NYU’s Gigantic Cookbook and Food Artifact Collection

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

For the last four years, Marvin Taylor of NYU’s Fales Library and his colleagues in the Food Studies Department at NYU have been collecting a comprehensive record of 20th-century American cooking and eating.

At the heart of the collection are 10,000 cookbooks from Cecily Brownstone, who was the food editor of The Associated Press for 39 years before retiring in 1986. (Ms. Brownstone died in August.) In addition to the cookbooks (with such fetching titles as “Cooking for Orgies and Other Large Groups”, the collection also features chefs’ letters, recorded interviews, and other artifacts of eating.

Others who contributed to the collection include Danny Meyer of Union Square Cafe, Mario Batali of everything Mario Batali, and Ruth Reichl of Gourmet Magazine.

The Fales Library is on the third floor of the Bobst Library, and it’s open to the public, “as long as visitors are there to do serious food research. ‘If they’re just looking up a recipe for linguini, no,’ Mr. Taylor said. ‘They would have to go to the New York Public Library for that.'” Or just look it up on Apartment Therapy.