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Athena Savas Cookery Collection

1876-2003
1,640 titles (105 linear foot)
Call no.: RB 025

A resident of Springfield, Mass., Athena Savas was a passionate collector who assembled a massive trove of cookbooks over the course of almost forty years.

The Savas Cookbook Collection contains many hundreds of commercially-produced and community cookbooks, primarily from New England. As a collector, Savas was particularly interested in ethnic and regional cookery, but she ranged widely to include corporate cookbooks and works relating to subjects such as waitressing, home entertainment, and restaurants.

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Background on Athena Savas

A resident of Springfield, Mass., Athena Savas was a passionate collector who assembled a massive trove of cookbooks over the course of almost forty years. The third child of Albanian immigrants George and Eva (Gribizis) Savas, Athena was born in Rhode Island in January 1930 and as a young child, followed her father, a Greek Orthodox minister, as he relocated from church to church. By the mid-1930s, the family settled in Holyoke, and then Springfield, where and his family eventually ran a small grocery. The family remained in Springfield even after he took the pulpit in Thomsonville, Conn.

Savas worked as a typist and clerk for many years, attending garage sales and flea markets and haunting bookstores to build a collection of cookbooks. Savas's brother, Milton George Savos (1927-1993), was a longtime professor of entomology at the University of Connecticut.

Scope of collection

The Savas Cookbook Collection contains many hundreds of commercially-produced and community cookbooks, primarily from New England. As a collector, Savas was particularly interested in ethnic and regional cookery, but she ranged widely to include corporate cookbooks and works relating to subjects such as waitressing, home entertainment, and restaurants. The cookbooks are catalogued individually in the UMass Amhersts catalog.

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of Athena Savas, January 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, October 2018.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Athena Savas Cookery Collection (RB 025). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Cooking--Massachusetts

Genres and formats

  • Cookbooks

Link to similar SCUA collections