Special Collections Division

Printable copy

Finding Aid to the Historic Menus Collection, 1962-2008 (bulk dates: 1970-1979)

Processed by Chad Leinaweaver, September 2008.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Historic Menus Collection
Dates: 1962-2008 (bulk: 1970-1979)
Extent: 1.17 lin. ft. (1 flat box and 1 oversized folder)
Abstract: A collection of over 70 menus annotated by the donor from various restaurants in New York City, New Jersey, Florida, Montreal, San Francisco, and other locales.
Provenance: Gift, in part, of Thomas Murray, April 2008.
Collection Call Number: Fine Prints P213:(1-76) (Menu Box)
Preferred Citation: Historic Menus Collection, Special Collections Division, Newark Public Library.

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Restrictions on Access

Access Restrictions

Available by appointment only.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

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Scope and Content

Thomas C. Murray began collecting menus of the restaurants he visited in the 1960s. He visited restaurants of a variety of cuisines including standard American fare, but also Italian, German, French, Spanish and even Swedish and Hungarian. Some of the restaurants he tried were in New York City, but he also made trips to many other places including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and even London, Ireland and Istanbul. He also dined in South Florida, particularly Miami Beach and Palm Beach.

Not only did he obtain copies of menus from these restaurants, but he also annotated them with the date he attended the restaurant (most of the visits were in the 1970s), some mention of who joined him (co-workers, friends, etc.), the occasion if any (an aunt’s birthday, etc.), and sometimes even a markings of what he ordered. Many times, he had other people sign the menu with him. In some instances these signatures are of friends or colleagues wishing him well at a congratulatory dinner, but often the signatures are of a restaurant owner or staff. In most cases if the restaurant or city was not readily identifiable, Murray also wrote this on the menu.

The remaining menus in the collection were culled from miscellaneous incomplete and uncataloged collections of menus in the Newark Public Library over the past 50 years. This portion of the collection is open and future menus may be added.

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Series Descriptions

This collection is organized into three series grouped by the donor and also by size.

Series I. Menus collected by Thomas Murray, 1968-2002 (bulk, 1970-1979).

Consists of annotated and dated menus collected solely by Thomas Murray from restaurants in New York, San Francisco, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Montreal and other cities.

Series II. Miscellaneous menus, 1965-2000

Consists of menus collected by the Newark Public Library that were formerly uncataloged or part of other, smaller institutional collections.

Series III. Oversized menus, 1962-1972.

Consists of several menus collected by Thomas Murray and another collected by the Newark Public Library and formerly part of the Picture Collection.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.

Subject Names:

Murray, Thomas C.

Subject Topics:

Restaurants--California--San Francisco
Restaurants--Florida--Miami Beach
Restaurants--Florida--Palm Beach
Restaurants--New Jersey
Restaurants--New York (State)--New York
Restaurants--Quebec (Province)--Montreal
Restaurants--Washington, D.C.

Document Types:


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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.

