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Happy Thanksgiving from UNLV Special Collections and Archives

By Angela Moor on November 27, 2019 3:30 PM | Permalink

Orange menu from Don the Beachcomber restaurant

Thanksgiving Dinner menu, Don the Beachcomber, Sahara Las Vegas, approximately 1963, UNLV University Libraries Menu Collection, MS-00436

As we at Special Collections and Archives get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families and friends, we’d like to share some menus of Las Vegas Thanksgiving dinners from years past and express our gratitude for the hard work across our division this year that has made the UNLV University Libraries Menu Collection open for research.

Over the summer, we received a generous donation from Mark and Marianne Haley that allowed us to hire five undergraduate students to process this large collection of menus. Chriziel Childers, Kyle Gagnon, Lauren Paljusaj, Mary Anilao, and Paola Landaverde formed an excellent team and exceeded all of our expectations. With support from Special Collections and Archives staff, the students were able to sort, organize, and house the menus. The collection consists of 187 boxes and measures 121 cubic feet, and the completed finding aid is 334 pages long!

The UNLV Libraries Collection of Menus is a rich collection that contains menus dating from 1852 to 2010. The menus cover a wide variety of dining experiences from take-out to high-end experiences. The collection shows differences in cuisine across the United States and the world and also traces changing tastes and norms throughout the twentieth century. The Las Vegas menus offer a glimpse into the growth of the city and the restaurants opened by local Las Vegans. We are grateful to the many donors who contributed menus to the collection and made it so diverse and rich.

Light brown menu in shape of turkey from the Sands

Thanksgiving Menu, front, the Sands 1957, UNLV University Libraries Menu Collection, MS-00436

Inside of Thanksgiving menu, shaped like turkey

Thanksgiving Menu, the Sands, 1957, UNLV University Libraries Menu Collection, MS-00436

Single page Thanksgiving menu with drawing of turkey.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu, Congo Room, Hotel Sahara, approximately 1960s, UNLV University Libraries Menu Collection, MS-00436

Single page menu listing Thanksgiving dinner with winking woman pilgrim drawing at top

Thanksgiving Dinner menu, Caravan Room, Hotel Sahara, approximately 1966, UNLV University Libraries Menu Collection, MS-00436


Earlier menu blogs posts:

Introduction to the Menu Project by Angela Moor
If You’re Game by Mary Anilao
The Restaurant of the Counterculture by Chriziel Childers
Snapshots of America by Kyle Gagnon
An Unexpected Memory by Paola Landaverde
The Golden Age of Auto Travel by Lauren Paljusaj