This material illuminates the close connection between food and health from the 16th century to the 21st century.
Domestic receipe books show how close the association remained between the culinary and the medicinal in household care for over 300 years. From the 19th century, papers of individuals and institutions reveal the development of an increasingly scientific understanding of good nutrition and dietary factors in disease.
Read more about featured collections
Tim Lang archive
Archivist Amanda Engineer describes the papers of Professor Tim Lang, a food policy expert, academic and activist for food standards. From the Wellcome Library blog.
McCance and Widdowson papers
Robert McCance and Elsie May Widdowson wrote a seminal work on nutrition: The Chemical Composition of Foods, 1939. The archive includes research notebooks on their experiments in nutrition and food science, as well as personal papers. Full catalogue description of the archive.
The crust of it!
Archivist Chris Hilton uses National Pie Week as a pretext to sample pies among the Library manuscripts. Wellcome Library blog post.
Archives sources guides
Our archivists have compiled extensive lists of material relating to food, health and medicine.
These in-depth sources guides provide access to the detailed information held in the Archives and Manuscripts catalogue. From here you may also request material from closed stores for viewing in the Library.
Domestic medicine and receipt books: 16th and 17th century
Most of these manuscripts have been digitised and are available online.
Domestic medicine and receipt books: 18th century
Domestic medicine and receipt books: 19th century
How to order material
All of the items in the Library's Archives and Manuscripts Collection must be requested from the closed stores for viewing in the Rare Materials Room. Find out more about request and delivery services.
To contact the Collections team, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 (0)20 7611 8899 during Library opening hours.