Through the generosity of Maureen Hathaway, the Clarke Library holds one of the largest collections of Michigan cookbooks in the state. Cookbooks were once thought of as ephemeral publications; books of little value to anyone other than a person seeking a banana-nut bread recipe. Food, however, plays a large part in every person's life. The customs that surround food; its preparation, how it served, and when it is served, are often part of the social fabric that knit together individuals, families, communities, and nations.
Historians have discovered that food unites us, divides us, and often defines us. Because of this culinary history has become a rich resource increasingly used by social historians as a tool through which to understand local, regional, and even national history. Because of the importance of culinary history the Clarke Library is extremely pleased to make this bibliography, and the collection that it describes, available to the public.
Please note that while the Maureen Hathaway Michigan Culinary Archive include approximately 2,500 books, currently only about 800 volumes are found in the CMU Libraries' on-line catalog, CENTRA. Cataloging of the collection is a work in progress. We anticipate that the cataloging of the entire collection will be completed in the fall of 2006. Should you see a cookbook on this list that you wish to consult, first visit CENTRA and see if it has been cataloged. If the volume does not appear in CENTRA please contact the library. It is possible for us to locate uncataloged cookbooks and make them available for use.