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Yudkin Collection

 John Yudkin Collection

Yudkin CollectionThis collection was compiled by John Yudkin, professor of physiology at the University of London, who was founder of the first university department in the U.K. that taught nutrition at undergraduate level. This is an antiquarian collection devoted to diet and food, which not only provides a deep and detailed look at the history of the subject but also locates it in the wider context of related subjects.
Thus beside several works by Claude Bernard, von Liebig, Lavoisier and others, which illuminate the growth of chemical and physiological knowledge, and thus supply the scientific background, one can also find books that illustrate the broader cultural background, and deal with gastronomy, cooking, serving and table manners and household management. There are also books that provide the social context for diet, nutrition and hygiene, found in works that deal with medicaments, diet and cooking for the poor, military cooking and hygiene and with urban ecology (Parmentier, Cadet de-Vaux, Hassall, etc.). An especially fascinating connection between food, the sciences and society is provided by a series of books that deal with the adulteration of food and drugs and with food and drug analysis, a subject that motivated and was seminal to the rise of analytical chemistry.

The collection goes beyond the history of modern western society to include works and early prints by Greek, Muslim and Christian authors and physicians from the Renaissance, the Middle Ages and even back to the Hellenic period. These are dietetic and therapeutic works of 'regimen sanitatis', Materia Medica, and recipe books (Ibn-Butlan, Bacon, Al-Razi, Cardano, Galen, Porphyry).
Significant as it is for scholars and researchers in the relevant fields of the history of food, diet and nutrition, the Yudkin collection is also a treat for anyone interested in the complex history of science, medicine, society, culture and their interactions.
John Yudkin 1910 - 1995
John Yudkin 1910 - 1995
Professor John Yudkin, an internationally recognized pioneer of the science of nutrition, was born and raised in London, to a Jewish family that had fled the Russian pogroms of 1905.
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