Katherine Golden Bitting Collection on Gastronomy (Library of Congress)
"Between 1939 and 1944 Dr. Arvill Wayne Bitting presented to the Library of Congress the 4,346-volume gastronomic collection assembled by his wife, Katherine Golden Bitting (1868-1937), food chemist for the Department of Agriculture and the American Canners Association and author of nearly fifty pamphlets and articles on food preservation and related topics. To facilitate her investigations, as the Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress (1940) states, she collected "materials on the sources, preparation, and consumption of foods, their chemistry, baterriology, preservations, etc., from earliest times to the present day." The Bitting Collection containing numerous English and American publications on food preparation from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and a sampling of notable French, German, and Italian works. American regional cooking is well-documented. The treasure of the collection is a mid-fifteenth century Italian manuscript entitled "Libro de arte coquinaria" of Maestro Martino which was a source for the earliest printed cookbook, Platina's De Honesta Voluptate (ca. 1475). Leonard N. Beck discusses the manuscript in his article "Praise Is Due Bartolomeo Platine: A Note on the Librarian Author of the First Cookbook" in QJLC, V.32 July 1975, p. 238-253."