I wanted to highlight a fantastic resource for chefs or foodies. When I worked at the Atlanta History Center, one of my favorite collections to browse was The Coca-Cola Company Collection of Antique Cookbooks. The collection was assembled for the Company by Dr. Clifford A. Shillinglaw who, from 1961 until 1979, was a Senior Vice President of the Company . On November 29, 1979, The Coca-Cola Company donated the collection to Atlanta History Center to make them available to the public.
While the collection of nearly 500 books primarily focused on books of Southern origin, it also contained several early English volumes including The Queens Closet Opened (1655) and Court Cookery (1725.) One of the earliest American cookbooks is The Frugal Housewife or Methodical Cook (1796) by Susanna Carter while the earliest Southern book is The Virginia Housewife (1836) by Mary Randolph. Many of the cookbooks were published by church groups and civic organizations including Eastern Shore Cookbook: containing famous Maryland Recipes, (1901) by the Holy Innocence, Chapel Ladies Guild of Claiborn, Maryland and the Atlanta Woman's Club Cook Book (1921.)
The History Center has continued to add to the collection over the years. If anyone would like to browse the collection on-line, I have provided alink to Terminus, the on-line catalog for the History Center. If you do a search under the term "cookery" more than 700 results are returned. If you are ever in Atlanta, make sure to visit the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center and see the original book.