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USM Libraries Receives Grant to Digitize and Transcribe Mississippi Community Cookbooks

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 9:10 AM | Hali Black (Administrator)

Jennifer Brannock, the Curator of Rare Books & Mississippiana at Southern Miss, and Dr. Andrew P. Haley, Southern Miss history professor and food historian, are recipients of an £8,000 ($10,400) grant from the Arts & Humanities Research Council via the University of Sheffield (UK). The grant supported the digitization and transcription of Mississippi community cookbooks with the final products added to Southern Miss’ Digital Collections.

This grant supported the ongoing work focusing on the Mississippi community cookbook collection at the University of Southern Mississippi, which includes almost 1,000 cookbooks produced by Mississippi churches, woman’s clubs, and other organizations as fundraising tools. The Brookhaven Cook Book, published in 1904, is the earliest book in the collection to date, but the collection is still growing.

The funding also supports Dr. Haley’s Mississippi Community Cookbook Project, a digital humanities initiative that looks at cookbooks for the surprising insights into the ways Mississippians ate and how they thought about their hometowns, state, and even the world.

“Participating in the Arts and Humanities Research Council grant from the University of Sheffield has made it possible for Southern Miss to not only share Mississippi’s culinary past with Mississippians, but to make this legacy available to the world.  Ultimately, this project will help to demonstrate that the local is global and the global is local,” said Dr. Haley.

To view some of the digitized and transcribed cookbooks, search the Digital Collections at https://digitalcollections.usm.edu/. For more information about the Mississippi community cookbook collection and activities, contact Jennifer Brannock at Jennifer.Brannock@usm.edu or 601.266.4347.

Submitted by
Jennifer Brannock

Curator of Rare Books & Mississippiana

The University of Southern Mississippi



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