About the Collection
The extensive culinary collection at the Bioscience and Natural Resources Library include early books on nutrition, diet, health, cultural surveys, literary writings about food, and of course, cookbooks. In addition to informing you about what foods were available to people during a particular time period and within a particular region, the works also provide information about gender roles, issues of class, ethnicity, and race.
An important part of the collection is the Gastronomy Collection of George Holl, donated to The Library in 1950, which includes books collected by George Holl, a San Francisco painter and well-known gastronome. His collection contained books from every continent except Antarctica, and covering every time period, back to Imperial Rome. Two strengths of the collection are early editions of important French gourmands from the 17th to the 20th centuries and books that illuminate the history of cookery in California.
What to Expect
The culinary collection in the Bioscience and Natural Resources Library is located in three areas. Cookbooks are located in the reference area on the main floor and other culinary books are in the stacks at TX, located on the upper mezzanine. Both of these collections are browsable and items can be checked out. The loan period for cookbooks is one week, and other books can be checked out for one month.
Items designated in the catalog as being located in the Locked Case are in a rare book room in the Library and are available for viewing upon request. They cannot be checked out and must be used at a location adjacent to the Reference desk. Special handling of these materials may be required.