My cookbooks have a new home.
Kansas State University will be the repository for my collection. KSU has an extraordinary collection already, so this will be only a small addition to it, but it feels "right" that it go to them.
Many of the books I have are Kansas-specific ones from all the years I've reviewed books for Kansas Country Living. It makes sense that they remain in Kansas. Cookbooks, particularly community and church ones, not only offer recipes but they put people in a certain place at a certain time. One of the things I've always loved about cookbooks is that they capture the essence of an era and a place. Food is so central to our lives.
Putting the library together upstairs has really pointed out to me that my collection is simply too large for me to care for properly. I no longer use the books for recipes often and I'm just keeping them in storage, and not doing that well. It will be best for them to be somewhere where they will be taken care of and used.
I emailed four different universities/libraries and K-State got back with me right away. The guy I contacted wrote and said he would have the person who handles their cookbook collection email, who did right away. I called him today and we had a nice chat - he's a UK alum, too. K-State is interested and will pass on whatever they cannot use to another library. I like that idea so, ding ding ding, we have a winner.
I just took the books out of boxes to put them on shelves. Now I'm going to go through and repack some of them back into the same boxes and give them to the library. I'm glad I didn't throw the boxes out, or even bring them downstairs.
Needless to say, I have much work to do.