The collection of food and cookery materials held at NYU Special Collections was created primarily to document the evolution of cuisine and food practices in 19th and 20th century America, with a particular focus on the food habits and activity of New York City. It has since expanded to cover international cuisines and other historical periods. These materials support the research of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and other researchers working within disciplines such as food studies, food management, nutrition, American studies, and history. Due to the nature of this collection, these materials are also of use to professionals outside of the university who work as writers, journalists, chefs and food professionals.
The Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection at Fales encompasses several other archival and print collections within its scope. These include the Cecily Brownstone Collection of American Cookery; the Dalia Carmel Collection, donated in memory of her husband Herbert Goldstein; the Gourmet collection, and the Andrew F. Smith collection.
The Cecily Brownstone collection, acquired thanks to an anonymous donor and numbering some 12,000 volumes and 5,000 pamphlets, was the private collection of Brownstone, the Associated Press food correspondent for nearly 40 years and a long-time friend of James Beard, and denizen of Greenwich Village.
Dalia Carmel's collection, which has a focus on diaspora and ethnic cooking and is particularly strong in Jewish food traditions, Middle Eastern food and community cookbooks, continues to grow thanks to Ms. Carmel's ongoing generosity. As a collector and preserver of culinary history and an early supporter of food studies as a discipline, Ms. Carmel was interviewed for the Voices of the American Food Revolution project. Her oral history interview can be listened to online.
The library of Gourmet magazine, which was in danger of being lost after the closing of the magazine in 2009, was brought to NYU as the gift of Rozanne Gold in honor of her mother, Marion Gold. The Andrew F. Smith collection, a comprehensive collection of books, pamphlets, almanacs and ephemera that focuses on food history in the United States, was acquired by NYU in 2011.
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