The widest-ranging existing collection of food-related studies content for students

Please note that this digital resource is not available to institutions in the USA.

  • Bloomsbury Food Library
  • Bloomsbury Food Library
  • Bloomsbury Food Library

Featuring exceptional content from Bloomsbury’s leading publishing program in food studies, this online resource combines comprehensive reference works with cutting-edge academic research, educational resources, and primary materials.

It reflects the interdisciplinary nature of this growing subject, making it an essential resource for students studying food, on courses as wide-ranging as history, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, human geography, sustainability, agriculture, culinary arts, literary studies, political science, and development studies.


  • Global coverage including Ken Albala’s Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia and the Cambridge World History of Food
  • Several major reference works including Bloomsbury’s Cultural History of Food in six volumes and key chapters from Food History: Critical and Primary Sources
  • Over 80 eBooks by key authors in the field including Warren Belasco, Carol J. Adams, Anne Murcott, Rick Wilk, Fabio Parasecoli, and Peter Jackson
  • Image collections from leading institutions around the globe including the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University, USA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA

Access options

IP Authentication, Referring URL, Single sign-on, Username and Password


To find out more about how the different access options work please see our General Access Information.

Usage statistics

Usage statistics are available when you log in to your account via the Bloomsbury Administration Portal

Promotional materials and downloads

Printable posters and web banners are a great way to raise awareness of your new subscription and get students interested! Bloomsbury Food Library have a selection ready to download here.


What content is available in Bloomsbury Food Library?

Bloomsbury Food Library offers cross-searchable access to the full text of several major reference works, including The Cambridge World History of Food, Ken Albala’s Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia in four volumes, Food History: Critical and Primary Sources, a selection of food-related images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, an interactive timeline, and an expanding range of eBooks (over 60 available at launch).

Does the resource cover food history across countries?

The resource offers unrivalled coverage of all aspects of food history from almost every country in the world. Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia is organised by geographic region, with detailed articles that cover each country’s food culture, major foodstuffs and recipes. An interactive world map clearly displays all the relevant content for each continent and country, offering the ability to explore easily by geographic area.

How is ‘food’ defined?

Bloomsbury Food Library features a wide selection of works on food-related studies, from examinations of the history of food in a specific period and culture, to a comparative analysis of contemporary food cultures around the world. Exploring key areas including food systems, food in the media, food justice, power structures in relation to food, and food cultures, the resource has a vast array of research and pedagogy to discover. Using the resource, scholars will understand how food can be used to elucidate how human societies change and interact across time and place. To use Warren Belasco’s words in his Foreword to Food Words (2013): ‘food becomes a way to integrate disparate issues because everything is connected. And thanks to the higher than average quality of food writing, exploring those connections can be innately pleasurable.’

What time period is covered?

The full history of food is covered from prehistoric times to the present day.

Will the resource be updated?

Yes, new and revised content will be added to Bloomsbury Food Library twice a year at no extra charge. Updates will include new primary resource images from museums and collections, curated lesson plans and pedagogical resources, additional eBooks in food history, and more.

What search and browse options are available?

There are multiple ways of navigating the content:

  • The main Search box in the header
  • Advanced Search: search by author name, title, category, or identifier
  • Explore options: browse lists of subjects, schools of thought, regions, and periods
  • Timeline of Thinkers: accessible from the top navigation or the home page, this feature provides an illustrated overview of American, British, and Irish thinkers from 1600 to 2000, with contextual information on events in politics, religion and society, the arts and science, and links to related content

Can items be saved for reading later?

Yes! It’s quick and easy for any authenticated user to set up a personal account to save entries to view later, organise saved items into folders, email and export citations, save searches and set up search alerts.

Follow the link in the header to ‘Sign in to your personal account’: you then have the option to sign in using Google Plus, Facebook or Twitter, or to select ‘Sign up now’ and enter a few personal details (name, occupation, country, email address and password) to create a Personal Account.

Please note you can use the same Personal Account details to sign in on multiple Bloomsbury platforms, including Bloomsbury Popular Music, Drama Online, Churchill Archive and other forthcoming resources.

Can I print and download full text?

Yes, the site content has no DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection, and so it can be printed or saved to personal computers. All use of the site content is subject to our Terms and Conditions: printing and saving should be for personal use, and standard copyright restrictions apply regarding unauthorised copying and distribution.

How do I cite texts from Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophers?

From the content page, click on the ‘cite’ icon to view formatted citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago citation styles. You can also download a file in RIS format for importing into reference manager software. Please note that the original pagination has been preserved from the print editions.

Can Bloomsbury Food Library be accessed on a mobile device?

Yes, the site is responsive, and fully optimised for displaying on a range of tablet and smartphone interfaces. The site has been tested using recent versions of the iPad, iPhone, and Android smartphones and tablets. No web-enabled devices are specifically excluded, and there is no separate mobile site: the site layout adapts automatically depending on the size of the screen.

What browsers are supported?

Bloomsbury Food Library has been tested using Internet Explorer (version 10 onwards), Safari (version 6 onwards), and the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome, on PC, Mac and mobile operating systems. We will continue to monitor usage from different browsers and platforms and revise our list of actively supported browsers and devices accordingly.