How many cookbooks are in the Library of Congress?
Generally speaking, we estimate that the Library has over 40,000 cookbook titles. It is challenging to calculate how many cookbooks are in the Library of Congress collections since they can be classified differently and assigned various subjects. The majority of the Library’s cookbooks are classified under the TX classification. However, cookbooks for health and wellness are typically assigned to the R class (Health/Medicine) and includes the subdivision dietary therapy e.g. Diabetes Dietary Therapy.
There is not one way to identify all the cookbooks in the Library’s collection since cataloging practices have changed over time, therefore you can find cookbooks under various subject headings or a combination of headings. The majority of the Library's cookbooks tend to fall under the LC Subject Heading cookbooks. To view a list of titles use the LC online catalog browse by subject feature https://catalog.loc.gov/vwebv/searchBrowse- and enter cookbooks into the search box (make sure the drop down menu reads “subjects beginning with”). Once you get the subject heading result list, click on the cookbooks link to open up the list of titles.
You can also find cookbooks using the subject headings Cookery, Cooking, Recipes, Gastronomy, Baking, and Reducing Diets to name a few. One can also find cookbooks under types of food or cooking style such as Cookies, Desserts, Salads, Soups, and Sandwiches OR Hawaiian Cooking, Jewish Cooking, Mormon Cooking, Vegetarian Cooking . Cookbooks are also identified as a genre, but not all cookbooks in our collections contain this genre classification.
The following are just a 'taste' of the Library's cookbook collections:
- Katherine Golden Bitting Collection Publications and Manuscripts on Gastronomy, 15th through 20th centuries https://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/coll/028.html
- Elizabeth Robins Pennell Collection, over 400 titles on gastronomy https://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/coll/183a.html
- Community Cookbooks https://guides.loc.gov/community-cookbooks a selection of the Library's digitized community cookbook collection from late 19th to early 2oth centuries.
- “American Feast: Cookbooks and Cocktails from the Library of Congress" by Zach Klitzman, Susan Reyburn ; foreword by Carla D. Hayden (Washington, D.C., Library of Congress, 2023)
Additional Ways to Contact Us
Send written correspondence to:
Science, Technology and Business Division
Science Reference Section
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave, SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4751