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California Menus Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: California Menu Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: M2125
    Physical Description: 1.3 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 2 flat boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1866-1980s
    Date (bulk): early-to-mid 20th century
    Abstract: Collection of menus from California, especially San Francisco and Los Angeles.
    Physical Location: Special Collections and University Archives materials are stored offsite and must be paged 36 hours in advance.
    Language of Material: Most menus are in English, but a few are in French (or an appoximation of it), and the Chinese menus have sections in Chinese.

    Scope and Contents

    A collection of menus from events and restaurants from California, with a few from other states and countries. In all, more than 120 items ranging from 1866 to the 1980s, with most from the early-to-mid 20th century. More than half of the menus have specific dates. Arrangement is approximately geographical from north to south, with series for San Francisco, Los Angeles and the Bohemian Club among others. All items are menus unless otherwise stated; there are also a few advertisements, invitations, and postcards, as well as a set of nametags and a placemat. Condition is generally fair. Many have holes from scrapbook removal as well as rusty paperclip stains. Some silk and other bindings are untied, missing, or disintegrating.
    Highlights include banquet menus from early visits by sitting U.S. Presidents to California, pre-1900 event menus on silk, menus from the 1929 Kyoto Conference, the Panama-California Exposition and Panama-Pacific International Exposition, Disney & 20th Century Fox-related menus from Southern California, and menus from both early and iconic restaurants in SF & LA.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.

    Conditions Governing Use

    While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    This collection was purchased by Stanford University, Special Collections in 2016.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], California Menu Collection (M2125). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Related Materials

    The California Historical Society holds a California Menu Collection (http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8qn68hw). The Los Angeles Public Library also has a menu collection (http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/visual-collections/menu-collection).

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Menus -- California
    Restaurants -- California