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The Cookery Manuscript Project

How to share your recipes

We want your old family recipes and cookery stories!

What we are looking for:

Recipes, at least 50 years old,  and stories from your family. The recipes can be handwritten or typed, on cards or paper or in handmade recipe books. We are not looking for brochures, pamphlets or cookbooks from food manufacturers or other businesses. 

You can share recipes two ways.


Submit your recipes through our Website:

Complete the questionnaire available HERE. The questionnaire has four main areas.

1. Personal information: We need your personal information so we know the geographic location of the recipe and so we can contact you if we have questions.

2. Name and type of the recipe (appetizer, dessert, etc.)

3.  Story narrative: These are things that can be included.

•     Who first made or used the recipe and their relationship to you

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

•     The occasion(s) or holiday (s), (if any) it was used for

•     How the recipe was 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.

•     Memories you have involving the recipes including any interesting family stories and or photos connected to the recipe (Interesting information, media,)

4. Provide a transcription of the recipe in a  typed format. Type the recipe exactly as it is.  Be sure to include what appears on your manuscript including any abbreviations or misspellings 

Prepare a digital file of your recipe in JPG format:

Scan the recipe using a setting  of grayscale at 300dpi in JPG format. If you don’t have a home scanner, most public libraries have them available. The Librarian can assist you with the scanning process.

Attach the scanned recipe to the completed form.

Or Register to attend a Historic Recipe Road Show

Either complete the form HERE and submit it electronically or fill out a form at the Road Show. Bring the recipe(s) to be scanned to the Road Show.

When you come to the Road Show, we will scan and preserve your recipe manuscripts for you. You can also talk with an expert who can tell you more about your family recipes and chat with other recipe enthusiasts while your recipes are being digitally preserved to become part of CHNI’s collection. 

Click here for dates and locations of upcoming Road Shows.

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

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