The Peacock-Harper Culinary Collection is a collection of cookbooks and related items housed in the Virginia Tech Libary

The latest updates about the collection.

 Culinary Thymes:
Our newsletter provides interesting articles and updates.

 About the Collection:
Learn about the Culinary History Collection and the Peacock Harper Culinary Collection.

 Contact Us:
E-mail, call or write the people responsible for the collection.

Contribute time, money, or books to the collection now or as part of your legacy to Virginia Tech.

 Search for Books:
The online card catalog can be used to search for books in the collection.

 Image Base:
The collection contains hundreds of images relating to the books in the collections and the organization.

 Donor List:
View a recent list of donors.

 Culinary Research:
The collection has been fertile ground for research.

 Culinary Collections:
Other similar collections on the web.

Apply for our two scholarships for VT grad students.

 Hosting and Sponsorship:
The collection is hosted by Special Collections and the Digital Library and Archives at Virginia Tech.

In Remembrance of Gary Ann Giovanni
Gary Ann Giovanni, a member of the Peacock-Harper Culinary Committee for two years, passed away on August 10, 2005. According to her sister, the author Nikki Giovanni, Gary was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and grew up to be "a piano prodigy, she knitted beautiful sweaters, made stained-glass lampshades, and grew a pretty good garden. Her mother was a great country cook, but Gary was a gourmet--a talent she either learned or inherited from her grandmother."
   A very giving and wonderful friend to many of us in Blacksburg, VA, Gary taught cooking classes through the YMCA at VA Tech's Open University program for about twelve years. She inspired a faithful class following, and always smiled as she raised her glass of red wine to fabulous food and friendship.
   We'll miss you, Gary.
From Big Stone Gap with Love: Adriana Trigiani
Everything about Adriana Trigiani is big. Big hair, big rhinestone hoop earrings, big wit, big laugh, big heart. Although Publishers Weekly often disparages Trigiani's food-rich work, she's getting even bigger. On June 24, 2005, Trigiani spoke at a benefit dinner sponsored by the Radford Public Library and the Lamplighters. Several members of the Peacock-Harper Committee attended. The menu included the red and white lasagna recipes from her cookbook. Cooking with My Sisters is due out in paperback this October and crystallizes the food images simmering throughout her novels. Trigiani, the Italian-American author of six feel-good novels and a memoir/cookbook, strode into a room like "The Queen of the Big Time," her magnetizing presence drawing her adoring fans to her like cream to Alfredo noodles. In a scene out of a rock concert sans the music, squealing women dressed in flowing, flowery chiffon reached out to touch her as she passed them on her way to a speaker's podium. For two hours, Adriana kept her enthralled audience in stitches of laughter as she deadpanned right and left. Seated at her table, her mother and the librarian from Big Stone Gap held court and shared anecdotes about Adriana, including an insight into another big aspect of her character: on a Mother's Day card decorated with perky little flowers, years ago, young Adriana wrote: "Happy Mother's Day! PS: I'm going to be rich someday."
   Ironically, Trigiani's novels almost do a better job than her cookbook of portraying food and love and hospitality and longing, all wrapped up like nested tagliolini. In the first five pages of her fourth novel, Lucia, Lucia, food takes center stage no less than eight times. And in Rococo, her newest novel (June 2005), Trigiani describes a kitchen makeover that has the reader salivating and reaching for the phone to call for take-out, anything to chew. And it doesn't get any better, temptation-wise. Reading about Spaghetti Carbonara chock-full of no-nos-cream, eggs, bacon, butter-almost sends the poor reader to the frying pan (Rococo, p. 145). Now, there's a gal who lives for food. And writes about it beautifully.
   Trigiani says this about food: "I love to use food metaphors and recipes in my novels because I find it the last frontier of the five senses in art. It's a natural extension of the way I think and live-and I love to share a good recipe-as well as make a good meal. I hope my readers feel the same. It does come from being Italian-we love to cook!" No wonder Trigiani's fans squeal. Look for her upcoming movie, too, based on her first novel, Big Stone Gap.
Scholarship page added
Our scholarship page is now up. We've also added the current committee member list to the Contact Us page. Use the menu on the left of this window to visit.
More web links to other culinary collection websites
Sixteen new links have been added to the Other Culinary Collections page while the 21 existing links have been improved and expanded. The new links are definately worth a look.
Jan Longone
Jan Longone and her husband Dan are owners of the Wine and Food library. It is anantiquarian culinary book shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and known around the world. They started their shop in 1972, and have about 20,000 books on hand to sell or use as a reference. Jan is a mentor to many food professionals, scholars, and collectors.
   In 1983 Jan founded the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor. The members are food writers, cooks, nutritionists, students, scholars, collectors, and others interested in the study of culinary history and gastronony. They publish a quarterly newsletter titled "Repast."
   Jan has made suggestions to us that will enhance our collection, and give us goals to keep us busy for a long time. Among other things, we're looking for every cook book published in the State of Virginia and have a renewed interest in community cookbooks. We are also purchasing older books, and have succeeded in adding some to the collection during the past two years.
   Jan is presently the Curator of American Culinary History at the University of Michigan William L. Clements Library.
Virginia Culinary Thymes, Issue 08
Thymes GraphicIssue 08 of the Virginia Culinary Thymes is now available. You'll want to read up on a wide variety of culinary topics.
Submissions Welcome!
If you have materials that may be appropriate for the library's culinary history collection, please contact Caryl Gray or Joyce Nester in Special Collections at 540-231-6308, or write to them at Newman Library, Virginia Tech, P.O. Box 90001, 24062-9001. The library's online catalog will identify all publications that are part of the Culinary History Collection.
Calendar: Program on Herbs, May 20th, 2005
may 2005 calendarSandy Bosworth hosted a committee meeting at her Harding Avenue home North-East of Blacksburg. Handouts about cooking with herbs were provided and a business meeting was held, but there were two highlights to the day. Sandy began by providing tours of her extensive gardens and babbling brook. After the tour, committee members dined on gourmet coffee cake and appetizers containing edible flowers. These courses were then followed by a even more impressive lunch featuring a wide variety of items flavored with herbs.
Six Printable Recipe Cards Available
Recipe CardDownload printable recipe cards adapted from the collection. Recipes include Carrot Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting, Apple Sauce Spice Cake, Black Bean Soup, Orange Thyme Beef Roast, Roasted Vegetables with Italian Dressing, and Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Cheese and Herbs.
Cooperation is a wonderful thing
After being notified in fall 1999 that a wealth of cookbooks had been collected on campus, Gail McMillan and Ginger Young of the University Libraries worked with Ann Hertzler and Sharon Kast from the Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise Department to bring to the public this historical information about food choices and habits, eating behaviors, customs, social history, economic history, scientific progress, and technological progress.
 New URL
Virginia Culinary Thymes, Issue 07
Thymes GraphicIssue 07 of the Virginia Culinary Thymes is now available. You'll want to read up on a wide variety of culinary topics.