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Great Cookbook Collections IV: MSU’s Charity Cookbooks

March 18, 2011

We hope that La Cocina Histórica inspires readers to visit the University of Texas in San Antonio. However, for those of you who live a little (or a lot) further away, we’ll also post occasional links to other great culinary collections.

Michigan State University Special Collections curates a cookbook collection of over 7,000 titles from around the world, dating from the 16th century to the present.  In an interview with Collector’s Weekly, curator Peter Berg described one of MSU’s many collecting areas, saying “Church and charity cookbooks were very inexpensively compiled and produced by charitable groups, church groups, or similar organizations as fundraisers. You’ve probably seen them, they’re usually these small spiral-bound cookbooks.”

Well, if  you haven’t seen them yet, now you can!  MSU has digitized 30 charity cookbooks published in Michigan between 1883-1923.  One of my favorites is New Crumbs of Comfort by the Ladies of St. Luke’s Church in Kalamazoo, MI.  Be sure to look for “Bluegrass Corn Pudding” (from a rare gentleman contributor) and “Chicken Salad for Fifty” (featuring pecans and whipping cream).


Keane, Maribeth. An Interview with American Cookbook Expert and Rare Book Curator Peter BergCollector’s Weekly, Sept. 25, 2008.  Accessed March 18, 2011.

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