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Food Studies in Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books: Introduction to the Guide

Guide created by Tal Nadan & Kyle Triplett

This research guide provides an introduction to food studies material in the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book collections of the New York Public Library. Archives and manuscripts are typically unpublished records, and rare books are printed works.

Food and taste are both shared experiences and deeply personal. This guide offers suggestions on how to approach these topics through primary sources. However, there is no wrong way to get started - research is a journey!

Table of Contents

  • Home Cookingmaterials related to obtaining and preparing food in the home
  • Dining Out: collections with materials about restaurants and dining experiences
  • Beverages: material about potables and drinking culture
  • Images & Illustrations: visual materials to inspire creative projects
  • Access: browsing materials and scheduling a visit 
  • Other Resourcesmore resources at other NYPL divisions and research centers, as well as other institutions

Highlights of the Collections

Black-and-white photograph of the Automat pick up counter at 977 Eighth Avenue, 1959

Robert F. Byrnes collection of automat memorabilia

Arion's menu for a Grand Masquerade Ball at Madison Square Garden

New York Public Library menu collection

Photograph of a spread of food including caviar at the Romanian restaurant at the 1939 New York World's Fair

New York World's Fair 1939 and 1940 Incorporated records