Arkansas from Scratch: Recipes for Changing Communities
This exhibit explores the stories told by a selection of cookbooks and recipe books in the University of Arkansas Special Collections Division.
The cookbooks on our shelves tell stories of our communities: our traditions, our values, and the technological and agricultural changes of our society. Cookbooks are not static objects; the owners and users of cookbooks impose their own personal sensibilities, notations, and traditions on the recipes contained inside. From hand-made collections of recipes to mass-produced cookbooks well-worn and loved, the tradition of collecting, sharing, and diversifying recipes over time remains a vital part of Arkansas community life.
Cookbooks build community, both real and imagined. It is important to note that cookbooks present the ideal of the time. Paying attention to what, and more importantly who, is included or not included is key.
This exhibit offers a brief tour of food-related collections in Special Collections. The authors and owners of these cookbooks represent individuals, local youth groups, professional associations, religious congregations, and other communities throughout Arkansas and the broader region.