New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections is pleased to announce it has received a gift from the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance’s (www.nywca.org) of its historical archive. The archive consists of the records of the organization’s founding, its meeting notes, membership directories, newsletters, and reports on activities and events.
The New York Women’s Culinary Alliance was founded in 1981 by Sara Moulton and Maria Reuge, with the encouragement of Julia Child. The Alliance is an organization of professional women in the food and wine industry that encourages cooperation, networking, and education among its members, while helping numerous philanthropic organizations offer programs to the people they serve on such topics as nutrition basics, food buying and healthful meal preparation. Organizations the Alliance has helped include New York Cares, the Ronald McDonald House, Spoons Across America, the Nourishing Kitchen, the Lower East Side Girls Club and the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.
“The New York Women’s Culinary Alliance archives are vital to our understanding of the changing roles of women in the world of food,” said Marvin J. Taylor, director of the Fales Library and curator of the Food Studies Collection. “Many people when they think of chefs automatically assume they are male, but this is clearly not the case. In the last half-century, women have played an increasingly important leadership role in the culinary arts, and organizational records like those of the Alliance show just how this change came about.”
“The New York Women’s Culinary Alliance has been a significant force in the food world for nearly 30 years,” said Liz Young, current president of the Alliance. “Our members embody the true leaders in the culinary world. Their work represents a shift to women’s full participation and respect in the industry. They’ve produced dozens of best-selling cookbooks, hosted nationally televised cooking shows, created content for the country’s leading magazines and newspapers and more. Their contributions and the Alliance’s role in bringing these players together are of real cultural importance, and we are very pleased that New York University will protect our records and make them available to researchers now and for decades to come.”
The Fales Library began collecting materials related to American foodways and systems in 2003. Today the collection includes more than 26,000 printed books, 5,000 pamphlets, the libraries of Ladies Home Journal, The James Beard House, and Gourmet magazine, as well as the papers of James Beard, Betty Fussell, Cecily Brownstone, Marion Nestle, and the archives of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Roundtable of Women in Food Service, among many others. Fales has become a major center for the study of American food with a subspecialty in women in the food industry, as our archival holdings show.
“The Alliance’s archives are a perfect fit for Fales,” said Taylor. “Anyone working on women’s food organizations in America will have to visit the library as the collection of record for these organizations.”
New York University’ Fales Collection and the Alliance will celebrate the donation with a private reception on Thursday Oct. 21, 2010. Among the guests will be several Alliance founders, including chef, cookbook author and television personality Sara Moulton. Media representatives wishing to attend MUST contact Christopher James at 212-998-6876 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Fales Library and Special Collections:
The Fales Library, comprising nearly 200,000 volumes, and over 12,000 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 NYU 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. The Food and Cookery Collection is a vast, and rapidly expanding collection of books and manuscripts documenting food and foodways with particular emphasis on New York City. Other strengths of the collection include the Berol Collection of Lewis Carroll Materials, the Robert Frost Library, the Kaplan and Rosenthal Collections of Judaica and Hebraica and the manuscript collections of Elizabeth Robins and Erich Maria Remarque. The Fales Library preserves manuscripts and original editions of books that are rare or important not only because of their texts, but also because of their value as artifacts.
About the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance:
The New York Women’s Culinary Alliance is an organization of professional women in the food and wine industry, dedicated to encouraging cooperation, networking, and education among its members. The Alliance is committed to fostering and promoting the common professional interests of women in the culinary field in the New York City metro area. Its membership includes a cross-section of distinguished food professionals in the New York City area, who work at such companies and organizations as the James Beard Foundation; The Martha Stewart Show; Banfi Vintners; Brooklyn College; Good Housekeeping; Cornerstone Communications; Every Day with Rachel Ray; The Food Network; Hearst Corporation; The Institute of Culinary Education; Ladies Home Journal; Mandarin Oriental Hotel; Murray’s Cheese; Rockefeller University; The Today Show; Hunter PR; Woman’s World Magazine; and Whole Foods Market.