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Between 1900 and 1970, Mississippi churches, youth groups, teacher-parent associations, and other community groups published over a hundred community cookbooks. The recipes in these cookbooks—each attributed to the person who submitted it—offer complex and often surprising insights into the ways Mississippians ate and how they thought about their hometowns, their state, and even the world.

Made possibly by a startup grant from the College of Arts and Letters and the cooperation of the McCain Library and Archives at The University of Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi Community Cookbook Project is working to collect, digitize, and study Mississippi’s unique culinary heritage. Over the course of the next year, the first twenty cookbooks will be made available online with accompanying profiles of the communities that produced these cookbooks. We are also developing essays, new recipes, and other materials that will help scholars and the public to make the most of the cookbook collection.

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