Who Has the Largest Cookbook Collection?

October is National Cookbook Month, so we’re thinking about cookbooks, and will be posting about them all month here on Center of the Plate.

We thought we had a lot of cookbooks, but the Guinness Book of World Records claims that Sue Jimenez has the largest collection of cookbooks – 2970 – in her New Mexico home.

But New York University’s Fales Library Food Studies Collection contains more than 55,000 books at last check, and all of them are about food. This is the largest collection of its type in the United States, and a valuable resource for food researchers, writers, and of course, serious cooks.


The Fales Library inherited all 3,500 cookbooks from Gourmet magazine’s library (closed in 2009), and acquired 21,000 books about food and cooking from George and Jenifer Lang, the owners of Café des Artistes in 2011. Read more about this special book collection here.

Do you collect cookbooks? Or do you prefer to use a tablet, or other device, to find recipes online? Tell us your preferred method of finding recipes in the comments, or start a chat on social media. Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Featured photo: Paige_Eliz, Flickr

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Bonnie C. says:

    Long-time big-time cookbook collector here. Haven’t counted, but probably in the several-hundred zone. Everything from old first editions to the new guys. Enjoy reading them like most folks read a good novel. While I also keep a large number of recipes stored on my computer, love just pulling a book off the shelf & using it like a “cookbook of the month” for my weekly recipe planning.

  2. D'Artagnan says:

    Well, this is your month then, Bonnie! That sounds like a great collection of cookbooks. We can certainly relate.There’s nothing so nice as delving into a cookbook – old or new.

  3. Hi…I just found your site when I saw my name mentioned. I still have the Guinness World Record for largest collection of cookbooks, as far as I know, however, the collection has grown exponentially since the official tally of 2,970 in July, 2013. It currently stands at 5,578 and will continue to grow until I run out of shelves! Great article.

    1. D'Artagnan says:

      Thank you for the update! We assumed your collection continued to grow. 5,578 volumes?! Now that’s impressive. Keep cooking – and collecting!

    2. FYI, the collection now stands at 6,372. Check out this interview if you’re interested in the history of my collection, which was just posted this past week: http://www.seriouseats.com, under the features “Obsessed” column by Sho Spaeth. Thanks!

      1. D'Artagnan says:

        Thank you for posting the link. We read the article and loved learning more about you and your growing collection. Hats off to you, Sue!

  4. Well, here I am nearly at the end of July, 2017 and about to approach 6,000 cookbooks (of course, “unofficial”, since the 2013 Guinness World Record). I’m obsessed (but I’m not a hoarder, at least I don’t think so!) What’s great is that people who have read/heard about my collection occasionally call to “donate cookbooks to a good home”. Who was it who said, “go big or go home”?

    1. D'Artagnan says:

      Thanks for the update! We are astounded at your growing cookbook collection, and have no doubt that you will continue to hold the world record!

      1. Guess what….passed the 6,000 mark today. The total currently stands at 6,013. I think I need more bookshelves.

  5. Another update. As of March 5, 2018, the collection now stands at 6,291. Only 709 books away from the magic 7,000!

  6. D'Artagnan says:

    We believe you can make it to 7,000! It’s an impressive effort, and we applaud you!

  7. Sue Jimenez says:

    OK…up to 6,544 cookbooks and still going strong (and still reading cookbooks PLUS….I cook!)

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