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A Recipe for Special Collections: Using Cookbooks to Create More Inclusive Collections

Jul 23, 2024


Cookbooks are more than just collections of recipes. They are profound documents for cultural memory and identity. As part of the library’s Special Collections student engagement program at The Johns Hopkins University, cookbooks have proved to be the perfect seed to grow interest in using primary sources and to refresh collection development. Learn how a focus on cookery leads to more inclusive acquisitions and opportunities for student learning both in and of the classroom.


Heidi Herr is the Librarian for English, Philosophy, the Writing Seminars, and the Student Engagement Librarian for Special Collections at the Johns Hopkins University. She creates programs and learning activities to engage students in conducting research with primary sources, including teaching courses on everything from the ephemera of the women’s suffrage movement to the development of the cookbook. She earned Master of Arts degrees in English and Library Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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