K-State's Cookery Collection is one of the top research collections of its kind in the United States. Numbering over 10,000 volumes in many languages, supplemented by the personal papers of several important food writers from the 20th century, and manuscript cookbooks from the 18th and 19th centuries, the Cookery Collection is an irreplaceable, unique and substantial collection.
The core of the Cookery Collection was assembled by Dr. Abby Lillian Marlatt. Her collection of rare cookbooks was donated to K-State Libraries in 1943 by her niece, Dr. Abby Lindsey Marlatt.
Abby Lillian Marlatt studied under Nellie Kedzie and was graduated from K-State in 1888.
Dr. Marlatt was an early leader in home economics education and the daughter of Washington Marlatt, the first principal of Bluemont Central College (the precursor to K-State).
She later became a professor in the Department of Food Economics and Nutrition.
Abby Lillian Marlatt's remarkable collection of 600 rare and early cookbooks was given to the University in 1943 by her niece, Dr. Abby Lindsey Marlatt. Several of the important works from this collection are:
Apicius, De Re Culinaria (Leiden: Sebastian Gryphium), 1541.
Apicius, De Opsoniis et Condimentis (Amsterdam: J. Waesbergios), 1709.
Antoine Augustin Parmentier (1737-1813), Le Parfait Boulanger, Ou Traité, Complet Sur La Fabrication & Le Commerce Du Pain (Paris: de l'Imprimerie Royale), 1778.
The Cookery Collection received another major donation in 1968 from the estate of Clementine Paddleford, an internationally-known food writer.
For many years, "Clem" was foods editor for the New York Herald Tribune and later This Week, a Sunday supplement in many metropolitan newspapers with 12 million readers.
In 1953, Time declared Paddleford the "best known food editor in the United States."
She traveled about 50,000 miles every year during her newspaper years, many of those miles logged in an airplane she piloted.
Paddleford's personal papers, over 300 linear feet of material, comprise one of the best primary research collections in the United State for the history of food writing in journalism.
Clementine Paddleford, How America
Eats (New York: Scribner), 1960.
Spec / TX715 / .P1278
Clementine Paddleford, Clementine
Paddleford's Cook Young Cookbook (New York: Pocket Books), 1966.
Spec / TX715 / .P128 / 1966
Today, the Cookery Collection continues to grow in size and scope through the generosity of many individuals.
The continued growth and success of the Cookery Collection relies upon donations of any size: from one cookbook to several thousand.
This exhibit is designed to introduce many hidden or overlooked aspects of the Cookery Collection that are little-known to many people.
The exhibit curators, Regina Beard and Roger Adams, wanted to show a variety of items some very rare and some very common to illustrate the wide range of research possibilities available to scholars using the Cookery Collection.
Whether it's the history of Domestic Science at K-State, Foods of the New World, Celebrity Cookbooks, or Community/Charity Cookbooks, each area represents just a fraction of the whole Cookery Collection and the endless research possibilities it offers to students in many disciplines.