By Michelle H.

When people think of libraries, they think of books, audios, DVDs, and downloadable versions of these materials.

An advantage of library databases is that they can open up a world of information that you might not otherwise be able to access.

Indiana Memory

One of the resources Inspire offers is a collection of information called Indiana Memory

Indiana Memory is the result of the collaborative efforts of academic libraries, public libraries, historical societies, museums, and archives, to provide access to their primary sources. It is a gateway to Indiana’s history and culture found in digitized books, manuscripts, photographs, newspapers, maps, and other media. 

Currently, Indiana Memory has combined resources of over 600,000 items in 431 collections.

One of the more fascinating resources Indiana Memory offers is Collections Across Indiana. For the next couple of posts, we’ll be taking a dive into this database.

Family gatherings are normally times for memories, traditions, and food. We come carrying favorite family foods, enjoy the kids, settle in for the big game, and if we’ve really enjoyed some delicious cooking, we might nod off.

Have you ever wondered how our ancestors—recent, and more distant—might have gone about preparing what to serve friends and family?

Service Through Sponge Cake

If so, you’ll want to check out this truly unusual source in Collections Across Indiana, Service Through Sponge Cake

This digital collection of cookbooks is a collaborative effort between the IUPUI University Library and the Indianapolis Public Library, and focuses on historic Indiana cookbooks, especially fundraising cookbooks from churches, synagogues, and other community organizations. The online collection includes digital images of each cookbook in its entirety, plus in-depth descriptions of each item.

From 1857’s The Great Western Cook Book, or Table Receipts, Adapted to Western Housewifery, to 2002’s Joining Together Around the State: A Collection of Recipes, there’s something for everyone. 

Some notable (and a bit unusual) include:

For tastes a little closer to home, check out this 1989 Evansville Press article by Sara Anne Corrigan. Similar articles can be found at the Evansville, Indiana Local History Database by typing the word “recipes” in the subject search.

So enjoy your historical culinary discoveries, and join us again to be Inspired!

Related: Get “Inspire”d

Michelle H.

Michelle H.

With 8 locations throughout Vanderburgh County, EVPL is ready to discover, explore, and connect WITH you! We encourage you to uncover new things, revisit old favorites, and to engage with us along the way.

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