Shirley Sarvis papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US US kmk P2013.09

Level of description



Shirley Sarvis papers


  • 1957-2007 (Creation)


19.00 Boxes

Name of creator


Biographical history

Shirley Sarvis was born to George Vernon Sarvis and Wilhelmina Marie Koch Sarvis on February 21, 1935 in Norton, Kansas. Ms. Sarvis graduated from Norton Community High School and went on to Kansas State University to pursue a degree in home economics. After graduating in 1957, Ms. Sarvis moved to Menlo Park, California to begin her career as a food writer. Here, she worked for Sunset magazine from 1957 to 1962, then acted as a freelance food writer from 1962 until 2004, frequently writing for magazines like Woman's Day, Better Homes and Gardens, and Gourmet, among others. During this time, Sarvis gained notoriety as a talented pioneer in wine pairing, widely respected for her excellent palate. Over the years, she became friends with several well-known cooking icons, including James Beard, Julia Child, and Julia’s husband, Paul. Additionally, Ms. Sarvis published almost two dozen cookbooks, among them The Best of Scandinavian Cooking: Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, Women’s Day Home Cooking Around the World, and Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide and taught classes on wine and food pairings.  Shirley Sarvis died on January 17, 2013.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

Shirley Sarvis papers reflect her professional career during the second half of the twentieth century, primarily dated 1960-2005. The collection contains her biography and several personal photos, including those from notable birthdays, family pictures, and some portraits. A large portion of the collection is made up of magazine, newspaper clippings, and other documentation in regards to wine tasting and food pairing – specifically focusing on California wines. Additionally, there are numerous recipes relating to Woman’s Day and entertaining in the home – some of which contain personal recipe notes from Sarvis. The collection also holds personal correspondence with friends, publishers, and prominent people in food and wine business, most notably with Julia and Paul Child. Series 13, 14, and 15 contain information and documentation from Sarvis’ trips to abroad, specifically Mexico and multiple trips to European countries.

System of arrangement

The collection is organized into sixteen series: 1) Wine and Food Pairing, Luncheons; 2) Woman’s Day; 3) Published and Unpublished Recipes; 4) Entertaining; 5) Tastings, Consultations; 6) Julia Child; 7) Sarvis Bio and Pictures; 8) Personal Photos; 9) Magazine Clippings; 10) Magazine and Newspaper Clippings; 11) Recipe Clippings; 12) Dinner, Dessert Recipes and Wine; 13) Europe and Mexico; 14) First Trip to Europe; 15) Trip to Europe; 16) Personal Recipe Notes.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

No accession restriction: All materials are open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

It received accession number P2013.09.

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


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Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Specialized notes

  • Citation: [Item title], [item date], Shirley Sarvis papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Alternative identifier(s)

Archon Collection ID


Description control element

Rules or conventions

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding Aid Author: Volodymyr Chumachenko
Processing Info: This collection was processed by Volodymyr Chumachenko, processing archivist.

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Physical storage

  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 11, A83412015596
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 12, A83412011330
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 13, A83412015601
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 14, A83412011225
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 15, A83412015465
  • 2.5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 16, A83412003222
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 17, A83412015457
  • Cubic Foot Box: Box 18, A83412154099
  • 2.5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 19, A83412010994
  • Cubic Foot Box: Box 1, A83412153784
  • 2.5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 2, A83412011110
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 3, A83412055732
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 4, A83412015481
  • Cubic Foot Box: Box 5, A83412153904
  • Cubic Foot Box: Box 6, A83412153912
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 7, A83412011348
  • 5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 8, A83412015473
  • 2.5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 9, A83412010871
  • 2.5" Flip Top, Letter: Box 10, A83412011102