New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

NYU Libraries Launches Oral History Project in Food Studies: "James Beard and His Circle"

April 16, 2009
April 16, 2009

The New York University Division of Libraries has received a $100,000 grant from the Leon Levy Foundation for an oral history project that will help document the transformative impact on American food culture of renowned chef James Beard and his circle.

Fales Library at NYU, the rare books and special collections repository at the university, is home to one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious archives in food studies.

According to Marvin J. Taylor, head of Fales and curator of the Food Studies Collection, New York City was at the center of a post-war food revolution, thanks to a group of chefs and writers based there who were among the first to think about distinctly American food and American taste. They included Beard, whose papers are in the Fales collection; Cecily Brownstone, whose collection of 8,000 cookbooks, 5,000 pamphlets, and personal correspondence with food writers and authors became the cornerstone of the Collection; Clementine Paddleford, Joe Baum, Craig Claiborne, Julia Child, and Pierre Franey. Today they all are gone, but there is a small group of individuals still alive who knew Beard and his circle and the tastemakers who followed them. “It is essential to have a thorough grasp of their ideas and experiences in order to understand the development of food culture today,” Taylor says.

To that end, Fales Library has begun a two-year project of interviews with a selected list of New York chefs, restaurateurs, writers, food critics, and farmers market founders, including Mimi Sheraton, Saul Zabar, Betty Fussell, Lidia Bastianich, and Florent Morellet. Journalist and former food reporter Judith Weinraub, winner of two James Beard awards for journalism, will conduct the interviews this year and next. The resulting tapes and transcripts will be a rich source of material for scholars, educators, and writers and will become part of the Fales Food Studies Collection.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Type: Press Release


Search News



NYU In the News

CUSP Unveils its “Urban Observatory”

Crain’s New York Business profiled CUSP’s “Urban Observatory” that is continuously photographing lower Manhattan to gather scientific data.

Post-Sandy Upgrades at the Langone Medical Center

NY1 reported on the major post-Sandy upgrades and renovations made at the Medical Center to protect the hospital from future catastrophic storms.

Steinhardt Research Helps Solve Tough Speech Problems.

The Wall Street Journal reported on research at Steinhardt’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, including an interview with Assistant Professor Tara McAllister Byun, that uses ultrasound to help solve tough speech problems.

Times Column Lauds Professor Stevenson’s New Memoir

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote a column about “Just Mercy,” a new memoir by Law Professor Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, whom he noted has been called America’s Nelson Mandela.

Entrepreneurship Lab Opens at NYU

Crain’s New York Business covered the opening of the Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurial eLab, which will be the headquarters for NYU’s Entrepreneurial Institute and all of the University’s programs aimed at promoting innovation and startups.

NYU Footer