today i visited the Clements Library at the University of Michigan to meet with Jan Longone, the curator of the Culinary History Collection there. if ever there was academic food porn, its this. the collection houses historic cookbooks, menues, pamphlets, posters, advertisements, etc. i'm completely smitten. i'm hoping to do some work with the collection while i'm at school. cataloguing or processing or something. i don't even care. just the opportunity to work with those materials makes me feel all tingly inside. there is so much that you can do with the collection...so many histories ready to be researched. and jan longone is absolutely fabulous. a shortish, rather rotund older woman with a new york accent and an absolute passion for her work. i don't know the word for the female version of avuncular, but she is it. and she has a personal culinary history collection that is ten times the size of the clements collection (and soon to be donated to the library in its entirety!). she dragged me all over the library, through the stacks to show me the monographs, to the reading room to show me what they're working on, into her office to show me the website and cataloguing work. it was hard to not drool on the materials in the collection.
as for food, ann arbor has, thus far, failed to present anything particularly blog-worthy except for mediocre bear at leopolds, the organic brewhouse. its not their fault, necessarily, and sometimes the beer turns out really well. just not this batch. tonight i'm going on a "pub crawl" with the ALA (that would be the American Library Association) student chapter which should be kickin'. there's nothing quite like a bunch of librarians and librarians-in-training stumbling around boozing it up. yee haw!