During the transcribathon, the Medical Heritage Library came up with a genius idea: would we do a Jane Dawson Cook Along? The answer to that is a resounding YES!
So, here’s what we’re going to do. Over the next week (22-30 September), some members of the EMROC Steering Committee will try out this recipe for Lemon Wafers.
Take duble refined Suger beatt & dryed & sifted and mix with it Juce of a lemmon let it be of the thickness of huney & take some of it in a Spoone & heatd it over a chafin-dish of coles till it be crisp on the side of the spoone let it not boyle: when itt is melted Spred it on a paper out 4 Square: & then pin two Corners together that it may bend like other wafers; & so lett it dry when you take them of wett the rong side of the papers with watter
Jane Dawson, V.b.14, p. 47.
Our assignment will be to take notes of how we decide to interpret the recipe, the ingredients we select, the modern tools we use, the weather conditions (temperature, wind, barometric pressure), the altitude… and anything else that might be relevant in how our recipe turns out. We’ll also taste test (of course!). You can follow our experiments on Twitter as we do them (#EMROCcooks), though we’ll also do an easy-to-read round-up for you afterwards.
Would you like to be involved in the Jane Dawson Cook Along?
We’d LOVE for you to join in. There are three ways to participate in our cook along over the next week:
try the same recipe for lemon wafers;
test out another one of Dawson’s recipes that intrigues you (full book here);
join in the discussion of the EMROC community’s cooking experiments.
Let us know about your kitchen project on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, blog comments, or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our hashtag for all Dawson Cook-Along projects will be #EMROCcooks.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Transcribathon this week. You are all amazing. When everyone finished the Dawson manuscript with about two hours left to go (!), we decided to open another nearly-completed manuscript–Margaret Turner. And we finished that one, too!
The EMROC community is awesome, in both the modern and early modern senses of the word.
If you’re missing the Transcribathon, keep your eyes peeled for further details. We’ll be hosting a Jane Dawson Cook Along (as suggested by the Medical Heritage Library, @MedicalHeritage on Twitter) next week.
Thank you so much for being a part of our community!
Last week, Rebecca Laroche and Hillary Nunn suggested in jest that we should build a soundtrack to mark this year’s more-eventful-than-usual travel to DC. So… here is just a little fun I had on the train! You can either click on the hyperlinks for added fun OR check out the Spotify playlist that Mark Gudgeon (@gudge75 on Twitter) has assembled for us.
In September 2018, EMROC was planning our fourth annual Transcribathon and Steering Committee meetings at the Folger Shakespeare Library. To our chagrin, also in the mix was Florence, a formidable storm that originated in Africa. After days of anticipating the storm, and just when we thought the Waiting was the hardest part, Florence hit the North Carolina coast with a fury, leaving poor Maggie in Raleigh (though inland) blowing in the wind and being rocked like a hurricane. It really was nasty. In fact, poor Maggie said it shook her all night long. And just when it seemed things might clear, it seemed, here comes the rain again.
Meanwhile, Rebecca and Hillary decided to hold on and see if they would make it to DC, even though Florence’s track kept changing. Will Florence disrupt things all the way to DC? And Jen, in Charlotte, remained in the danger zone. Elaine Leong, thankfully, arrived in the States in advance of the storm, and it looked like she would be able to take the downtown train from Baltimore to DC without trouble. Maggie Simons and my flight plans remained uncertain, so we both tried to book trains in vain and waited to see if the airports would stay open. While those of us in Charlotte and Raleigh worked on alternative plans to Skype in for meetings, in the sights of the storm, we were also worried about losing the power. We were all under pressure.
Just when things looked really bad,
Florence decided to beat it and head south just enough that Raleigh’s airport
could open, and Maggie saw the sign that she could get to DC. Likewise, it appeared
Hillary and Rebecca could see clearly now that they too would make it to the DC
area. But Florence had Charlotte in her sights, and Jen kept going back and forth about whether her flight would be canceled,
whether she would drive. “Should I
stay or should I go?” she wondered. In the end, she decided to push it and
drive to Richmond on Saturday, then a crazy train
to DC Sunday morning.
Thank you for stopping by our transcribathon today. We’re so glad that you’ve decided to join us.
We’re kicking things off at the wonderful Wellcome Library in London at 10:00 UK time. The Library is kindly allowing Heather Wolfe (Folger Shakespeare Library) and I to use their Viewing Room for a pop-up event. Have digitized documents, will travel!
