What happens when you search the Newberry Library catalog using terms such as “cookery,” “menu,” “chocolate” “tea” and “foodways”? You discover an unexpected trove related to the history of food, from classical works such as De honesta voluptate [et] valetudine (On Right Pleasure and Good Health, 1494), to items of more local interest, such as John Drury’s Dining in Chicago (1931). Other highlights include early texts on chocolate, Gouffé’s heavily illustrated Le Livre de cuisine, and an array of books on “domestic economy and husbandry.” With a backdrop of illustrations from the Library’s eclectic collections, Riva Feshbach discusses some of her favorite food-related finds, reviews tips for accessing these intriguing materials, and offers ideas for how to use the Newberry’s non-food-related collections to aid in your research.
Riva Feshbach is the exhibits manager at the Newberry Library, where in addition to mounting exhibitions on a wide range of subjects, she has been able to explore topics of personal interest, from scientific illustration to culinary history. She has a masters degree in art history from the University of Oregon and a masters in library science from the University of Illinois. She has been at the Newberry since 1999.
Recorded Saturday, September 20, 2008 at Kendall College.