Guide to the Archives Center Menu Collection

Collection ID:
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
3.5 Cubic feet
4 boxes
Collection consists of restaurant menus ranging from 1937 to 2016 from the Unites States, Canada, as well as cruise ships.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
A collection of resetaurant menus from 1937 to 1999, but with the majority from the 1950s. While a large number are from California, especially the Los Angeles area, the menus come from twenty U.S. states, plus the Virgin Islands, Canada, and a few are from cruise ships. The menus tend to be picturesque or have colorful illustrations. Cowboy and western themes are emphasized and some of the menus are in novel or odd shapes. Some menus from famous restaurants are included such as Palmer House in Chicago, Old Original Bookbinders in Philadelphia, and Tavern on the Green in New York.

Collection is arranged alphabetically by restaurant name into file comprising 1 series.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Largely from the 1950s, these menus are evidence of American imagery, food prices, and food culture.

Processing Information
Collection processed by Holly Nelson.
Holly Nelson
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Archives Center Menu Collection, 1937-1999, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Donors to this collection include unknown donor, Brian H. Ford and The Morris Communications Company.

Custodial History
Custodial History
The collection was sent anonymously and unsolicited to the National Museum of American History in 2016. In 2017, Brian H. Ford donated an addition to this collection. Also in 2017, the Morris Communications Company donated an additional two cubic feet of menus gathered as part of research on the Washington, D.C. restaurant scene.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Cruise ships Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fans (costume accessories) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Menus Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Postcards Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Restaurants Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012