Louise O. Fresco Fellowship for the History of Food and Nutrition

This fellowship is supported by a generous gift of Louise O. Fresco.

The Allard Pierson’s History of Food Collection contains over 20,000 cookery books and other printed works on ingredients, food cultures, nutrition science, domestic science, etiquette and restaurants, ranging from the 16th century to the present. The storage rooms furthermore contain dozens of recipe manuscripts and thousands of menu cards. The primary focus of the collection is on printed works from the Netherlands, although publications from abroad are also represented. Part of the collection derives from the extensive collections of such culinary authors as Johannes van Dam, Joop Witteveen and Wina Born. This heritage tells the story of food and nutrition in the broadest sense of the word and can be used for a range of research topics in a variety of ways.

Suggestions for research:

  • Shifting perspectives on what constitutes a healthy diet.
  • Colonial thought patterns in Surinamese and Indonesian cookery books.
  • The rise of ultra-processed foods.
  • Social differences in patterns of food consumption.
  • The introduction of new foodstuffs.
  • Other topics in the field of food and nutrition.

Searching the collection
All printed works can be found through the online catalogue of the UvA, which can be searched by author or title. See also the Bibliotheca Gastronomica by Joop Witteveen and Bart Cuperus, a bibliography of works on food and nutrition in the Netherlands and Belgium (1474-1960), which is also online available. Menu cards and archives have been (partially) described in the Collection Descriptions. Recipe manuscripts have not yet been made accessible. For a survey of the manuscripts and undescribed archives, contact curator Charlotte Kleyn.

Curator Charlotte Kleyn can be contacted at c.l.kleijn@uva.nl for questions about the collection. Fellowships programme coordinator Anna de Wilde can be contacted at a.e.dewilde@uva.nl for questions about the application process.