How 100 year plus of Sunset magazines and books was saved from the dumpster

by Linda Hubbard on July 18, 2019

For long-time Menlo Park residents who remember the years that Sunset Publishing was very much part of our community, we recommend an interesting article in this month’s Stanford magazine about how staff members managed to save the archive of magazines and books following the sale of the buildings on Willow Road.

Author Michael Shapiro sets the scene:

“Four years ago, on a serene campus in Menlo Park, a group of longtime editors for Sunset Publishing Corporation, whose magazine touted such halcyon coverlines as “Can’t-Miss Pies” and “Other Things to Do in Newport Beach,” huddled together, panic-stricken.

‘Since 1898, Sunset — publisher of Sunset magazine and more than 800 books — had chronicled life in the West. That history had been preserved for posterity and research, meticulously catalogued in multiple rooms and dozens of file cabinets. Time Inc., Sunset’s owner since 1990, had just told the editors to empty everything into dumpsters. They were moving to Oakland.”

The article not only chronicles how the archive was saved but provides a great recap of the history of the magazine. You can read it online here.


KORI July 29, 2019 at 1:16 am

wow it horrified me to read all the butifull history i grew up on reading sunset would be lost i cried when i read they were saved thank you so much for seeing them for what they truly were and saving them our history dosen’t belong in a land filled but on a shelf thank you dosen’t come close to how great full I’m that it was saved our culture and history !!!!!!!!!!!!
sun set thank you for not giving up on saving the history of sunset

Pat Goldstein September 12, 2019 at 2:41 pm

I still have issues of Sunset Magazine in the waiting room of my business. I’d always find great inspiration in the landscape photo’s taken by their awesome photographers.

I even spoke with them once when they reached out to me for some information about Landscaping style in Los Angeles & Glendale.

Thanks for the article!

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