The Alice Statler Menu Collection characterizes the culinary life of San Francisco and Northern California from 1920 through the 1980's. In addition to menus from California restaurants, it contains a large number of menus from throughout the United States. The collection began in the 1960's due to the benefactions of early CCSF librarians and alumni. Early accessions included many rare and beautiful items from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection is currently not growing.
During the 1980's the menu collection was greatly augmented by the accession of menus from the National Restaurant Association Menu Design Awards competition. Through these competitions the Alice Statler Menu Collection has come to hold all of the original menus considered for these awards, many of which appear on the awards competition catalogs compiled by Judi Radice: Menu Design (1985), Menu Design 2 (1987), and Menu Design 3 (1988).
The collection contains 72 feet of material housed in six steel filing cabinets. Menus are loosely organized by location and type of cuisine. It is the intention of the library to eventually digitize the collection and to promote the sharing of information in this area. The 1939 World's Fair Menu Collection is available online. The collection compliments the collection housed at the Los Angeles Public Library on the west coast. Other notable collections include the Menu Collection at Cornell University and What’s on the Menu? At New York Public Library.
To schedule an appointment to view the menus, call the Alice Statler Library, City College of San Francisco at 415-239-3460.