This LSTA-grant funded digital collection brings together a wide assortment of menus selected from the Bohn-Bettoni Collection and the Las Vegas Menus Collection. The project contains over 1500 digitized items, including domestic and foreign menus from the 19th and 20th centuries. This project also includes menus from trains, airlines, ships, banquets, and other special events and holidays.
Menus provide a wealth of information beyond their purely aesthetic value and are a particularly rich resource for aspects of cultural and social history. They give us information on the most popular cuisine of a time period and region and are evidence of changing culinary tastes. They can indicate how particular food items have been used regionally, and in the case of notable restaurants can provide evidence of the work of well-known chefs. Design-wise they are examples of the graphic design elements illustrative of a particular historical time period. For students of menu design they can serve as examples of graphic design, placement and layout. Last but not least, they have a purely nostalgic value for those persons who have visited a particular restaurant or hotel and want to re-live that experience by reading through the menu.