, political, and social history.

Click here for dates and locations of upcoming Road Shows.

What to Include with each Recipe Manuscript

The contact information: What is your name, and contact address, phone, email, website, etc.

A Descriptive Narrative (250 words or less)

  1. What is the name and type of the recipe (appetizer, dessert, etc.)?

  2. Who first made, or used, the recipe and their relationship to the sender?

  3. When (approximate dates) and where (e.g. city, country) was the recipe made?

  4. What occasion(s) or holiday (s), (if any) was it used for?

  5. How was the recipe saved and or handed down? Many cooks used anything available to them, scraps of paper, backs of envelopes, and notations on cook book pages, even ones that were eventually transferred to index cards, etc.

  6. What memories do you have involving the manuscripts? (Interesting information, media,)

Permission: By submitting your manuscripts you are giving Culinary Historians of Northern Illinois permission to use, save, post, print, publish and/or distribute the manuscripts, narratives and accompanying materials