The Cookery Collection, the preeminent special collection in the K-State Libraries, was built in large measure through the generosity of K-State alumni and friends. Over the years, their substantial donations of books and bequests of personal libraries, along with judicious purchases, have produced a collection containing over 15,000 cookbooks and related volumes, ranked among the foremost in the nation. With works dating from 1487 to the present and reflecting several languages and cultures, the collection holds many works considered rare, including some which are not available anywhere else in the world.
An especially valuable segment of the collection is the famous first folio (1747) and over twenty subsequent editions of Hannah Glasse's Art of Cookery / Made Plain and Easy, the most celebrated eighteenth-century English cookbook. Of particular interest are over 25 manuscript cookbooks dating from the 18th century. The collection also boasts an 1812 edition of American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, the first cookbook published in the United States that was not a whole or partial reprint of an English work.
The Cookery Collection is used by students and scholars interested in the historical and sociological aspects of foods, nutrition, cookery, household economy, manners, gender studies, and bibliographical features of the books themselves.