FSU Special Collections & Archives Presents: The Great Rare Books Bake Off

With the holiday season fast approaching, the FSU Special Collections & Archives division is challenging the FSU community (and beyond!) to try a recipe from our collection of rare books, manuscripts, and heritage materials. The FSU Special Collections & Archives Great Rare Books Bake Off will take place the entire month of November and consist of weekly themes correlating to different courses of a meal. Throughout the month, SCA staff are inviting the community to try the recipes and post their results to social media utilizing the hashtags #thegreatrarebooksbakeoff and #fsuspecialcollections.


FSU Special Collections & Archives has drawn inspiration from the inaugural Great Rare Books Bake Off of July 2020 originated by the special collections libraries and archives of Monash University and Penn State University.

How to participate:

  1. Choose a recipe from our selections posted weekly
  2. Attempt the recipe
  3. Take a picture and post it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags #thegreatrarebooksbakeoff and #fsuspecialcollections

Recipes from the collection will be posted Monday each week. SCA staff will post their successes (or failures) as well as highlight posts shared on social media.

Cooking resources available in FSU Special Collections & Archives

A portion of the SCA cookbook collection is available in the Cookbooks and Herbals collection in the FSU digital library. An interest in cookbooks and household management is a legacy from FSU’s earliest years as a women’s college. The oldest book in our cookbook collection is from 1622 Venice.

A sample of cookbooks available in the digital library

  1. All about cookery: a collection of practical recipes arranged in alphabetical order By Isabella Beeton (1890) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_TX717B421890
  2. The queen-like closet, or, Rich cabinet By Hannah Wooley (1675) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_TX705W61675
  3. The book of household management By Isabella Beeton (1861) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_TX717B4
  4. A collection of recipes for the use of special diet kitchens in military hospitals By Annie Wittenmyer (1864) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_UH487A18
  5. Housekeeping in the blue grass: A new and practical cookbook: containing nearly a thousand recipes …By the Presbyterian Church Missionary Society of Paris Kentucky (1879) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_TX715H681879
  6. The art of cookery made plain and easy By Hannah Glasse (1751) http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_TX705G541751

Hand-copied recipes, as well as menus and other ephemera from social gatherings, events, and restaurants can be found in the scrapbook collection of FSU Heritage & University Archives.

Lemon Tart

In honor of the recipes shared for the bake off between Penn State and Monash University, I tried Penn State’s recipe for a lemon tart. The recipe is originally from a handwritten cookbook of British recipes compiled between 1770 and 1846.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This recipe is delicious! The crust is flaky and the filling is tart and not overly sweet. -Kristin Hagaman

Our next post will be November 2nd, sharing recipes for cocktails and mocktails. We look forward to cooking with you!

Published by Kristin Hagaman

Graduate Assistant, Special Collections & Archives, Florida State University Libraries

One thought on “FSU Special Collections & Archives Presents: The Great Rare Books Bake Off

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: