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Fred Harvey Company Archive

Fred Harvey: Branding the Southwest exhibit (2015-16)

The Fred Harvey Company Collection (MS 280) is the most accessed collection in Special Collections and Archives. In 2015, the Archives based it's annual exhibit on the material from the collection  to tell the story of the Fred Harvey Company, and the development of tourism in the American southwest. The exhibit covered the history of the company, but largely focused upon the grand hotel era.  The exhibit:  Fred Harvey:Branding the Southwest explored a wide array of topics including: the buildings and architecture of the company; architect and decorator Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter; Food, menus and recipes as examples of Fred Harvey cuisine; the art of the Fred Harvey Company; the Harvey Girls (including the movie); the Grand Hotels; Indian Detours and more. The exhibit was in place in Special Collections for one year. The digital exhibit however remains a valuable tool for researchers, and as an introduction to the Fred Harvey phenomena.

El Navao Hotel, Gallup, NM menu [nm280g000s003b003f069i0002]            

Colorodo Plateau Digital Archives-Fred Harvey related material

The Colorado Plateau Digital Archives contains more than 700 items from the Fred Harvey Company. Below are some sample searches on a variety of topics:

  • Hotels- See examples of documents and images from Fred Harvey Hotels (photos and documents). These images, postcards, advertisements and more illustrate the style of Fred Harvey establishments, and reflect the company's vision of the southwest.
  • Menus- See examples of Fred Harvey company menus from the 1890s all the way up to the 1960s.The menus explore American food traditions across 8 decades of quality food service. The menus demonstrate not only the wide array of food in the Fred Harvey American cuisine, but also the powerful relationship Fred Harvey Company had with railroads to be able to supply and offer a wide array of foods all across the nation.
  • Harvey Girls (photos, art, etc.)- The Fred Harvey company literally created a "third profession" (after teaching and nursing) for women in America offering travel, reasonable pay, professionalism, room and board and more.
  • El Tovar Hotel, Grand Canyon (images, menus, documents). Perhaps one of the most well-known Fred Harvey establishment- as old as the greatest National Park.
  • Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and the Fred Harvey Company- Colter was hired by the company to create the company's vision of what the American southwest was. From Santa Fe to Albuquerque to the Grand Canyon to Winslow and Gallup and beyond, Colter's vision was made real for the traveling public through the execution of whole buildings, building renovations, remodels and the backstories she created for them.
  • Recipes -La Fonda, El Tovar, the Santa Fe Super Chief- See some of the working menus and public offerings from various Fred Karvey kitchens.
  • Art- see examples of material owned, marketed and sold by Fred Harvey Company (photos, documents, correspondence)
  • Fred Harvey "Detours" (photos, documents, menus)- The "Detours" expanded the role of the company's southwestern stops to include automobile and bus transportation away from the railroad hotels to Native American reservations to witness ceremonies and arts and crafts; to more remote National Parks and more, further defining the region for the traveling public.


MS 280 Fred Harvey Company Records 1889-2005 Finding Aid

Linked here is the Finding Aid to the Fred Harvey Collection housed in Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives. Use this tool to discover the material availble in this collection on-site. The finding aid is broadly arranged by topic, but is also keyword searchable. Use the "How to Use Arizona Archives Online" link to the left to find Fred Harvey Collection finding aids at other institutions in Arizona.


Fred Harvey Transportation ticket from El Tovar to Hermit's Rest [nm280g000s001b014f081i0026]

More Fred Harvey Company Information-Other Sources:


Fred Harvey Museum, Leavenworth, KS.

Fred Harvey Museum, Perris, CA.

Kansas Historical Society, Topeka, KS

Belen Harvey House Museum, Belen, NM

Other Fred Harvey Collections:

MS-301 Fred Harvey Company Collection, 1881-2005, Museum of Northern Arizona

AZ 326 Fred Harvey Collection, 1896-1945, University of Arizona

RC 1 Fred Harvey Company Photographic Collection, CA.1900 - CA.1950, Heard Museum