Major Collection Given to Providence

Thanks to a generous donation, Johnson & Wales University students in Providence are fortunate to have access to the extraordinary Joan French Cookbook Collection. The personal collection of 13,000 cookbooks of Joan E. French, the late wife of Charles and mother of Mark and Stacie French of Lexington, Mass., was donated to the campus more than a year ago. After an extensive effort of processing, cataloging and shelving the collection, it is now housed in the Culinary Library and the Culinary Arts Museum at the Harborside Campus.

In addition, the French family has generously funded the costs of cataloging and maintaining the collection. The total value of the gift is approximately $200,000. The collection ranges from classic cookbooks to contemporary best sellers, and spans both food and beverage topics.

“From the very day we put the collection on the shelves, they were circulating,” says Barbara Janson of the Culinary Library. “The French Collection provides the university with a genuine flexibility to the university’s culinary collection that we have not known before.” The familiar “sea of blue” book labels designate the Joan E. French Cookbook Collection and can be found in the Culinary Library.

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