person making food in the kitchen
January 18, 2022

While looking through library shelves you are bound to find treasures, from the latest suspense novel to historic documents. Part of NDSU Libraries’ mission is to collect NDSU publications and make them accessible, and some of our oldest treasures come from NDSU Extension. From detailed reports to handy brochures, these publications provide a glimpse into the history of NDSU research and agricultural practices.

NDSU Extension covered a fantastic variety of topics including how to deal with plant diseases, working with livestock, and how to make your own underwear. Of all these publications, the ones that are the most accessible today are the cookbooks. Although you want to avoid old canning techniques, many of the recipes are easy to reproduce and provide an inviting taste of history.

Recipes from Many Lands Furnished by North Dakota Homemaker's Clubs is featured in a recent article “Prairie Fare: Exploring Recipes from Many Lands” by Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension food and nutrition specialist. After receiving an email inquiry about a 1927 cookbook, Garden-Robinson reached out to some NDSU colleagues, including the library. She states, “I wanted to see this cookbook compiled by Dorothy Ayers Loudon. However, I was quite doubtful that I would be able to track down a 95-year-old cookbook…Within a day, I received a scan from the library of the entire cookbook in my email. I nearly fell out of my chair.” She then states, “Old recipes are an amazing connector across time. We all need food to survive, but food is a source of enjoyment that goes beyond nutrition.”

You can search the Libraries’ digital collection of Agricultural Experiment Station & Extension Service on the NDSU Repository or browse the collection at the Main Library, where library staff can help you find these fascinating publications and so much more!

Learn more about how Extension agents bring innovations from NDSU to the community year-round with Extension and Ag Research News.


Home Made Water Bath Canning Outfit. Preservation of Food in the Home. Agricultural Extension Bulletin n. 3. June 1916. North Dakota Agricultural College.