Collection Spotlight: The Bloomsbury Food Library

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May 2, 2024, 1 p.m.
The Bloomsbury Food Library places food at the center of our humanity.
painting of several people preparing and eating food

by Anita Kuiken, Liaison Librarian to Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, Research Impact Team Member

The Bloomsbury Food Library (core collection), a digital collection of food studies-related content available at Syracuse University Libraries, places food at the center of our humanity. Food means different things to different people. It is the fuel that nourishes our bodies and sustains life. It is a balm for our mind and soul connecting us with each other within our shared histories, cultures, traditions and religions, as well as to the land on which our food is cultivated.

This digital collection contains three reference works: The Cambridge World History of Food and the four- volume set of the Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia as well as Food History: Critical and Primary Sources. This reference material is paired with more than one hundred eBooks that cover food culture and history across North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America and a handful of other regions in between. An Object Lessons Series rounds out this content by looking at ordinary things like coffee, gin and the potato. All are useful for background research or for general interest in all things food.

Additional digital content includes an image collection from the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University (USA), The National Archives (UK), the New York Public Library (USA), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art(USA), as well as a collection of historic illustrated menus, food packaging, recipes, service ware and kitchen tools. Users will also find a select collection of podcasts from the Oxford Food Symposium hosted on the Ox Tales podcast with some general content available from Bloomsbury Academic podcast. And, lastly, educators will be interested in the research & learning tools that includes lesson plans with suggested readings, activities, assignments, and subject guides or topical bibliographies.

Bloomsbury Food Library is a core resource for researchers, students and anyone with a passion for the cultural significance of and human relationship to food. Since food research is often interdisciplinary and complex, use it alongside other resources in the Food Studies database listing. For additional guidance conducting food-related research, seek help from our friendly library staff.

To provide feedback or suggest a title to add to the collection, please complete the Resource Feedback Form.

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