HIST 2: Foodways: A Global History (Culinary Collection)

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Jennifer Dorner


Sue Koskinen


This guide has been archived

Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides.

About the Collection


The extensive culinary collection at the Bioscience and Natural Resources Library include early books on nutrition, diet, health, cultural surveys, literary writings about food, and of course, cookbooks. In addition to informing you about what foods were available to people during a particular time period and within a particular region, the works also provide information about gender roles, issues of class, ethnicity, and race.

An important part of the collection is the Gastronomy Collection of George Holl, donated to The Library in 1950, which includes books collected by George Holl, a San Francisco painter and well-known gastronome. His collection contained books from every continent except Antarctica, and covering every time period, back to Imperial Rome. Two strengths of the collection are early editions of important French gourmands from the 17th to the 20th centuries and books that illuminate the history of cookery in California.

What to Expect

The culinary collection in the Bioscience and Natural Resources Library is located in three areas. Cookbooks are located in the reference area on the main floor and other culinary books are in the stacks at TX, located on the upper mezzanine. Both of these collections are browsable and items can be checked out. The loan period for cookbooks is one week, and other books can be checked out for one month.

Items designated in the catalog as being located in the Locked Case are in a rare book room in the Library and are available for viewing upon request. They cannot be checked out and must be used at a location adjacent to the Reference desk. Special handling of these materials may be required. 

Bios floorplan


Searching OskiCat

Search for culinary collection materials using OskiCat and limit your search to the Biosciences and Natural Resources Library as demonstrated in the image.

cooking american louisiana search

Suggested subject headings:

Cooking, American
Mexican American cooking
Food -- History
Food habits -- History

cookery keyword search


Holl gastronomy (for materials in the Holl Gastronomy Collection)


Getting Material from NRLF

A large part of the library's collection is stored off campus in an environmentally secure building called the Northern Regional Library Facility [NRLF].

Submit online requests via the REQUEST button in OskiCat to borrow material shelved at NRLF. To receive electronic or paper copies of book chapters or journal articles, submit an online request via the "Request an article from NRLF (photocopy or web delivery)" link that appears in eligible titles in OskiCat. Staff at public service desks of any campus library can assist you with further questions. 

nrlf request button in oskicat

Log in to Request with your Calnet ID and fill out the screens.  Choose the volume you want, for periodicals:

nrlf request item selection

Identifying Primary Sources

Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied (as in the case of memoirs).  They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer.  Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period. Examples include: photographs, interviews, diaries, letters, and governement records.

A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or phenomenon.  It is generally at least one step removed from the event is often based on primary sources.  Examples include:  scholarly or popular books and articles, reference books, and textbooks.

How can you determine whether an item is a primary source?

The following characteristics can help you differentiate primary sources from those that are not.



Searches and Results

Keyword: cooking and rome
Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome TX 725 .A62 [2 copies, one in Cookery & one in Locked Case]
Attributed to Marcus Gabius Apicius, who lived during the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, 80BC to 40AD. It could have been compiled later and given his name, since he was a famous gourmet of the time.

Keyword: grocery trade
Practical Grocer  HF6201 .G8 S53 [Locked Case]
A compilation of information designed to inform current and potential shopkeepers of best practices in establishing and running businesses. First volume discusses business aspects, other volumes address the provisions that would be included in the store, variations, instructions for storage, etc.

Keyword: cooking american southern
Confederate receipt book; a compilation of over one hundred receipts adapted to the times
TX158 .C65 1960
“Originally published in 1863, this little book is a compilation of ‘receipts’ to aid Southern households beset by shortages as the War Between the States raged on. Designed to supply useful and economic direction and suggestions in cookery, housewifery and for the camp, these helpful hints first appeared in newspapers and other sources.”

Subject: cooking, american
Wartime recipes  TX715 .W3 1943 [Locked case]

Subject: canned foods industry
The Almanac of the canning, freezing, preserving industries TX599 .C4
Detailed data on food processing industries and company operations, food consumption and prices, government purchases,and fruit and vegetable crops.

Keyword: food science
Life force recipes, companion book to "The life force." A collection of well-balanced menus and recipes compiled in accordance with the principles of food science. TX725 .A7 [Locked case]
Lawrence Armstrong was a prominent Australian nutritionist who was a proponent of vegetarianism.

Food, science, and health, including the famous Hauser eliminative feeding system RM217 .H28


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