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Historic Menus Collection

Identifier: P213:(1-76) (Menu Box)

Scope and Contents

This is partly an open collection which at present consists of three series. Series I contains restaurant menus collected mainly in the 1960s and 1970s by Thomas C. Murray, an educator and administrator at Essex Catholic High School. Many of the menus were preserved by Murray as souvenirs of celebrations with co-workers and friends; they often bear dates, signatures of those in attendance and sometimes of restaurant personnel, and other details of the event. Restaurants in New Jersey and New York predominate, but the series also includes menus from Florida, California, Canada and the British Isles. These were presented by Murray to the Newark Public Library in April 2008.

Series II consists principally of menus and similar items gathered from the 1970s to the 2010s by Harriet Kaley. They come from restaurants in the United States (especially New York City), Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Included are specimens of artwork by David Hockney for Ma Maison in Los Angeles and by Julian Lethbridge for Chanterelle in New York City. A chronological exception that came with Kaley's gift is a menu from the Swiss Pavilion at the New York World's Fair in 1939.

Series III contains a handful of menus not part of either the Thomas Murray or the Harriet Kaley donation.


  • 1939 - 2014


1.1 Cubic Feet (2 flat boxes)

Language of Materials



Alejandro, Reynaldo G. Classic Menu Design: From the Collection of the New York Public Library, Glen Cove, NY: PBC International, 1988.
Greenstein, Lou. A la carte: A Tour Of Dining History, Glen Cove, NY: PBC International, 1992.
Heimann, Jim. May I Take Your Order?: American Menu Design, 1920-1960, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1998.
Radice, Judi. Menu Design, Locust Valley, N.Y.: PBC International, 1985.
Radice, Judi. Menu Design 2: Marketing the Restaurant through Graphics, New York: PBC International, 1987.
Radice, Judi. Menu Design 3: Marketing the Restaurant as a Total Graphic Environment, Glen Cover, N.Y.: PBC International, 1988.
Greg Guderian
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, Newark Public Library Repository

5 Washington Street
PO Box 630
Newark NJ 07102 USA