Culinary Gems from UCSD Libraries' AIWF Collection on Display at Geisel Library Through Jan. 3, 2010

"Finding Julia" event Nov.10 will explore UCSD's Julia Child Connection

October 28, 2009 – San Diego foodies still reeling from the hit film "Julia and Julie," and in need of another culinary fix, will not want to miss "Consuming Passion: Books on Food & Drink from UC San Diego's American Institute of Wine & Food Culinary Collection," an exhibit at UCSD's Geisel Library through January 2010.

Along with the UCSD Mandeville Special Collections Library exhibit, the Friends of the UCSD Libraries will hold a special behind-the-scenes event, "Finding Julia," on Nov. 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Seuss Room in Geisel Library. The event will include remarks by Lynda Claassen, director of the Mandeville Special Collections Library, about the AIWF collection, and local foodies Lois Stanton, Carolyn Yorston-Wellcome, and Piret Munger, who will share their recollections of Julia Child, who was on the AIWF board when the collection was given to UC San Diego in 1991. The event will showcase additional materials from the collection and will include desserts made from Julia Child’s recipes. The cost is $10 for members of the Friends and $20 for non-members. To reserve a spot or get additional information about "Finding Julia," please call 858.534.1183, email or sign up at:

UCSD's American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) Culinary Collection was established in 1991, with an initial gift from the AIWF of approximately 360 cookbooks and other materials documenting culinary history, dating back to the 17th century. Thanks to significant gifts of material from interested parties, as well as an endowment created by the San Diego AIWF board, the collection has grown to include more than 5,000 books, manuscripts, and other materials, and has exceptional strength in materials from California, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim region.

A handful of local AIWF board members–including Yorston-Wellcome, Munger, and Stanton–played an instrumental role in directing half of AIWF's rare collection to the UCSD Libraries (the other half went to Radcliffe's Schlesinger Library on the History of Women). Child, who founded the AIWF with Robert Mondavi in 1981, presided over the AIWF at the time. The UCSD AIWF collection includes such marvels as Bartolomeo Scappi's Opera dell'arte del cucinare (1610), featuring a series of woodcuts depicting culinary implements from the Renaissance kitchen, and Amelia Simmons' American Cookery (1814), recognized as the first truly American cookbook. Chocolate aficionados will appreciate the collection's Acerca del chocolate (1730), a manuscript from Mexico that attempts to rebut the Church's strictures against the consumption of chocolate.

The Mandeville Special Collections Library is a major repository for rare and distinctive books, periodicals, maps, photographs, art works, recordings, and a wide range of archives to support teaching and scholarly research at the UC San Diego. The Library houses many irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind collections, including: the Southworth Spanish Civil War Collection, the largest collection of its kind in the world; extensive holdings on California history and culture and Baja California history and politics; the Archive for New Poetry, one of the most comprehensive collections of post-1945 American poetry; and the Dr. Seuss Collection, a significant repository of the original art and works of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), which includes more than 8,500 items documenting the full range of Geisel's creative achievements.

The UC San Diego Libraries, ranked among the top 25 public academic research libraries in the nation, play an integral role in advancing and supporting the university's research, teaching, patient care, and public service missions. The nine libraries that comprise the UCSD Library system provide access to more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals, and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge demands of scholars, students, and members of the public. Each day, more than 7,300 people stream through one of the university's nine libraries. The Libraries' vast resources and services are accessed more than 87,500 times each day via the UCSD Libraries' Web site.

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Dolores Davies
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