Primary Sources: Food Studies Online

Image depicting victory gardens in CaliforniaFood Studies Online brings together archival content, visual ephemera, monographs, and videos that explore the important role of food and food systems. Key primary source collections are:

National Archives – Records related to the school lunch program 1940-1973 – Government documents related to the US school lunch program in the mid-20th century, including recipes used in school cafeterias, pamphlets about ending hunger in schools, and educational pamphlets on how to create healthful school lunches. Also includes factbooks with statistics of the national school lunch program in the 1950s.

National Archives – WWII Food Campaign Files, 1941-1948 – Documents, pamphlets and posters from the government’s food campaigns during WWII, including the rationing campaign “No Point-Low Point,” Food Fight for Freedom Campaign, Fat Salvage Campaign and Victory Garden Campaign. Full color posters show how campaigns were advertised. Includes packets of instructional materials for housewives who want to hold their own cottage meetings on conserving food during the war.

Food Ephemera Collection – Over 5,000 pages of ephemeral materials from the turn of the century through the 1960s. The collection is made up of educational pamphlets from food production companies as well as food labels, food advertisements, and recipe books. Brands include Jello, Quaker Oats, Libby, Kellogg, and more. These materials give insight into history of food and gender roles, foodways, food trends, food geography, and food and race.