Alice Ross Culinary Ephemera Collection
Scope and Content
The Alice Ross Ephemera Collection includes more than 2,000 pieces of ephemera related to food & culinary history, advertising/marketing, food production, agriculture, holidays and celebrations, and domestic culture, dating from the mid-19th to the mid/late 20th century. The collection consists largely of trade cards, postcards, greeting cards, advertisements from printed sources, and a small number of recipe booklets. In addition, though fewer in number, the collection also contains educational resources (like printed cards with the history of people/places/food items), business cards, photographs, brochures, and a few small artifacts (medals, pins, decorations, and textiles). Some of the items and/or binders include an emphasis on the roles and portrayals of indigenous populations, African-Americans, immigrants to the United States, and women in culinary and domestic culture.
Generally speaking, the collection does NOT contain items or formats like menus, labels, coupons, clipped recipes, recipe cards, or pamphlets.
- Ross, Alice, 1930- (Collector, Person)
The collection is open for research.
Permission to publish material from Alice Ross Culinary Ephemera Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.
Dr. Alice Ross was a culinary historial and consultant. She received her doctorate from the State University at Stony Brook (her disseration was title "Women, Work and Cookery, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, 1880-1920"). During her career, she served as a consultant in historical food for Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg and The Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts. She also co-founded the Culinary Historians of NY, taught at CCNY, Hosfra, and NYU, and beginning in 1988, ran a studio that offered classes in culinary history & traditional methods, Native American & Civil War cookery, game butchery & prep, and baking using hearth & brick ovens. She also worked as an editor and contributor to portions of The Oxford Companion series volumes relating to food and authored and contributed to other books and articles.
4.8 Cubic Feet (16 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Alice Ross Ephemera Collection includes more than 2,000 pieces of ephemera related to food & culinary history, advertising/marketing, food production, agriculture, holidays and celebrations, and domestic culture, dating from the mid-19th to the mid/late 20th century.
The collector and former owner of the materials, Dr. Alice Ross, compiled the ephemera in this collection into binders for instruction and personal use by categories or major topics. The original organization of the collection was maintained, though the materials were moved to binder boxes when they were received by Special Collections. It is important to note that the binders were organized into topics by the creator to meet her educational needs. As a result, there can be significant overlap of materials between binders (i.e. items relating to women are in most binders, not just the one labeled "Women & Girls").
Topics/categories (each item in the list is a single binder box, unless otherwise indicated):
- Cottolene & the Demise of Lard (2 binder boxes)
- Domestic Life of First Nation Peoples
- Ethnicity & Immigrants
- Fish & Meats
- Food Vending
- Fruits, Vegetables, & Herbs
- Holidays, Seasons & Calendars (2 binder boxes)
- Household & Home
- Manufactured & Processed Foods (2 binder boxes)
- Places & History
- Women & Girls
The Alice Ross Culinary Ephemera Collection was purchased by Special Collections in March 2017.
The processing, arrangement, and description of the Alice Ross Culinary Ephemera Collection was completed in April 2017.
- Alice Ross Culinary Ephemera Collection c.1860s-1960s
- Kira A. Dietz, Archivist
- © 2017 Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.
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Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US