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James Beard Papers

Call Number



circa 1950-1980, inclusive


Beard, James, 1903-1985


32 Linear Feet
in 31 boxes.

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Biographical Note

James Andrews Beard, world-renowned chef, was born in Portland, Oregon on May 5, 1903. He studied briefly at Reed College in Portland but left in 1923 to join a touring theatrical troupe and pursue a career as an actor and singer. In the mid-1930s he began to supplement his income with catering work, and in 1937 he settled in New York and opened a gourmet food shop, Hors D'Oeuvre, Inc. The work at the shop led to Beard's first book, Hors d'Oeuvres and Canapés, in 1940.

During the war years, Beard served with the U.S. Seamen's Service, establishing sailors' canteens in Rio de Janeiro, Puerto Rico, Panama and Marseille. When he returned to New York he resumed writing cookbooks, publishing prolifically and establishing himself as America's most noted culinary authority. In 1946 he was given his own segment on a pioneering television program, NBC's "I Love to Eat," becoming one of the first TV chefs.

Over the years, Beard contributed articles and columns to numerous magazines, including Gourmet, House and Garden and Woman's Day. In the 1970s he wrote a syndicated newspaper column, "Beard on Food."

In 1955 Beard established the James Beard Cooking School in New York, and for many years he served as a consultant to food producers and restaurateurs.

Beard published over twenty books in his lifetime, among them The Fireside Cookbook, The James Beard Cookbook, Delights and Prejudices, a Memoir with Recipes, and James Beard's Theory and Practice of Good Cooking.

James Beard died on January 21, 1985 at age 81.


This collection is arranged into thirteen series:

Although the collection was partially processed when it arrived at Fales, there was little original order, and no order that could be definitively credited to James Beard. Therefore, some rearrangement was undertaken.

The collection is grouped into twelve series based on type of material. Each series is arranged alphabetically and then chronologically based on the information provided. All original folder titles and arrangements have been maintained. Descriptions are at the folder level.

Scope and Content

This collection contains materials relating to James Beard's professional career as a chef, food writer and cooking instructor, as well as some materials relating to his personal life. Materials include drafts of manuscripts and articles, galley proofs, scripts for television shows, correspondence, date books, itinerary, recipes, cooking lessons, photographs, printed material, clippings and media.

The collection is arranged into 12 series:

Series I: Manuscripts
Series II:Assorted Writing
Series III:Recurring Television Shows and Columns
Series IV: Correspondence
Series V:Personal
Series VI: Recipes
Series VII:Events
Series VIII: Printed Material
Series IX:Clippings
Series X:Miscellaneous
Series XI: Photographs
Series XII: Media

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections,, 212-998-2596.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); James Beard Papers; MSS 263; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.


The collection was donated to NYU Libraries in 2008 by The American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming.

Related Materials

James Beard Collection (MSS.139)

Cecily Brownstone Papers (MSS.134)

Les Dames d'Escoffier New York Archive (MSS.150)

Collection processed by

Ashley Todd

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2024-02-06 14:18:35 -0500.
Language: Description is in English.


Fales Library and Special Collections
Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012