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Hospitality Industry: Restaurants, Hotels, & Lodging Resource Guide

This guide includes print and electronics resources for anyone who is researching the history and current state of the hospitality industry with a focus on restaurants, hotels, and other commercial lodging.


This guide is intended to introduce resources to assist anyone researching the hospitality industry, specifically hotels and restaurants. It is not possible to include resources that cover every aspect of these industries, so it is not meant to be a comprehensive guide, but rather be a solid starting point. These industries have been grouped together into one guide primarily because they are industries with a close connection and have often been written about in the same literature.

We have put in few parameters to keep the guide as concise as possible. When looking at food establishments we have limited coverage to sit down restaurants and fast food, as well as some older types of establishments like cafeterias, soda fountains, and tea rooms. This guide does not include coverage of either catering or food delivery services, even though that has become a large part of the restaurant/fast food discussion. We have also chosen to focus primarily on hotels and motels and excluded camp grounds, RV parks, and other similar private accommodations that would be considered vacation rentals.

If after looking at this guide you have additional questions, you can submit them via Ask a Librarian and a reference librarian can then help you with your specific research question.

About the Business Section

Part of the Science & Business Reading Room at the Library of Congress, the Business Section is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of business and economics. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of business assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of business and economics materials.