Monthly Archives: March 2012

Confederate Currency

The Special Collections Department holds many treasures; most items are books and microforms. However, we do have some miscellanea specimens one would not expect to find in our collection. One such holding is our set of Confederate currency. These monetary notes of the Confederate States of America were given to the MU Libraries in 1912 by the U.S. Treasury department as a teaching tool. In all, there are 135 specimens.

Confederate currency was first issued at the beginning of the Civil War and used widely in the South as a legitimate means to purchase goods and services. Some currency was printed by the Confederate States of America as a whole, some by individual states, and some by private banks. The bills in our collection were all issued by the Confederate States of America. Due to various printers, confederate currency tended to vary from printing to printing and state to state. Bills issued by the C.S.A. were hand signed and individually numbered by the Treasurer and Register, however, the duty became taxing with the number of bills produced, so secretaries were hired to sign the bills in later printings. It was not uncommon for notes to be printed on a single side or cut unevenly. Ultimately, by the end of the war, Confederate currency was nearly worthless, in part due to forgery as well as the loss of confidence in the Confederacy.

The following image file numbers correspond to the reference book “Criswell’s Currency Series Vol. 1”, RARE-R HG526 .C7 1957

Posted in Uncategorized

Adopt a Book Program News

Featured below are a couple of the most recent Adopt a Book transformations, courtesy of donors to the Friends of the MU Libraries Adopt a Book Program and conservator Jim Downey.  And of course, there are new books available for adoption as well!

History of the Westminster election (1784) - beforeHistory of the Westminster election (1784) - after

Le Czar Demetrius (1716) - beforeLe Czar Demetrius (1716) - after

Newly available for adoption

Morton (1798) Piozzi (1786) Quintanadueñas (1727) Teresa of Avila (1761)Barbosa (1748)Aretino (1588)

And many more

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Posted in Rare Book Collection

Friday Food: Eliza Leslie’s Recipe for Green Corn Pudding, 1837

Don’t miss the Food Sense symposium this weekend! This is our last Friday Food post.  Eliza Leslie (1787–1858) aspired to be a poet or novelist, but she is best remembered today for her cookbooks.  In 1828, Leslie published her first book, Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats, a collection of recipes she had developed as a cooking school student. Encouraged by its popularity, she went on to publish at least six more titles and established a reputation as the most popular and influential food writer in America.  Directions for Cookery (1837) is considered her most important work.

Leslie was famous for popularizing distinctly American foods, as the following recipe from Directions for Cookery shows.  Her Indian Meal Book (1846) was the first cookbook devoted entirely to corn.

Green Corn Pudding

From Directions for Cookery

Take twelve ears of green corn, as it is called, (that is, Indian corn when full grown, but before it begins to harden and turn yellow,) and grate it. Have ready a quart of rich milk, and stir into it by degrees a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, and a quarter of a pound of sugar. Beat four eggs till quite light; and then stir them into the milk, &c. alternately with the grated corn, a little of each at a time. Put the mixture into a large buttered dish, and bake it four hours. It may be eaten either warm or cold, for sauce, beat together butter and white sugar in equal proportions, mixed with grated nutmeg.

To make this pudding,—you may, if more convenient, boil the corn and cut it from the cob; but let it get quite cold before you stir it into the milk. If the corn has been previously boiled, the pudding will require but two hours to bake.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust

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Posted in Exhibits, Rare Book Collection

Friday Food: Maria Eliza Rundell’s Recipe for Chicken Curry, 1806

Maria Eliza Rundell (1745–1828) didn’t set out to be a domestic goddess. The widow of a surgeon, she collected recipes and household hints for her three married daughters.  John Murray, a prominent publisher, happened to be a family friend, and Rundell gave him her recipe collection as a favor, expecting no financial reimbursement.

Murray published Rundell’s work in 1806 as A New System of Domestic Cookery, and Rundell became a housekeeping superstar, supplanted only by Mrs. Beeton in the 1860s.  The book was an immediate success, especially in the United States, and went through over 65 editions in the next thirty years.  Rundell focused on budget cooking and household management.  Her recipes included dishes such as eel pie and calves’ foot broth, as well as more standard fare.  This week’s recipe is an early example of Anglo-Indian cuisine, fostered by British contact with India through colonization and trade.

Chicken Curry

From A New System of Domestic Cookery

Cut up the chickens before they are dressed, and fry them in butter, with sliced onions, till of a fine colour : or if you use those that have been dressed, do not fry them : lay the joints, cut in two or three pieces each into a stewpan, with veal or mutton gravy, a clove or two of garlick, four large spoonfuls of cream, and some Cayenne : rub smooth one or two spoonfuls of curry powder, with a little flour, and a bit of butter, and add twenty minutes before you serve ; stewing it on till ready. A little juice of lemon should be squeezed in when serving.

Slices of rare done veal, rabbit or turkey, make a good curry.

A dish of rice boiled plain, as hereafter directed, must be always served to eat with curry.

See the full text at the Hathi Trust

Don’t miss Food Sense, the 2012 Life Sciences and Society Symposium, March 16-18.  SCARaB is participating with an exhibition of books on science and nutrition, now open in the Ellis Library Colonnade.

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Posted in Exhibits, Rare Book Collection

New Exhibit! Food Revolutions: Science and Nutrition, 1700-1920

Food RevolutionsFood Revolutions is now on view in the Ellis Library Colonnade.  From the four humors to the discovery of vitamins, this exhibition examines our changing notions of healthy eating over two centuries. Food Revolutions brings together medical books, cookbooks, scientific publications, and dieting texts to illustrate our ongoing quest for health, and our changing relationships with food.

Ingolf Gruen, associate professor in the Department of Food Science, will open the exhibit with a talk entitled “Food Revolutions: How Science Changed the Way We Eat,” on March 6 at 2:30 in the Ellis Library Colonnade.

Food Revolutions will be on display in the Ellis Library Colonnade March 2-29, 2012.

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Posted in Closed Collection, Exhibits, Rare Book Collection
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