Thanksgiving Showcase

An Archives Thanksgiving Showcases Breadth of Materials Related to Food Culture in the Beinecke Library Collections

While no food or beverages are ever allowed in the Beinecke Library’s reading room or classrooms, the collections are full of a veritable feast of manuscripts, printed material, objects, and ephemera related to eating and drinking (all in addition to the hundreds and hundreds of cookbooks). Beinecke staff showcased some of these delicious items in time for Thanksgiving 2017 (watch some highlights on the Beinecke Library YouTube channel), with a special pop-up table display of relevant materials from the archives, including:
  • Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961
    • YCAL MSS 76, Box 164; Pottery plates.  2 plates Gertrude Stein had made for Carl Van Vechten at the local pottery near Bilignin where she lived. Each: 9 inches diameter. One inscribed "Rose is a rose is a rose is a" and "for Carlo" One inscribed "for Carlo" with branch and flower motif.
  • Patriotic dishware imprinted with Kipling's poem, The absent-minded beggar
  • The tyrants foe, the peoples friend.
  • Western Americana transfer china collection
    • WA MSS S-3018; 7 plates, 2 cups, 1 saucer. A collection of ten pieces of transferware made by manufacturers in England, France, and Austria, which had been decorated with images related to the American West before being exported to the United States. Box 1 contains Nauvoo Temple soup plate. Box 2 contains four French plates. Box 3 contains Texian Campaigne and Baranoff Castle plates. Box 4 contains two cups and one saucer.


Drinking glasses/mugs/cups
  • Patriotic dishware imprinted with Kipling's poem, The absent-minded beggar
  • The thing. Issue 11 / Chris Johanson.

Napkins and linens
  • Visionaire. no. 22, Chic / Stephen Gan, Cecilia Dean, James Kaliardos ; guest editor Mario Testino ; design Florentino J. Pamintuan, Greg Foley ...
  • Sara and Gerald Murphy papers
    • YCAL MSS 468, Box 80; Metal napkin rings, Plastic napkin rings, Hand-carved rabbit napkin ring; Box 82; White lace linens, Yellow tea towels monogrammed "S.M.", Table runner and circular place mats used by Murphys while living in Antibes, Tablecloths

Other tableware and materials for centerpieces
  • Jubilation by Sande Wascher-James, 2012
  • Autumn, McLoughlin Bro’s, 1884
    • Folio Shirley 56: features a pop-up illustration consisting of two free-standing paper panels and p. [1] of the sheet representing nine children amusing themselves outdoors apple picking, sitting on a bench, and riding a seesaw.
  • Les beaux magasins, en relief / illustrations de Jo. Zagula.
    • 2006 +100; six pop-up double-page illustrations, each of a store with figures of children among the customers; text in the foreground of each ill. describes the experiences of the children visiting the stores. Stores include a flower shop, a book shop, a bakery, a butcher, a grocery store and a pet store.
  • A la case de l'oncle Tom, cafés et thès.
    • Shirley 5314; 1 sugar packet from a coffee and tea establishment in Geneva, Switzerland, with an illustration of Harriet Beecher Stowe's character, Uncle Tom, on both sides.
  • Sara and Gerald Murphy papers
    • YCAL MSS 468; Box 79, Forbes Silver Plate Company sugar bowl, Wooden bowl; Box 80, Jiggers in leather case, Silver juicer, Silver and glass juicer, Bottle opener, Green handled bottle opener, Green handled corkscrew, Jackknife bottle opener and corkscrew, Cork with metal handle; Box 81, Hand carved toothpicks; Box 85, Circular cutting board with handle

  • Ahwahnee Hotel menus, with photographs by Ansel Adams.
    • Zc72 938ah; 6 menus from the Ahwahnee Hotel from October 4-7, 1938. Each menu is 4 unnumbered pages, with unnumbered page 1 having a photograph by Ansel Adams, unnumbered page 2 blank, unnumbered page 3 having the menu, and unnumbered page 4 having a description of the Yosemite National Park scene depicted in Adams's photograph, along with the photograph title.
  • Cab Calloway ephemera from the Cotton Club.
  • Collection of restaurant menus.
  • Complimentary dinner to Tommaso Salvini : given at the Hotel Brunswick, New York, April 26, 1883, as a tribute of respect and admiration for his pre-eminent genius as an artist, and especially for his masterly interpretations of Shakespeare.
  • Festmahl zur Feier des 150 jährigen Geburtsfestes von Johann Wolfgang von Goethe im Palmengarten zu Frankfurt a.M. am 28. August 1899.
  • Paradise Garden Fiesta Room : the show place of the nation : Idlewild, Michigan : phone 9021.
    • JWJ Zan P21 948P’ "Menu of liquors & fine wines"--Caption title. A drink menu from the Fiesta Room of the Paradise Garden in Idlewild, Michigan, a resort community for African Americans.
  • To W.E. Burghardt DuBois.
    • JWJ Zan D853 +N924T; Menu and program of "Dinner in honor of Dr. W.E. Burghardt DuBois, Café Savarin, New York, N. Y., April 13, 1924." Contains tributes by Witter Bynner, Zona Gale, Eugene O'Neill, Countée P. Cullen, and Scudder Middleton.

by Nancy Kuhl
November 17, 2017


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