Culinary Collections News
William G. Lockwood and Yvonne R. Lockwood Collection of National, Ethnic, and Regional Foodways Joins Michigan State University Libraries, Special Collections

Longtime foodways researchers and former editors of Digest, Yvonne R. Lockwood and William G. Lockwood, recently donated their 50-year collection of food and foodways books to the Michigan State University Libraries, Special Collections. The William G. Lockwood and Yvonne R. Lockwood Collection of National, Ethnic, and Regional Foodways consists of some 4,500 books, reflecting the Lockwoods’ ethnographic research and interest as anthropologist and folklorist in ethnic, immigrant, and regional cuisines. The specific strengths of this collection are on Finnish, Chinese, and eastern European—especially Yugoslavian—foodways. Most of the collection is in English; however, many volumes are in the languages of the cuisine described.

Primary among the reasons for choosing the Michigan State University Libraries are the existing culinary collections that span more than five centuries and include cookbooks from every continent, but with very little duplication in the Lockwood donation. Also the program Feeding America: the Historic American Cookbook Project exemplifies the Libraries’ strong and valued commitment as a public resource.

The Libraries’ emphasis prior to the Lockwood donation was on the cooking of the Americas, contemporary food movements, American regional and ethnic traditions, foodways of the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America, and cooking influences from West Africa and the African diaspora. An important part of this collection is the Michigan Cookbook Collection with more than 2,000 cookbooks compiled by church groups, charities, and community organizations in Michigan since the mid-nineteenth century. The Libraries’ holdings also include personal manuscripts and a wealth of culinary ephemera. See the Libraries’ “Cookery & Food Collection” home page.