There are a few details about today that you might find useful before getting started.
A FAQ page that covers everything from whether you should modernise the English (no) or moving the transcription box around to how to represent what you see on the page (e.g. page breaks, symbols, and more).
A miscellanea of what the buttons on the transcribing platform (Dromio) mean, what a transcribed page would look like, and more.
Don’t worry about making mistakes or putting in all the fiddly coding. We’re triple-keying for accuracy (which means three people will do the same page) and will edit for a final version.
The most useful thing for us is that you write what you see on the page. In terms of the coding, it’s especially helpful if you capture the basics (line breaks, page breaks, thorn (often appearing as a y instead of th, as in ye) and expand certain words (see the section on semi-diplomatic transcription here).
If you’re a novice to early modern handwriting, my top tip is beware of the long s! It looks like an f, but should be transcribed as an s. You can read a bit about the history of the long s here. You might also be interested in learning more about the type of transcription we’re doing: semi-diplomatic. The Early Modern Manuscripts Online project at the Folger has a good information page on it.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, keep in mind that all questions are good questions. If you’re having technical troubles or can’t understand our guides (user-related or platform-related), it’s helpful for us to know. If you’re having trouble deciphering a word, a community of fellow transcribers is here to help. If you want to know what a mystery ingredient is, the fun is in the discussions as others try to help.
One of the great delights of a transcribathon is people sharing the things they spot when transcribing. So please drop in to introduce yourselves, share your interesting tidbits, ask questions, and share your wisdom.
We have a quick request before you start transcribing: would you fill in a very short pre-transcribathon survey? It will take no more than five minutes. Out goal is to learn a bit more about our transcribers and their knowledge before the event. (There will be a follow-up survey post-transcribathon, too.) The survey is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/THN8DZS .
Thank you for your help–both participating today and filling in the survey! We are so delighted that you’ve decided to work with us today and look forward to hearing more about it.
We’re delighted to welcome several groups joining in today: University of Essex, George Washington University, University of Guelph, Folger Institute, University of Akron, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Penn State Abington, Oberlin College, University of California, Pacific Lutheran, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, University of Texas Arlington, and Mount Saint Mary College. If you’re joining in, whether as a group or an individual, please let us know!
Our 2017 project
This year, EMROC is trying something a little different. Rather than focus on one book, there will be a BANQUET OF BOOKS. As Amy Tigner explains,
Our goal is to have 10 completed texts this year, that is 10 triple-transcribed and vetted early modern recipe books that can be downloaded in a searchable pdf. We currently have a number of texts that are either partially transcribed or fully transcribed but not completely vetted. So, in working to complete these texts we will be offering a banquet of possibilities for those interested in learning more about early modern recipes and paleography.
The three books on offer are: Margaret Baker, Susannah Packe, and Letitia Cromwell. I have a soft spot for Baker, having worked on her book with my Digital Recipe Books Project module last year. (The class blogged about it here and developed a contextual online exhibition about the book here.) The Baker manuscript has many intriguing elements, such as excerpts from published medical and alchemical treatises and a recipe that calls for elf hoof! But the other books have their delights, as well. Cromwell has a recipe for the proverbial humble pie and a page written in code, while Packe has a great sections with candy, fruit wines, and beer.
For those who like things a little easier, I recommend Baker (almost entirely one hand, fairly clear, throughout) or Packe (one easy and neatly spaced hand, and one slightly harder, messier hand). Cromwell, with its mix of hands will appeal more to those with experience.
Need help? Want to say hello?
To join in, all you need to do is go to the Folger’s transcription interface, at: http://transcribe.folger.edu. When asked to sign in, just enter your first and last names (or whatever name you’d like to use), and an account will be created for you. Please be sure to enter your name as you’d like it to appear in the database.
Once in, click “EMROC.” There is a folder called “Transcribathon” at the bottom of the list, which contains the three manuscripts we’ll be working on. (More on those tomorrow!) Click on a manuscript and find a page that needs transcription. Look to the right of the page number to see how many people have transcribed it. If there are fewer than three, go for it!
We also have helpful guides to doing transcription and how to use the online transcription tool, Dromio. You can also send in your questions to other transcribers on Twitter (#EMROCtranscribes) or by commenting on our blog posts throughout the day.
Point people throughout the day will be on our Twitter account (@EMRecipesOnline) or by email.