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UNLV Libraries Announce New Digital Collection, Menus: The Art of Dining

By Cory Lampert on September 10, 2010 2:50 PM | Permalink
The University Libraries are pleased to announce the launch of a new digital collection:

Menus: The Art of Dining

Cafe Royal, menu resized.jpgThe LSTA-grant funded, Menus: The Art of Dining digital collection provides a unique look at culinary trends, cultural history, and graphic design for more than a century.

The UNLV Libraries' menu collection is one of the largest and most significant menu collections in the United States. The majority of menus selected for this digital project came from the Bohn-Bettoni Collection, which consists of American, European, and Canadian menus dating from 1870-1930. Complementing the delicate turn-of-the-century menus, over 250 Las Vegas menus collected over the past forty years provide visual contrast and historical insight into the larger story of Las Vegas dining and the restaurants that played a part in the city's history. 

The project contains over 1500 digitized menus and beverage/wine lists reflecting a wide spectrum of dining including: dining on trains and ships, gourmet restaurants and notable hotels,  special events and holidays. Many of the menus are made in a variety of special constructions, with interesting graphic elements and exotic and unusual materials.

Menus, like book covers, are works of design and art and are primary sources for students of art and design, commercial artists and designers, restaurateurs, and hotel/hospitality programs and schools. They are designed to appeal and attract, and to invite and promote dining, fine or otherwise. Sometimes taken for granted, they are an important part of our cultural life.

Notably, this collection also features several interactive features allowing users to rate individual menus, add user tags, comment on items and even share a story of their experiences and memories of dining.

For more information about the collection, or to share your comments, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at

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