Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Cookery mss., ca. 1660 – ca. 1890, consist of bound and individual writings, often on the topic of cookery, of persons involved with cooking by practice or trade.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Chesbrough, II. Additional Receipt Books.

The Chesbrough series consists of items donated by Mary Mott Chesbrough, an editor of the Chicago Record Cook Book, originally published in 1896. The Additional Receipt Books series contains an array of receipt books and related materials. Early American cookery is represented in receipt books by Mary Hudson, Mary (Joyce) Lewis, and Edward Bradford, among others. Mexican cookery of the same era is found in two receipt books by Maria Nicolasa Maldonado and Maria F. Seventeenth century French receipts may be found in works by Jacques Vontent and Pierre Petit. French recipes or instruction books from later periods by various persons are also included. A number of English and American receipt books and individual recipes, ranging from the 18th to 19th centuries are available, by a variety of persons. A 19th century German receipt book by Christiane Schmiedling is included. Works produced in the context of the cookery trade include those by Edward Kidder the pastry maker, C. Underwood the butcher, the Cheesemakers' Guild, Corcellet the food merchant, and Alexis Benôit Soyer, a celebrated chef.

In the Additional Receipt Books series, the majority of the items are receipt books in which a cook records his or her instructions for preparing food and occasionally medicine. Menus are sometimes included within the receipt books, though this collection also contains a book of menus for dinners attended and given by Lt. General Sir Hope Grant. On occasion, individual receipts and menus are found. While the majority of the receipt books are authored by one cook, some are compilations written by several cooks. Statutes, purchasing records, and receipts produced by those involved in the cookery trade are incorporated. The visiting book of Alexis Benôit Soyer, is another part of the collection, as well as a receipt book from the library of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales.

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 1987-2011

Collection size: 61 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.