Cooking up a story – new Level 12 display

Our current display on Level 12 includes a 400-hundred year old manuscript on alchemy, a 19th century cookbook and a writer’s notebook from the 1960s. What links them is that they all contain recipes (of sorts).

Antonio Neri’s ‘di Alchimia’ c 1599 has wonderful illustrations and includes instructions for all kinds of medical, culinary and chemical processes. It’s one of many manuscripts and books collected by John Ferguson (1838-1916), a former Professor of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow.

More unexpectedly is a formula for making fireworks in one of Alasdair Gray’s notebooks, used to draft his influential novel Lanark (published 1981). Our most traditional offering is a handwritten cookbook by Anna Whistler (1804-1881). Her artist son, James McNeill Whistler, was very appreciative of her cooking and we’ve contributed a couple of her cake recipes to the Edible Archive project.

See Special Collections opening hours for when you can drop in to see the display.

Categories: Special Collections

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1 reply


  1. The Mysteries of Nature and Art « University of Glasgow Library

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