About The Collection
UTSA Special Collections is home to the largest collection of Mexican cookbooks in the nation. The Mexican Cookbook Collection includes titles in English and Spanish documenting the variety and history of Mexican cuisine from 1789 to the present, with most books dating from 1940-2000. In addition to broad general coverage, the collection includes concentrations in the areas of:
- regional cooking
- healthy and vegetarian recipes
- corporate advertising cookbooks
- manuscript recipe books.
The core of the collection consists of more than 500 books donated by San Antonio resident Laurie Gruenbeck in 2001. Gruenbeck acquired the cookbooks during her travels in Texas and Mexico over 30 years. Recent additions include UTSA's 2019 acquisition of 11 rare 19th-century Mexican cookbooks from British-Mexican ethno-gastronomer Diana Kennedy as well as the cookbook author's manuscript research collection. The collection continues to grow through purchases and gifts.
How To Access The Collection
UTSA's Special Collections are open to all researchers. UTSA affiliation is not required, but we do ask all researchers to provide a photo ID prior to using our materials. Special Collections materials do not circulate, so materials must be accessed in our Reading Room on the 4th floor of the John Peace Library.
Please contact us to make an appointment.
To view a complete list of the collection in the Library Catalog, conduct a search for "Mexican Cookbook Collection".
For our digitized Mexican cookbooks, visit our Digital Collections.
Manuscript cookbooks are unpublished, often handwritten cookbooks.
San Antonio Cookbooks
Mexican Spirits Collection
In 2017, Tom Christal donated photographs and ephemera related to Mexican spirits in memory of his friend Charles "Cho" Seifert. These materials formed the basis of the Mexican Spirits Collection in UTSA's Manuscript Archives.
UTSA Special Collections holds dozens of rare materials on alcohol in Mexico in the Mexican Spirits Collections. A few examples can be found below.