About our recipe books


How to use our full-text searchable images

We are working to digitize every manuscript recipe book in our collection: these images are made available for viewing and download through our digital image collection We are also in the process of transcribing all recipe books, which are text searchable. Vetted semi-diplomatic transcriptions appear in the transcription tab, below the image viewer, on page image records.

The texts are not modernized and so you are encouraged to search multiple spellings of the word or phrase you are searching. To expand your search, see our suggestions for alternate spellings.

How to use our PDF reading copies

Each transcription has been made into a PDF reading copy for easy reading. These PDFs are downloadable and text searchable, and can be annotated with a PDF editor.

How to use our resources for research and teaching

Our images and transcriptions (available both in plain text file and PDF reading copy formats) are freely available and can be repurposed with acknowledgement of the Folger Shakespeare Library.



We are grateful to the Pine Tree Foundation for supporting the digitization of the entire recipe book collection at the Folger. We also acknowledge the work of our Photography and Digital Imaging team, past and present, including Julie Ainsworth, William Davis, Erica Hamilton, Denny Henry, Melanie Leung, and Christine Naulty.


Heather Wolfe led the crowdsourcing transcription effort. A dedicated group of volunteers from Zooniverse's Shakespeare's World, the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective (EMROC), Folger docents, and Folger paleography courses have created full transcriptions of every digitized recipe book; these volunteers are credited individually on the Transcribers page.

Each transcription undergoes a process of vetting, an effort that is led by Nicole Winard and Robert Tallaksen, with support from Elisabeth Chaghafi, Sara Butterfass Schliep, Stephen Schmidt, and Heather Wolfe.

After vetting, the transcriptions are prepared for release in various digital forms. Emily Wahl has made the transcriptions available through full-text search in Luna, our digital image database. As part of the Mellon-funded Before ‘Farm to Table’: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures initiative in collaborative research, research fellow Elisa Tersigni has encoded the documents, cleaned the data, and transformed our transcriptions into semi-diplomatic PDF reading copies, using an XSL style sheet created by Michael Poston.


This page was prepared by Jonathan MacDonald, Elisa Tersigni, and Heather Wolfe, with assistance from Rachel Dankert.

Support and Direction

This project has been supported by the EMROC Steering Committee, including Rebecca LaRoche, Elaine Leong, Hillary M. Nunn, Jennifer Munroe, Margaret Simon, Lisa Smith, and Amy Tigner; the Folger’s Before ‘Farm to Table’: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures team, including Jack Bouchard, David Goldstein, Amanda Herbert, Kathleen Lynch, Elisa Tersigni, Neha Vermani, Michael Walkden, and Heather Wolfe; and Dumbarton Oaks intern, Julia Fine.