Food & Foodways Resource Guides Update

The majority of our staff was off at a conference last week and I, for one, took advantage of a great food scene. Playing catch up hasn’t left me with too much time to ponder a feature this week, but I thought I’d take a few minutes to post updates on some resources from Special Collections on the topic of food & foodways research. Since I last posted a link to these resources back in January of 2017, I’ve added at least one more.

The “Food & Drink History Resources @Virginia Tech” resource guide was created back in 2014 and there is a previous blog post about it. Since then, I’ve made period updates to content, fixed links, and tinkered a little bit with the layout, but it’s largely the same guide and serves the same purpose as when it was first created.

After that, I created a guide for the materials relating to infant, child, and family nutrition. This was partially to highlight this group of materials AND partially a response to a class I was working with at the time. It includes information about the collection, how to locate books and manuscripts in the collection, and some suggested online tools and resources.

Of course it didn’t take me long to get into the cocktail history materials, either. The guide for this group of materials is organized by time period and highlights some of the significant “eras” of cocktail culture in America. Each section includes a short introduction and a list of suggested resources. I’ve also put together some more general cocktail history and online tools.

Last (for now!), but certainly not least, at the start of this year, I put together a resource guide for the Introduction to Appalachian Studies course offered at Virginia Tech. It includes a breakdown of Appalachian resources by format and topic.

One of the major sections is dedicated to food & foodways. It contains suggested resources in Special Collections relating to food items (i.e. cookbooks and research on food), as well as books about traditional folk medicine, farming, and agriculture. It’s a little bit broader that “just” food, but it’s another helpful place to collate information!

I’m still working on the latest guide, which will focus on aspects of food technology and production. I’m looking forward to getting it completed (or at least enough of it to go live), since this will talk about some other aspects of food history not covered in the same detail on other guides. This will include aspects of food technology, agriculture, food science, transportation of food products, manufacturing, advertising, and more!

So, if you’re doing any summer research on food, some of the resources above might help you out! The majority of the content covers print and manuscript materials housed in Special Collections, but most guides also contain some online resources, tools, and digital collection you can access wherever you are!

Also, in the realm of manuscript collection updates, just this week, I processed the remaining backlog of the Ann A. Hertzler Collection. The finding aid has been updated and it includes materials donated by the late Dr. Hertzler in 2014: research and subject files on foods and people in the culinary history world, as well as several small boxes of magnets and other small artifacts. We moved of the digitized items  that weren’t from Cooperative Extension to the same platform and updated the links. Digitized items from her collection are online via the Special Collections website. Digitized Cooperative Extension publications authored or co-authored by Dr. Hertzler are available through the university’s institutional repository.

Ann Hertzler’s Work: A Slide Show

Over the course of the last 14 years, Ann Hertzler made many contributions to Special Collections, including books for her endowed collection of children’s cookbook and nutrition literature publications, her professional papers from her tenure at Virginia Tech and the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a variety of other cookbooks. Continuing on last week’s post, I thought I would put together a slide show of materials donated or created by Ann (and, in some cases, both).

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Ann Hertzler: Professor, Extension Specialist, and Culinary Friend

Some of our followers may have heard of, seen comments on the blog by, or personally known, our long-time History of Food and Drink Collection friend, donor, and supporter, Ann Hertzler. We were saddened to learn that Ann passed away last week on February 6, 2014, at her residence in North Carolina.

In 1957, Ann A. Hertzler received a B.S. in Home Economics Education from Pennsylvania State University. She taught high school Home Economics for two years. In 1960, she completed a Master of Science in Nutrition at the Drexel Institute of Technology. Between 1960 and 1966, she taught at the Drexel Institute of Technology and Northern Illinois University, and spent a year as a dietitian in England. She then pursued a Ph.D. in Nutrition at Cornell University, completing her studies in 1973. From 1970 to 1980, Hertzler was a professor and Extension Specialist at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In 1980, she joined the faculty at Virginia Tech as a professor of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, and as a Foods and Nutrition Extension Specialist. She retired in 2001.

During the course of her career, she published many research articles, authored Cooperative Extension publications, served on thesis and dissertation committees, and presented at conferences and events. She received regional and national awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship (1989-1990) and the American Dietetic Association’s Award for Excellence in Dietetic Education (1999).

No matter where she was or who she was speaking to, Ann was enthusiastic about her work. She helped bring the original Peacock-Harper Culinary Collection to Special Collections in 1999-2000. After the larger Culinary History Collection (now the History of Food & Drink Collection) was established, Ann’s focus on children and nutrition issues led her to create the Ann Hertzler Children’s Cookbook and Nutrition Literature Collection and a related endowment in 2005. Through donations and purchases, this sub-group of materials now includes more than 430 publications, pamphlets, and collections of ephemera. We are also the home of much of Ann’s professional papers, donated by her between 2001 and 2013. A finding aid is available online. Some of the resources from her collection have been digitized and can be found through the finding aid or her online faculty archives.

On a personal note (archivist/blogger Kira here), in my five years working with this collection of culinary materials, Ann and I emailed frequently, though I only met her once when she visited the Blacksburg and Roanoke area to give a presentation. She was always curious about the latest acquisitions, about who was using culinary materials, and about what we might have on a specific topic. She was quick to send people my way with questions, when she wasn’t posing her own, and she continued to support researchers in the United States and abroad. Special Collections and the University Libraries will always be grateful for her past efforts and we will miss her support in the future.

Later this week, I hope to have a second post, one that highlights some donations from Ann, purchases made with her endowment, and some of her own work, as well. In the meantime, if you have memories or thoughts of Ann you would like to share, we would be happy to post them. You can submit a comment below, or use the form on the “Contacting Special Collections” page and we’ll see that they make it to the comments section.