New York Universitys Fales Library, home of one of the nations largest and most prestigious collections in food studies, has acquired Gourmet magazines 3,500 volume library through a gift from Rozanne Gold. Golds gift enabled Fales Library to purchase the volumes from Condé Nast, which bought the influential and widely acclaimed magazine in 1983 and folded it in fall 2009.
As soon as he heard Gourmet was being shut down, Marvin Taylor, director of Fales Library, called Condé Nast to inquire about purchasing the cookbooks in Gourmets library. He then turned to Rozanne Gold, who had recently arranged a gift of $50,000 to Fales Library from the New York chapter of Les Dames dEscoffier, an organization of women in the food and wine professions.
Golds connections in the food world are wide and deep. An international food and consultant, and an acclaimed author, Gold is a four-time winner of the prestigious James Beard Award and winner of the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award. Her latest cookbook, Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs has just been published.
Taylor sought Golds advice on quickly finding the funds to purchase the Gourmet library while it was still available. To his delight, Gold told him he need look no further. A few days later, the books were being packed into cartons-about 500 in all-for shipment from the Condé Nast offices in Times Square to Fales Library on Washington Square.
For Gold, Gourmet and its library had a special resonance. Upon graduation from Tufts University, she went directly to Gourmets offices to apply for a job. No go, but decades later Gold became a contributor to the magazine and was featured on one of its holiday covers.
Gold made the gift in honor of her late mother, Marion Gold, who Rozanne describes as a vivacious cook of Hungarian descent, more Zsa Zsa than Julia in the kitchen. Golds mother gave her a love of cooking and supported her decision to become a chef when women were anathema in commercial kitchens.
According to Taylor, the Gourmet library, consisting largely of volumes published within the past 30 years, was discerningly put together. It really represents what the editors saw as the best of the best, he said.
The Fales collection supports NYUs nationally recognized graduate and undergraduate programs in food studies and is widely used by graduate students and faculty in those programs as well as in history, theater, literature, American studies and many others. Taylor carefully acquires libraries and collections for their research value. The Gourmet library, Taylor said, is fascinating because you can see the various trends Gourmet covered. There are six or eight shelves of Cajun books and as many Mediterranean books. Theres a very large Asian selection.
Ms. Gold says she is happy that the collection will be available to chefs and food professionals forever and will keep Gourmet in everyones heart.
About the Fales Library:
The Fales Library, comprising nearly 200,000 volumes, and over 10,000 linear feet of archive and manuscript materials, houses the Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, the Downtown Collection, the Food and Cookery Collection and the general Special Collections of the NYU Libraries. The Fales Collection was given to New York University in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Collection documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including extensive film and video objects.