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Dining Service: records

 Record Group
Identifier: A01.24

  • Staff Only
  • Please use the Collection Organization section below to place requests.

Scope and Contents

The Dining Services records date from 1944 to 2021 and measure 3 linear feet in 8 boxes. The records are arranged in three series: Records, Realia, and Reports. The Records series contains historical documents and histories of the department along with diagrams and blueprints of facilities. The Realia series includes two cups and saucers from dining while the Reports series consists of financial and operational reports, largely from the fraternity dining system.


  • Creation: 1882 - 2021


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

Bowdoin’s centralized Dining Services began operation in 1946. Before 1946 fraternity dining rooms were operated as individual units and lacked any uniform system of management by the college. In Spring 1946, fraternity officers and college representatives met to plan for an interfraternity system of centralized dining. In this era, the college had recognized its role in providing meals to its students but also believed the role that fraternities played at Bowdoin was an important one to a well-rounded education. This organization was called the Interfraternity Cooperative, renamed in 1949 as Bowdoin Centralized Dining Service, and provided meals for $13.50 a week from 1951 to 1956. Financial reports of the organization’s profit and loss can be found in the collection. A key feature of early Centralized Dining was the distinct effort to not standardize the menu. Each fraternity had its own unique chefs and cooks that reflected the individual tastes of their members. The first ten years of this organization also include the building of college owned storage and warehouse facilities for dry and wet goods.

Since 1956, Dining Services has gone through multiple changes in its service and function on campus. As fraternities were phased out in the 1990s and eliminated by May 2000, the original organization of Centralized Dining was also eliminated, and the most current rendition of Dining Services replaced the individualized approach of the decades prior. The 2000s saw the creation of expanded dining facilities in new residential halls and the establishment of modern meal plans for students.

(Citation: History of Bowdoin’s Centralized Dining Service, proofs and notes, 1946-1956. Dining Service Records, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.)


3 Linear Feet (Oversized materials in Ovsz-Box 4a. Realia in Box 2 of collection.)

Language of Materials



The records, reports, and realia of Bowdoin College’s centralized Dining Services.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred from Dining Services in 2007 and 2023.

Guide to the Dining Service Records
Emma Barton-Norris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288