You Are What You Eat:
Cookbooks as Ingredients to Shape Identity and Community
Danielle Spalenka, Curator
November 15, 2014
Regional History Center
Founders Memorial Library, Room 400
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
(Plus visits to DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association and Egyptian Theater)
$12. (not including food)
We will visit the Regional History Center, which has a display of historical cookbooks, recipes, and ephemera from its collection for its exhibit: “You Are What You Eat: Cookbooks as ingredients to shape identity and community.” Cookbooks and recipes often reveal more than just a list of ingredients. Ethnic recipes help preserve a cultural heritage and demonstrate different cultures that exist in an area. Passing along a favorite family recipe helps keep the memory of family members alive. This exhibit explores how cookbooks have created a sense of identity in the northern Illinois region. This exhibit, which is being curated in conjunction with American Archives Month and the 50th anniversary of the University Archives, will be on display through November 15th.
Curator Danielle Spalenka will offer an introduction to the Regional History Center and the purpose behind the exhibit, followed by a narrative of their display, then a behind-the-scenes tour of their collections storage area with additional cookbooks out on display.
Danielle Spalenka is the Curator of Manuscripts for the Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University. She is responsible for collections management and preservation for the Center’s 330+ collections from the 18 northern-most counties of Illinois (excluding Cook). She has a BA in History from Saint Mary’s College (IN) and an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before joining the Regional History Center in July, 2013, Danielle served as a project archivist at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum preserving manuscript and film collections and as a reference archivist at the Wisconsin Historical Society.
The NIU University Archives was established in September 1964 with the appointment of J. Joseph Bauxer as the University Archivist. In just a few years it expanded to become a depository for state local records (now called Illinois Regional Archives Depository). In 1979, through a grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities and with the support from the University Libraries and the History Department, the Regional History Center was established to collect the most significant historical records of the northern Illinois Region.
Do you have a community cookbook or recipes from the northern Illinois region you would like preserved for future generations? Consider donating it to the Regional History Center.
Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance is dedicated to celebrating, exploring and preserving unique food traditions and their cultural contexts in the American Midwest. By hosting public events, developing archival resources and generating publications, the GMFA uncovers the distinctiveness of a region that is as varied in tastes and traditions as it is in its geography from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains . Whether indigenous foods like Wisconsin cranberries and Minnesota walleye, iconographic flavors like the wheat and corn from across the prairies, immigrant cuisines from early Europeans to 21st century newcomers, or fish boils and fine dining in small towns and big cities, the Greater Midwest Foodways promotes and chronicles the diversity of the region’s culinary character.
Reservation made by email at [email protected]
or phone at 847-432-8255, include name, address, phone number and number of reservations. Phone or email registration constitutes paid reservation. Note: Prompt payment will confirm reservation. Mail check to: Greater Midwest Foodways, 280 Laurel Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035
By credit card: Go to http://midwestfoodwaysmarch2013.eventbrite.com (nominal convenience charge).
Transportation is not provided, though we will help pair people to share rides. We will introduce people offering rides to those who advise they need them.
1:00 pm —Lunch at: Tom & Jerry’s, 215 W Lincoln Hwy Dekalb IL 60115, 815-758-1675 www.tomandjerrysdekalb.com (pork tenderloin sandwiches, gyros)
3:00 pm — Egyptian Theater
If you wish to bring locally produced sausage home, bring your cooler to stop in at:
Headon’s Fine Meats, 103 S. Main Street, Creston, IL. www.headons.com
Directions to Northern Illinois University Visitors Pay Lot: 200 Carroll Avenue, DeKalb, IL (Free parking all day on Saturday):
From the Northern Suburbs