Service through Sponge Cake

The digital collection of cookbooks is a collaborative effort between the University Library and the Indianapolis Public Library and will focus on Indiana cookbooks dating from the turn-of-the-century, with a special emphasis on fundraising cookbooks published by churches, synagogues and other community organizations. The University Library has created the community cookbook collection using unique materials from the Indianapolis Public Library's collection of historic Indiana cookbooks. The online collection includes digital images of each cookbook in its entirety, plus in-depth descriptions of each item. The collection is fully text searchable and broadly available on the Web. Community users who wish to "publish" their own copies of cookbooks in the digital library that are not under copyright will be able to do so. The University Library provides sources and information about publishing on demand within the context of the collection itself. 

If you have an historical, Indianapolis, community-created cookbook, recipe collection, or menu that you would like to share in this digital collection, please Contact Us.


The launch of this collection was a part of a 2010 SPIRIT and PLACE event featuring speaker, scholar, and author Dr. Anne Bower.  From the November 12, 2010 issue of The Indianapolis Star article by Jolene Ketzenberger, "I love to look through what I call 'church lady cookbooks' because they tend to show what real people were -- and are -- actually cooking. The discussion, presented by Anne Bower, author of 'Recipes for Reading: Community Cookbooks, Stories and Histories,' focused on what such cookbooks can tell us about daily life in other eras. But what's really cool is the new digital, searchable collection of Hoosier community cookbooks and restaurant menus that was presented at the session."


More information about other Spirit and Place events visit:

 The Spirit and Place program was made possible through a matching grant from the Indiana Humanities Council in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Service through Sponge Cake

Spirit and Place: Food for Thought

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