Key Ingredients


     During 2008 and 2009, The Center for Public History partnered with the Georgia Humanities Council to assist with the Smithsonian exhibit Key Ingredients: America by Food. The traveling exhibit celebrated America’s distinctive foodways as a crucial and vibrant part of our national culture. As part of the Federation of State Humanities Councils’ Museum on Mainstreet program, Key Ingredients traveled to twelve towns in rural areas of Georgia where communities enjoyed the exhibit and contributed their memories, experiences, and recipes to a growing body of research on Georgia’s culinary traditions.


     Dr. Ann McCleary served as the state scholar for the exhibit tour, and graduate students Kristina Hartmann Ferguson and Katherine Hicks worked as research assistants. In the spring 2008 semester, McCleary, Ferguson, and Hicks visited all twelve of the Georgia host communities to conduct oral histories and foodways research. Using this research, they authored a catalog on Georgia foodways entitled “Food, Family, and Community: A Collection of Georgia Memories.” This catalog accompanied Key Ingredients on its travels and is available in print from the Georgia Humanities Council.

     The staff at the Center for Public History has also complied an archive of the material generated by the research for the Georgia tour of Key Ingredients. This archive includes oral histories, photographs, recipes, and other documents related to Georgia’s unique foodways as well as the state’s contribution to America’s culinary culture. The collection can be accessed by researchers at the Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia.

Finding Aid for the Key Ingredients Collection
Outline of the contents of the Key Ingredients collection at the Center for Public History.

“Food, Family, and Community: A Collection of Georgia Memories”
The catalog that accompanied Key Ingredients on its Georgia tour.

Historic Photos
A sampling of photos featuring Georgia’s historic food traditions.

Photos of the Georgia Tour of Key Ingredients
A selection of photos from the traveling exhibits stops around Georgia.

A few favorite recipes.

Useful resources for hungry Georgians, including restaurant guides and information

about festivals and fairs that celebrate food.

Georgia Humanities Council
Learn more about the Georgia Humanities Council.

Museum on Mainstreet
The website for the program that made the Georgia tour of Key Ingredients possible.