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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University
Rare Books - Collections
Manuscript Cookbooks & Recipes

The Morse Department of Special Collections is home to a growing manuscript cookbook collection. To the best of our knowledge, no recipes from these cookbooks have ever been published either in whole or in part. All of the manuscript cookbooks are available for use in the Reading Room. They are arranged here by country of origin and chronologically therein. Tables of contents are being added for each, so please check back frequently for updates.


 Jane Reade (1728) and Mrs. Symonds Ensham (1822). Bound in contemporary vellum. The first two leaves were removed from the volume and the leaf numbers appear to have been added afterward. Contains recipes in five distinct hands through the 1840s. The predominant hand is attributable to Jane Reade based upon her signature. Mrs. Symonds Ensham's signature does not appear to match any of the other handwriting in the book. The fifth hand resembles that in F. Symonds' 1812 recipe book.
Provenance: "Shakespearean Collection of Elizabeth and Richard Casanova" [from bookplate].
18 numbered leaves + 115 unnumbered pages
Table of Contents

Book cover Jane Reade signature Mrs. Symonds Ensham signature Sample recipes

 Hall Family, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire (1750-1865). Large bound volume with 179 pages of manuscript material. From the estate of Flora C. Hall in 1946. The Hall Family purchased "Parkhall" in Nottingham from the Digby Family in 1736. Page 21 has a recipe from Diana Eyre, who is listed in the family genealogy as 1694-1763. Recipes cover cooking, medicine, veterinary medicine, and gardening. Many distinct hands are evident, with a Lady Chisnell apparently being the source for many of the early favorites in the volume.

Book cover Sample recipes

 Elisabeth Harbatch (undated), Mary Halliday (1762 & 1766) and [unidentified]. Bound volume of 66 leaves. Three distinct ladies' hands.
Harbatch Recipes: Table of Contents
Halliday Recipes, 1762: Table of Contents
Halliday Recipes, 1766: Table of Contents

Book cover Harbatch title Sample recipe Mary Halliday title, 1762 Sample recipes Mary Halliday title, 1766 Sample recipes

 [unidentified]. Bound volume containing recipes and remedies in a lady's hand, early 19th century.

Book cover Sample recipes, pg.23

 F. Symonds. 1812. Recipes written in a blank book with a printed cover with a scene described as "The Miraculous Escape" (Printed and Sold by Lane & Co. Printers, Redcliff-Street, Bristol). All of the recipes are in the same hand and most are attributed.
31 unnumbered pages
Table of Contents

Book cover Sample recipes

 Mrs. T. Gould (1818). Bound volume with "Receipt Book, 1795" on the cover; inside the cover, "Mrs. T. Gould's Receipt Book-1818 Dec. 15"; 92 pages of recipes in several ladies' hands. Nearly all the recipes are for cooking, though some are for medicinal purposes. It is believed that many of the recipes were copied from another volume (not extant) dating from 1795, as several recipes are clearly dated 1795. The last date in the book is 1841.

Book cover Signature and index

 A. Beaufoy. 1819. Bound in contemporary cardboard covers with a red, leather spine and corners; the paper bears an 1815 watermark. A printed newspaper recipe and remedy for cholera morbus--attributed to Henry Halford and extracted from the London Gazette, 20th October 1831--is pasted inside the front cover. The first three pages of writing were probably added in the early 1830s. At least eight separate hands are identifiable. Of note are early English recipes for several Indian dishes (e.g., mulligatawny, curries, and rice for curries).
Provenance: "Shakespearean Collection of Elizabeth and Richard Casanova" [from bookplate].
[continued into the late 1860s, possibly early 1870s]
164 unnumbered pages
Table of Contents

Book cover Beaufoy's signature Sample recipes


 [unidentified]. One leaf in French, which was found in Viard's Le Cuisinier Royal (Paris, 1817).

One side of leaf Other side of leaf


 [Unidentified.] "Quaderno que trata del modo de hacer masas y postres" on cover. Late eighteenth century manuscript cookbook from Mexico with detailed recipes for breads (including tortillas) and desserts. The first fourteen recipes are numbered sequentially on unnumbered pages; the remaining recipes were unnumbered.
Table of Contents

Book cvoer Sample recipes

 [unidentified]. Small bound volume with recipes in three distinct ladies' hands. The recipes in the first third of the book date approximately from the early 19th century, the middle third from the mid-19th century, and the last third from the last quarter of the 19th century.

