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Stony Brook University

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.


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.

Past Event: May 4, 2016

Confucius: His Thoughts about Food
by Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 1pm
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre
Free Admission!

Though he taught over 2,000 years ago, Confucius (551 – 479 BCE) remains a major force in Chinese thinking: And his thoughts on cuisine just as potent. China’s most famous teacher, philosopher, and educator liked his rice polished and his meat cut properly and fine. He spoke about diet, food presentation, hygiene, integrity, heaven’s will, and the way things ought to be. Born in China’s State of Lu, we know about his culinary opinions thanks to Han Dynasty historian Sima Qian; The Analects compiled by his disciples centuries after his death; narrative of Zuozhuan from the 4th century CE; and the Mengzi compiled by Mencius. Nowadays, at Qufu in the Kong Mansion, they serve dinners in his memory. What are those dinners and would he indulge in them?

This lecture discusses his life, his thoughts about food, and the memorable meals served at the Kong Mansion. After the lecture related dishes will be tasted. Co-sponsored by Special Collections of the University Libraries, The Confucius institute and the Charles B. Wang Center.

confucius inst. logo


A Special Collection at Stony Brook University

Search the Collection Catalog

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. All are welcome to consult the collection by appointment. 

Moon Cakes and Their Wooden Molds

A collection of Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman.
View the collection here.

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

Director & Associate Librarian

Kristen J. Nyitray's picture
Kristen J. Nyitray
Director, Special Collections & University Archives
University Archivist
Associate Librarian
E-2320, Melville Library
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3323
t: 631.632.7119
f: 631.632.1829

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, Director, Special Collections and University Archives, and 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.