Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Gourmet Magazine is closing and the news is shocking. Emails are flying, Twitter is aflutter, and the petitions have begun. It will be missed greatly, and I feel for all the Conde Nast employees affected by the foldings.

The good news is that the long and illustrious history of Gourmet lives on, in multiple formats, at the Library.

For starters, those interested in seeing a full run of Gourmet Magazine need only come to the 42nd Street Library and request it.

For electronic access to some of the most recent issues (2008 to the present), any New York State resident with a driver's license, state ID card, or library card can access the Library's subscription to ProQuest Platinum from home or work.

The Library also has hard-copies of the original Gourmet Cookbook (1950-1957) on the open shelves of the main reading room; Gourmet's Guide to Good Eating (1957); Naomi Barry's Gourmet: Paris a table (1971); Margaret Costa's Gourmet: London at table (1971); Gourmet Cookbook (1984); Gourmet's Menus for Contemporary Living (1985); Best of Gourmet from 1986 on; Endless Feasts: sixty years of writing from Gourmet (2002); the yellow Gourmet Cookbook (2004); Remembrance of things Paris: sixty years of writing from Gourmet (2004); and History in a glass: sixty years of wine writing from Gourmet (2006), among others.

So while you may mourn the loss of a monthly subscription, or miss the gorgeous covers at your newsstand, feel free to celebrate Gourmet's legacy at the Library. We keep it so that it never goes away.


Justine Heilner said...

This is sad news. But, I read that Ruth Reichl suggested that they donate the in-house library to NYPL (among other places) - I hope so!

Knitting Out Loud said...

Thank you for listing the Gourmet books. I have stacks of Gourmets from the 1970's and 80's which I treasure.

mamster said...

Hi, Rebecca. Thanks for this post. I'm a (now former) contributing writer for Gourmet, and most of my writing appeared on, the magazine's web site. My understanding is that Conde Nast intends to delete the site soon. published hundreds of great pieces of writing that never appeared in the magazine. There's the always hilarious Francis Lam; there's Barry Estabrook's food politics column, which--if it survives--will in the future be the best possible guide to the issues ethical eaters were thinking about in this decade. Just before the magazine's demise, published an amazing street food roundup covering cities from Brussels to Zurich. And so on.

Conde Nast owns the copyright to most of the material on the site. (Not mine, I'm happy to say.) Would the NYPL be interested in negotiating the sale or transfer of this material so it can live on? The idea of all of it simply disappearing forever makes me sick--exactly the way I'd feel if Conde Nast somehow had a way to destroy extant printed copies of the magazine.

Please help!

Matthew Amster-Burton