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Chinese Culinary History: HOME

Resources for the study of Chinese culinary history, featuring the Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman Chinese Cookbook Collection, a special collection at Stony Brook University.

On Exhibit

Books from the Jacqueline M. Newman Chinese Cookbook Collection are currently exhibited in the Charles B. Wang Center.

The display, located next to the Jasmine food court, was installed in conjunction with the free lecture “Chopsticks: A Cultural and Culinary History,” by Dr. Q. Edward Wang, to be held on Thursday, October 8. To register, visit the website for the center.

Chopsticks: A Cultural and Culinary History, 2015


In 2002, Special Collections and University Archives at Stony Brook University was the proud recipient of the Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman Chinese Cookbook Collection, the largest cookbook collection of its kind. The collection includes: over 4,000 Chinese cookbooks, books on food Chinese food culture; medicine; and history; haute cuisine magazines; archival materials; and audio visual materials.  These materials provide a valuable record of the Chinese Diaspora that has carried its rich cuisine to every corner of the globe. Dr. Newman’s extensive annotated bibliography is now available online, thereby making it accessible worldwide.

LaChoy Chinese Recipes,
ca. 1920s.

2015 Event

Food and China's Silk Road: Influences to and from the West
by Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman 
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 1 PM
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre

“Food and China's Silk Road: Influences to and from the West,” a sold-out event co-sponsored by the University Libraries, was held on May 6, 2015, in the Charles B. Wang Center. An engaged and enthused audience of students, faculty/staff, and community members gathered for a spirited lecture by historian Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman and a food tasting. Guests learned about the East-West cultural exchanges that occurred on the Silk Road through the medium of food, and sampled dishes prepared from recipes selected by Dr. Newman. This year marked the tenth anniversary of the annual cultural event, which was co-sponsored by Special Collections of the University Libraries, The Confucius Institute and Charles B. Wang Center Cultural Programs.

A Special Collection at Stony Brook University


A Special Collection at Stony Brook University


Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman is professor emerita, Queens College, and in addition to her impressive record of publication, her career as an educator, and being named the 2009 recipient of the Amelia Award, an honor bestowed for outstanding lifetime achievement in culinary history, she is the founder and editor of the award-winning magazine Flavor and Fortune. It is the first, and the only, American, English-language quarterly about Chinese food and Chinese dietary culture.

It was in 2002 that she decided to share her passion for this area of study and collecting.  Dr. Newman visited many libraries to see if there was interest in her collection. After much careful consideration, she selected our library at Stony Brook to be the home for her one of a kind collection. In the years since, she has annually donated new materials to the collection and has provided support to ensure the growth and maintenance of it. 
Special Collections, located in the Melville Library, manages and curates the collection.
All are welcome to consult it, by appointment. 

Finding Aid for the Collection

Schedule an Appointment

Exhibition: Take a Wok Through Chinese Culinary History

Videos of Lectures & Special Events
Cookbooks: A Cultural Banquet (2005)
The Chinese Philosophy of Feasting (2006)
Chinese Food Can Be Good for Your Health (2007)
A Wok Through Chinese Culinary History (2008)

Moon Cakes and Their Wooden Molds

"Moon Cakes and Their Wooden Molds"
A collection of Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman.
View the collection here.

Moon cake molds

According to Dr. Newman, "The Chinese adore and eat moon cake delicacies.
They consume them as a slice or a small wedge of one moon cake, and they enjoy them shared with family and friends during the important holiday they know as the Mid-Autumn Festival; Zhongquijie in Chinese. This event is one of their most important celebrations, second only to their New Year holiday that is also known as Spring Festival. Both of these festivals are Lunar calendar holidays."

Research Terms and Search Strategies

The following Library of Congress subject headings were utilized to produce this LibGuide.

  • foodways--China
  • food habits--China
  • cooking, Chinese--history
  • cooking, Chinese--social aspects
  • cooking, Chinese--Manchuria
  • cooking--China--Fujian Sheng
  • cooking, Chinese--health aspects--Congresses
  • tea--China--history
  • cooking, Asian--social aspects
  • cooking, Chinese--bibliography--catalogs
  • China--social life and customs
  • food supply--China
  • medicine, Chinese, traditional
  • food habits--China--early works to 1800
  • materia medica, vegetable--China--dictionaries
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • drugs, Chinese herbal
  • dinners and dining--China--history
  • plants, edible--China
  • mushrooms--China
  • wild plants, edible--China
  • wild foods--China
  • Chinese--foreign countries

Department Head & Associate Librarian

Kristen J. Nyitray
Head, Special Collections & University Archives
University Archivist
Associate Librarian
Frank Melville, Jr. Memorial Library, E-2320
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3323
631.632.7119 (t)
631.632.1829 (f)
Website / Blog Page

Online Exhibit

View the covers of the books that were featured in the 2008 exhibition
Take a Wok Through Chinese Culinary History.

Chinese-Japanese Cook Book
by Sara Bosse and
Onoto Watanna, 1914.

About this Guide

LibGuide by Lisa Patterson, Curriculum Librarian at St. Joseph's College (in fulfillment of an archival internship for the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, C.W. Post campus of Long Island University) and Kristen J. Nyitray, Head of Special Collections and University Archives/University Archivist.

Special Collections & University Archives at SBU

Special Collections and University Archives at Stony Brook University select, acquire, preserve and provide access to rare, valuable, and scarce primary and secondary materials  in a variety of formats in support of the educational and research endeavors of Stony Brook University's students, faculty, and staff. For more information about the collections, visit the department's website.

Powerpoint Presentation by Kristen J. Nyitray