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About the Collection

Gelatin salad 1From abundance to diets, from prohibition to war, TWU's collection of cookbooks richly illustrates decades of America's changing relationship with food. Collection includes books, vendors' pamphlets, recipe books dating from 1624, conduct manuals, and menus from around the world.

Visit the Gateway to Women's History to view Cookbook Collection materials online.

Major Donors

  • Julie Benell
    Gelatin salad 2Julie Benell was food editor of the Dallas Morning News for twenty-five years, and for fifteen of those years also appeared on a daily television show in the North Texas area.  Publications are primarily from the 1950's and 1960's including many out of print titles.
  • Marion Somerville Church
    Following Marion Church's wishes, the collection was donated by his sister, Mrs. P.R.Gilmer of Shreveport, La. Mrs. Gilmer had a deep interest in the university's work in foods and homemaking. The Collection includes books, several printed in the 1850's, and famous regional books as well as hundreds of menu cards from hotels, restaurants, clubs, railroad lines, airlines, and steamship lines.
  • Katherine A. Francillon
    The collection was begun when she and her husband moved from New York City to Seattle. Katherine Francillon picked up recipe leaflets and softcover cookbooks as they travelled. When she decided to dispose of the collection, a book dealer recommended Texas Woman's University. The donation consisted of  vendor pamphlets from the 1920's through 1960's and in the 1980's and 1990's recipe leaflets which had been advertised in the local Seattle newspaper as well as softcover community cookbooks primarily from the northwest United States.
  • Barbara Land
    Woman with chocolate cakeA TWU alumna and librarian of the prestigious Book Club of California, Barbara Land began donating remarkable cookbooks in 1977 includes California cookbooks and  miscellaneous vendor pamphlets collected by a Mrs. Kravatsky and purchased by Land in 1998 from a San Francisco book dealer.
  • Nell Morris
    A TWU alumna and its most famous Chief Dietician and Associate Professor of Home Economics from 1932 to 1950. In 1950 she joined Frito-Lay where she helped develop many recipes including Fritos Chili Pie.
  • Mary Elizabeth Lynch Payne
    Jello girlDuring twenty years of living abroad while her husband worked in the oil business, Mary Payne indulged her love of reading cookbooks "like a novel" by adding to her international titles including South American (Venezuela in particular), Scottish, English, German and American imprints. When she decided to dispose of her collection, a friend of her daughter's recommended Texas Woman's University.
  • Mrs. Thomas M. Scruggs (Ph.D.) and Margaret Cook
    Mrs. Scruggs began assembling her distinguished cookbook collection in the 1940's and continued with her daughter, Margaret Cook, through 1960. The collection includes 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century titles covering Early American, regional, and foreign cookbooks, etiquette manuals and recipe pamphlets. Purchased at auction September, 1977.
  • Anne Simmons, Ph.D.
    A TWU alumna, Anne Simmons and her husband own a commercial asparagus farm selling to fine restaurants. During travels across the United States, she has acquired a large collection of primarily community cookbooks. The donations are primarily 20th century titles.


Related Manuscript Collections Include:


  • Julie Benell
    Recipes, photographs, slides, negatives, correspondence, book announcements, brochures and flyers, menus, clippings, scrapbooks, awards, clothing and personal memborabilia. Manuscript and page proofs of her cookbook, Let's Eat at Home are included, as well as a videotape
    and recipe collections.
  • Wilma A. Brown, Ph.D.
    Gelatin dessert 3Recipes, newsclippings, correspondence and course outlines for Dr. Brown's work at the Texas Woman's University and for various organizations.
  • Mrs. Kravetzky
    Notebooks and 3"x5" card files containing bibliographical information about Mrs. Kravetzsky's California cookbook collection which contained books and pamphlets purchased and donated by Barbara Land.
  • Nell Morris
    Salmon aspicCorrespondence, photographs, magazine and newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, cookbooks, personal memorabilia, and recipes, developed by Morris for Frito-Lay and various food industry associations. Also, letters and notes to and from friends, colleagues, alumnae and staff of TWU, her master's thesis and menus used at TWU.

page last updated 12/9/2014 5:04 PM