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Northwestern University Transportation Library Menu Collection

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If you cannot view slide 5 Why a Transportation Menu Collection?, use the text version. Please call 800-853-1351 or email librarian@bts.gov for further assistance.

At this point, you may ask, why did the Transportation Library and the University Library choose this collection, of all collections in the library, to go through the costly process that went into this project?

First and foremost there is a major emphasis at Northwestern to uncover hidden collections in the library. This was identified as one of the hidden collections.

Secondly, we needed to show custodial responsibility to the collection received from Mr. Foster. It was fortuitous that we created a finding aid and started the larger project, because when Mr. Foster visited the library, he didnít just stop in the Africana Library to discuss his donation, he detoured into Transportation and asked specifically about the status of the menu collection.

Finally, research value. Roberto Sarmiento wrote in the introduction to the collection that the menus touch on ďart, history, economics, sociology, culinary, and transportation topics [and present] an invaluable picture of the history of commercial air travel.† This collection would be of interest to transportation researchers and historians, culinary historians, sociologists, and travel aficionados.Ē

An important aspect of this particular collection is that itís a resource that can be used by both researchers and the general public. And indeed the interest of the general public in the collection has been in how air transportation has changed for passengers, and especially the fact that airlines once served an extensive menu, and now serve almost nothing.

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