Source Materials

All images on this site are sourced from the Whitney cookery collection, which consists of seventeen English and American manuscripts, dating from the early 15th to late 19th centuries. The Whitney collection is in the public domain and is currently located in the Manuscripts and Archives Division at the New York Public Library (NYPL). 

The contents of the Whitney cookery collection offer a unique lens through which any interested person can critically study the rapid expansion of foodways on a global scale as a result of expanding empire in the early modern period, as well as the changing politics of domestic labor and the development of the cookery manuscript object as an instrument of class hierarchy. The compilation of cooking and medicinal recipes, as well as mixtures for cleaning solutions, dyes, and other household items, materializes the very real relationship between food and empire that crucially fueled English colonization efforts in the early modern period.

NYPL has made eleven unique pages from the collection available online and published detailed item descriptions in an online finding aid.