Richmond Eats!: Richmond Library Pilots Citywide Menu Archive

Categories: SF Food History
Thanks to a post today on the Richmond District blog, SFoodie learned about Richmond Eats! a five-day project that the Richmond branch of the SF Public Library has embarked on in conjunction with the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that is building an online archive for historical texts and images, video, audio, and software.

From June 1 through June 5, the library is asking anyone who has historical materials related to Richmond District restaurants ― photographs, menus, recipes ― to bring them to the branch to be scanned.

The staff will make Russian and Chinese translators available, and the scanning shouldn't take too long. You can find more info on what they're looking for on the project's FAQ page.

According to Terry Carlson, the branch's adult services manager, Richmond Eats! is a pilot program. Once the Internet Archives processes all the data it receives and comes up with a template for making that information available to researchers and the general public, Carlson says, the project will roll out the program to other neighborhoods and branch libraries.

The possibilities are enticing: a massive, easily searchable archive of menus and photographs documenting the evolution of San Francisco food culture from 1850 to today. We'll keep you abreast as the project rolls out to other neighborhoods. No go hunt through your scrapbook for pictures from parties your parents held at the Russian Bear back in the day.

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