Are you really what you eat?

You Are What You EatNIU’s Regional History Center invites all faculty, staff, students and the public to a grand opening reception for “You Are What You Eat: Cookbooks as Ingredients to Shape Identity and Community.”

The event will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, in Room 400 of Founders Memorial Library.

Light refreshments will be served. Parking is available in the NIU visitors lot located to the west of the library, off Carroll Avenue.

The exhibit explores the way cooking has shaped identity in the northern Illinois region from the 1880s to 1985: Cookbooks and recipes often reveal more than just a list of ingredients. Ethnic recipes help preserve a cultural heritage and demonstrate different cultures that exist in an area. Passing along a favorite family recipe helps keep the memory of family members alive

The exhibit explores how cooking has created a sense of identity in family life, in organizations around the region and at Northern Illinois University.

Curated in conjunction with American Archives Month and the 50th anniversary of the University Archives, the exhibition will be on display through Saturday, Nov. 15, on the first floor of Founders Memorial Library.

Founders Memorial Library signThe NIU University Archives was established in September 1964 with the appointment of J. Joseph Bauxer as the university archivist. In just a few years it expanded to become a depository for state local records (now called Illinois Regional Archives Depository).

In 1979, through a grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities and with the support from the University Libraries and the History Department, the Regional History Center was established to collect the most significant historical records of the northern Illinois region.

American Archives Month, an annual event every October, is a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories around the nation to highlight the importance of records of enduring value.

To celebrate these events and make the exhibit more interactive, the exhibit will also feature replica copies of some recipes for visitors to take home. Visitors are encouraged to make these recipes, share photos and stories or share their own favorite recipes on Facebook throughout the month of October.

For more information, call (815) 753-9394 or email dspalenka@niu.edu.

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