Collecting Recipes is an online project based around the digitisation and transcription of cookery book manuscripts from (roughly) 1700-1945. It aims to unearth the lives of the owners, makers, and contributors of manuscript cookery books with the support of the public.

The website allows for the display of digital facsimile of the manuscripts plus accompanying historical information on their maker(s) and owner(s). The public is invited to transcribe the texts in the manuscripts either manually or with the help of tools such as Transkribus (see Guidelines). Translations of the recipe texts and the history of the manuscripts into English are provided by the public to ensure a wider accessibility of the texts. Participants also ensure quality control by proofreading the transcriptions and translations. Everyone is welcome to send in manuscripts or digital versions of manuscripts, and due to the participation of the public, there are no limits to geographic and linguistic origins of the material. Every text is credited to the person(s) who contibuted.

The project invites everyone who is interested in historical recipes, as well as those who are interested in older manuscripts, microhistory, and the history of food to contribute. It is also aimed towards people who know a lot about digitisation, crowdsourcing and open access. In the future, Collecting Recipes will provide material for linguists, historians, food historians, scholars of women’s and gender studies, chefs and everyone who is interested in food.

Collecting Recipes is not-for-profit and aims to provide an accessible, collaborative platform for manuscript cookery books that belongs to the community of contibutors.

Since 2022, Collecting Recipes is part of The Society for the Collection of Recipes.