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Container List

Series I. Thomas Murray Menus

1 Petite Marmite (Palm Beach, Fla.) American and Italian 1973
2 Casa Delmonte (New York?) Italian 1970
3 Texas Lone Star (London) Cocktail list ca. 1970-1990
4 Old Hook Inn (Emerson, N.J.) Wine list 1978
5 The Deer Head's Inn (Elizabethtown, N.Y.) German ca. 1965-1990
6 Portofino (West Orange, N.J.) Italian 1978
7 Spanish Tavern (Newark, N.J.) Spanish 1973
8 Henry Sampler's Filet Mignon (New York) American steak and seafood 1972
9 El Faro 72 (New York) Spanish 1973
10 Lou Vaccaro's Italian 1970
11 Lisbon Lounge (JFK Airport, New York) American 1970
12 Doherty's (Palm Beach) American 1973
13 Chiji's (Tampa, Fla.) Tex-Mex 1984
14 Le Traianon (San Francisco) French 1971
15 Top of the Mark Luncheon (San Francisco) American 1971
16 O'Lun Ney's (New York) Irish 1977
17 The Garden Luncheon (New Hope, Penn.) American 1985
18 [Unknown Restaurant] American seafood 1968
19 Our House Tavern (Freehold, N.J.) American 1983
20 United States Senate Restaurant (Washington, D.C.) American 1974
21 Great Southern Hotel Restaurant (Galway, Ireland) Continental(?) 1972
22 The Irish Pavilion (New York) Irish 1971
23 The Cattleman Enterprise (New York) Southwestern American ca. 1968-1970
24 Les Pyrenees Restaurant (New York) French ca. 1970-1990
25 London Terrace Pub (New York) American 1989
26 Restaurant a la Catalogne (Montreal) French Canadian 1970
27 Diogenes (New York) Greek 1978
28 O'Lunney's (New York) American and Irish ca. 1973-1976
29 Original Vesuvio (Lyndhurst, N.J.) Italian 1971
30 The Penthouse (Philadelphia) Continental and American 1973
31 Caffe Espresso La Bella Ferrara (New York) Italian Cafe 1979
32 Vincents Clam Bar (New York) American and Italian seafood 1979
33 Tadich Grill (San Francisco) American and seafood 1986
34 Top of the Park (New York) Continental and American 1979
35 La Galleria (Scheveningen, Netherlands) Italian 2002
36 El Parador de Jose Luis (Montreal) French Canadian 1972
37 Stockholm Restaurant (New York) Swedish and Italian 1971
38 Italia (Pavillion Italien Al'Expo '67, Montreal) Italian 1967
39 Charlie Brown (N.J.?) American ca. 1973-1976
40 Fraunces Tavern (New York) American 1975
41 Gigi (Miami Beach, Fla.) French 1970
42 Watergate Terrace (Washington, D.C.) Continental ca. 1977-1978
43 Chez Francois (Washington, D.C.) French 1970
44 Desjardines (Montreal) French Canadian and seafood 1970
45 Nando's (Palm Beach, Fla.) Italian and American 1975
46 Pagano's Casa Vecchia (Philadelphia) Italian and American 1971
47 Joe Monahan's American 1971
48 Breakers (Rockaway Beach, N.Y.) American and seafood 1971
49 Grotta D'Oro (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Italian 1971
50 Seamen's Inne (Mystic, Conn.) Seafood 1970
51 EMKE (New York) Hungarian 1977
52 Market Bar and Dining Rooms (World Trade Center, New York) Seafood 1976
53 Lawson Pub (Oceanside, N.Y.) American 1975
54 El Jerez Restaurant (New York) Spanish and Mexican 1979
55 The Cloister (Buffalo, N.Y.) Seafood 1974
56 Claude St.-Jean Restaurant (Montreal?) French 1974
57 Jury's Copper Grill (Dublin, Ireland?) Continental and Irish 1972
58 Molly Malone's Pub Irish ca. 1968-1980
59 Mrs. J's Sacred Cow (New York) French and seafood 1975
60 Henry's (Los Angeles) Continental and Italian 1975
61 Astis (Miami Beach, Fla.) Italian 1973
62 The Pub (Clifton, N.J.) Continental 1970
63 Donaghy's Carriage Inn (Larchmont, N.Y.) German and Continental 1976
64 Donaghy Steak House (Bronx, N.Y.?) Irish and Continental 1980
65 The Library (New York) Continental and American 1979
66 Gallagher's (New York) American 1976
67 Moorings (Toronto) Seafood 1972
68 Castagnola (San Francisco) Seafood 1971
69 Sonny's Italian Restaurant (Miami Beach, Fla.) Italian 1970
70 Du Midi (New York) French 1971

Series II. Miscellaneous Menus

71 Hotel Metropol (Belgrade) Slavic ca. 1960-1980
72 Pera Palas Orient Express Bar (Istanbul, Turkey) Beverage and snack menu ca. 1970-2000
73 Lufthansa Flight dinner/breakfast menu ca. 1985-2008

Series III. Oversized Menus

74 Chesler's (Palm Beach, Fla.) Continental 1972
75 The Playbill (New York) American 1962
76 Maurice's (Palm Beach, Fla.) Italian 1970

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