Tried, Tested, and True: A Retrospective on Canadian Cookery, 1867-1917

This exhibit explores cooking in Canada from Confederation until the First World War. The aim of the exhibit is to use cookbooks and domestic manuals as a window into Canadian society during the period in question. It is hoped that audiences gain an appreciation for the diversity of Canadian foodways and the usefulness of cookbooks as primary sources.

The cases and online exhibit focus on 8 themes:

  • Technical Housewifery
  • Agriculture & Rural Life
  • Local History: Guelph & the Surrounding Area
  • Community Cookbooks: Religion, Fundraising & Communities
  • Advertising Cookbooks: Corporate Advertising
  • Wartime Cookery
  • Economical Cooking
  • Health & Nutrition

This online exhibit accompanies the physical exhibition on display in McLaughlin Library from April 7th, 2017 to December 31st, 2017. Materials on display in the exhibit are drawn from Archival & Special Collections’ distinguished Culinary Arts Collection in the University of Guelph Library. Highlights include a copy of a very rare cookbook published in the year of Canadian Confederation in Ottawa called The Canadian Receipt Book. Only 2 copies in the world are known to exist. Another highlight is The Housewife's Library: a rare book published in Guelph in 1883. 

The exhibit was curated by the following University of Guelph students and staff: 

Melissa McAfee (Special Collections Librarian)

Kristyn Pacione (3rd year Anthropology student)

Stephanie Reynolds-Badder (4th year History student)



Curated by Stephanie Reynolds-Badder & Kristyn Pacione

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: