Peacock-Harper Culinary Collection
Cooperation is a wonderful thing! Notified in fall semester 1999 that a wealth of cookbooks had been collected on campus, University Libraries (Gail McMillan and Ginger Young) worked with the Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise Department (Ann Hertzler and Sharon Kast) to bring to the public this historical information about food choices and habits, eating behaviors, customs, social and economic history, and scientific and technological progress.
Nearly two centuries of culinary arts are documented in the Peacock-Harper Culinary Collection. It includes 11 pre-1900 imprints and 40 pre-1950 imprints. These additions to the library's collection range from 1829, Eliza Leslie's Seventy-five receipts for pastry, cakes, and sweetmeats by a lady of Philadelphia, to 1994, Margaret McWilliams' Experimental Foods Laboratory Manual. Do a combination search for "Peacock Harper Culinary" to see all that have been added to the library's online catalog, Addison.
Dora Greenlaw Peacock was the wife of an English professor at Virginia Tech, Markham Peacock. They traveled the world and entertained students in their Draper Road, Blacksburg, home. When she passed away about ten years ago, her husband donated her large collection of cookbooks to the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise.
Laura Jane Harper was the first woman academic dean at Virginia Tech serving as Dean of the College of Home Economics from 1960 to 1980. In 1956 she was appointed professor and department head of Human Nutrition and assistant director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment. Her contributions included teaching graduate and undergraduate nutrition courses and her research areas were food habits, food and culture, nutrition in international development, and nutrient metabolism. She was known for her leadership in academia and professional associations (e.g. American Dietetic Association, American Home Economics Association, International Federation of Home Economics) [see A Fighter To The End: The Remarkable Life and Career Of Laura Jane Harper
"Receipt books" (the old name for recipe books) that are also part of the Peacock-Harper Culinary Collection have also been donated by:
In addition to all donors, thanks especially to Ann Hertzler, Food and Nutrition Extension Specialist; and Sharon Kast, Human Nutrition; initially Ginger Young and Caryl Gray, College Librarians for Human Resources; Gail McMillan, Director, Digital Library and Archives; Joyce Nester, Special Collections; Daryl Robinson, Cataloging.
Out of this foundation has begun the growth of the umbrella archives known as the Culinary History Collection. This will encompass additional donations currently being promoted by a committee lead by Jean Robbins and Ann Hertzler.
2003 Janet Lowe Cameron Graduate Scholarship
In honor of Janet Cameron, a scholarship was awarded in 2003 for a student working towards a graduate degree in an area including Food History.