Manuscripts and Special Collections

Heritage Open Day 2021

Friday 10th (00:01) - Sunday 19th September 2021 (23:59)

Colour illustration of a beehive surrounded by bees, with Latin text around the edges, taken from the front of an 18th century recipe book

Health, Wealth, and Tastiness

Video: Health, Wealth and Tastiness 

What links mad dogs and mint?

Why did 18th century aristocrats take pineapples to parties?

Join us as we condense 400 years of food history into this 30 minute online talk inspired by the archives and rare books at the University of Nottingham. It will look at handwritten family recipe books, greengrocers’ bills, and diaries to see what people actually ate and how food was used as a status symbol - and also as a cure.

Food and medicine were inextricably linked for hundreds of years, and a mix of documents as varied as home remedies and official military hospital reports show the, sometimes fraught, relationship between health and diet. Certain foods were considered nutritious and wholesome but some foods – and drink! – were considered the root of societies’ ills, and became the subject of pamphlets, sermons, and fad diets.  

Instead of a physical event, due to the uncertainly about Covid restrictions, we're offering a free online record talk instead.  There is no need to register, no limit on numbers, and the talk will be available throughout the Heritage Open Days period and beyond. You are welcome to join us at the time that suits you!

Whetted your appetite?

We've tried out a few of the recipes from our collections:



India Curry with Rice

Cheese Rolls

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651