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Title: Cookbooks as Local History and Genealogy Sources
Authors: Brannock, Jennifer
Keywords: Subject::Genealogy and local history
Subject::Local history
Subject::Gender inclusion
Issue Date: 4-Sep-2023
Publisher: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
Series/Report no.: 88th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC), 2023 Rotterdam;Satellite Meeting: Innovative approaches in engaging people with local history and genealogy
Abstract: Over the past 10 years, Special Collections at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) has made it a priority to collect Mississippi community cookbooks. Community cookbooks are created by church groups, woman’s clubs, and other organizations to raise money for the groups. The cookbooks are a compilation of recipes submitted by members of the organizations and include the names of the people who recommended the recipes. Most people use these books to find recipes for dinner, but the cookbooks can also be used as local history and genealogical resources. The Mississippi Community Cookbook Project has grown over the years to become the largest collection of Mississippi cookbooks in the world. The creation of this collection is a collaborative endeavor between curator Jennifer Brannock and history professor Andrew P. Haley. Through their efforts, cookbooks have taken on a life outside the kitchen. They can be used to tell the the histories of forgotten clubs and towns, while focusing on the lives and work of the women who created these cookbooks. Community cookbooks are warmly embraced by local groups and cookbook enthusiasts. To publicize the use of these cookbooks as local history and genealogical resources, Special Collections at USM has hosted annual cookbook events where Dr. Haley gives a talk about one cookbook and attendees prepare items from the cookbook for a potluck dinner. In addition to these events, more than 150 cookbooks have been digitized and are available online for researchers around the world. This presentation highlights the cookbook collection at USM and how cookbooks can be used for local history and genealogical research. The talk will also focus on the efforts to use cookbooks to engage with users locally and online. Keywords: local history, genealogy, cookbooks, gender, publicity
Appears in Collections:World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) Materials

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