Beinecke’s ‘archives Thanksgiving’ offers feast of collection materials

Beinecke staff toast the holiday seated at a table featuring culinary and other items from the library's collection.
Beinecke staff toast the holiday seated at a table featuring culinary and other items from the library's collection.

While food and beverages are strictly prohibited in the Beinecke Library’s reading room and classrooms, the library’s collections are full of objects, printed items, manuscripts, and other materials related to food culture for readers to feast upon, even beyond the hundreds and hundreds of cookbooks from across many centuries in the stacks.

Beinecke staff showcased some of these culinary objects and other items from the archives recently as they set a special table with collections material in time for Thanksgiving.

The “guests” from the archives included Gertrude Stein, through a mug with her image and two plates made for Carl Van Vechten; Rudyard Kipling, in a set of porcelain tableware inscribed with one of his poems; W.E.B. Du Bois, through a menu and program from a tribute dinner for him in 1923; the Guerilla Girls, through a tea towel; Paloma Picasso, through a napkin in Visionaire magazine; Cab Calloway, through a menu from the Cotton Club; and, Jonathan Edwards, through annotations on a Thanksgiving Proclamation by Connecticut Governor Belcher in 1734.

Other guests at the table included Toots Shor, through a menu from his eponymous New York City restaurant; Sara and Gerald Murphy, through an array of spoons, corkscrews, napkin rings and other items in their papers; Robert Louis Stevenson, through his candle stick holders; Claude McKay, through a napkin; Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, through a menu; George Platt Lynes, through a notebook of his dinner parties, where the guests included Dorothy Parker and W. Somerset Maugham; and many more. The table also included 10 cups from the Cultivating Thought series curated by Jonathan Safran Foer for Chipotle Mexican Grill, as well as a number of items from The Thing Quarterly.

For a full list of the items set for this special Thanksgiving showcase, visit the Beinecke Library website: http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/about/blogs/2017/11/17/thanksgiving-showcase

Media Contact

Michael Morand: michael.morand@yale.edu , 203-432-3056