Our Recipe Books

The Folger Shakespeare Library holds the world’s largest collection of handwritten recipe books from early modern Britain. These books, like the one pictured here by Mrs. Knight, were often compiled by women who collected culinary and medicinal recipes from family, neighbors, and the published books of professional cooks and doctors. Passed down and added to from one generation to the next, recipe books provide a unique window into changing tastes and new ingredients.

How would you like to work with our recipe books?

You can find lots of possibilities on Folgerpedia.

Handwritten Recipe Books

Manuscript recipe books have been at the heart of our project. Hundreds of volunteers have collaborated with us to transcribe them. You can explore these books through full-text search of the images, downloadable reading copies, a text-file of the entire corpus, and resources for using transcriptions in the classroom.

Illustration of open book
Pattern made up of manuscript flourishes