Book cover Sample recipes

 [Juanita Ramirez] "Recetas de Cocina" on the cover. Late nineteenth century manuscript cookbook from Mexico in a blank book with 49 numbered leaves; possibly from La Mesa, near Tijuana. All of the recipes appear to be in the same hand, possibly that of Juanita Ramirez. The blank book was sold by T. Rivero [see bookseller's label]. Notes, cross-references to other recipes and an index are on the last pages and were prepared by the manuscript's creator.
Table of Contents

Book cover signature Sample recipes

 Felipa M. Razo de Rojas, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Mexico. Large, ledger of 182 pages, containing over 500 recipes organized in alphabetical order (though not precise), dated November 12, 1906.

Book cover Rojas signature Sample recipes


 [unidentified]. "Kochbuch, 1803". Small bound volume with 130 recipes for puddings, confitures, cakes, breads, and cookies in several distinct ladies' hands. Believed to have originated in Luzern, Switzerland.

Book cover Sample recipes

United States

 Olive Page and Mary Page. Small bound volume with recipes in two distinct ladies' hands. Believed to have been given by Olive Page to her twin sister Mary Page Hastings, who moved from Rochester, New Hampshire, to Osceola, Missouri, in the 1860s. Contains recipes, useful household recipes, and remedies. Mary Page Hastings died near Lindsborg, Kansas in 1876 while visiting her brother.
Table of Contents

Book cover Signature Sample recipes

 [unidentified]. Long (30 cm), ledger-style volume of recipes primarily for cakes, pies, custards, and other baked goods. Believed to be from southeastern Pennsylvania and dating from the 1870s. The blank book was sold by Edwards & Bishop Book and Stationery Store, (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), which was in business 1875-1877.
Table of Contents

Book cover Sample recipes

 J. W. Hines & Company. Small volume in marbled wraps. Twenty-four pages of recipes for Pale & Dark Cognac Brandy, Scotch Whiskey, Holland Gin, Geneva Gin, Lagger Beer, Ottawa Beer, Ginger Ale, Ginger Pop, Raspberry Beer, Lemon Beer, Philadelphia Centennial Beer, Champagne Cider, Soda Without a Fountain, Bottled Lemonade, French White Wine Vinegar, Commercial White Wine Vinegar and Condensed Cider. Hines & Company had offices in Boston and New York and this recipe book dates ca. 1876-1880. Accompanied by several hundred items of printed business ephemera.
Table of Contents

Book cover Signature and sample recipe

 [unidentified]. Bound volume of German recipes in a blank book titled Mein Kochbuch, published by Moritz Schaunburg in Lahr, Germany. Believed to be very late 19th century. Numerous clippings and ephemera in German and English laid into the book indicate that the owner likely lived in New York City. Several recipes lead us to believe that the owner was Jewish.

Book cover Recipes

 Bertha Branch Dawson. Bound volume with approximately 25 recipes for cookies, cakes, puddings, and pies dating from 1902-1935.

Book cover Signature Sample recipes on loose page

 [unidentified]. Bound ledger of 244 numbered pages, most of which are blank. Probably started in the late 1930s by an Iowa woman living in Sioux City. The book contains a few recipes clipped from newspapers and magazines.
Table of Contents

Book cover Sample recipes

 Fannie T. Watson, 1940-49. This manuscript cookbook began as a student's composition book, though it is highly doubtful that its owner was a student at the time the manuscript was started. Many of the early entries are essays of a religious nature; others are political essays, personal thoughts, and diary entries. Mrs. Watson was probably an African-American and a member of a ladies' religious lodge. The earliest date in the book is September 1, 1940, and the last date is October 8, 1940, though it is possible that the book was added to through 1948 (brief entries throughout note Harry Truman's election in 1948). The owner's name is written over the name "Mrs. Reverend M. F.", a name which appears throughout the book in several places.
Table of Contents

Book cover Watson signature Sample recipes