EMROC is excited to be partnering with the Wellcome Library and the Royal College of Physicians for its Fall transcribathon, set for November 4. We’ll be virtually celebrating EMROC’s tenth anniversary, and we invite you all to mark the occasion with transcription!
Experts on recipe manuscripts — Rachel Rich, Edith Snook, and Tim Underhill — will be onhand to discuss their video presentations on November 4 as well. Click here to register for their talks, and see the schedule for below.
To take part in transcribing, there’s no need to register in advance, but if you’d like to attend the November 4 talks from the Wellcome, please sign up here. This page will offer quick info on preparing to use FromThePage on the day.
To learn about Mary Hawker’s manuscript from the Wellcome, check out these links:
A video tour of the Hawker manuscript, including glimpses of foreign recipes, medicinal recipes, and edits to recipes.
To learn about the Royal College of Physicians MS 502, check out the RCP Transcribathon Page, where you can tour the manuscript and read up on snails in medical recipes. And while you’re at it, check out these blog posts from the Pamela Forde of the RCP:
7 AM EDT/ 4 AM PDT / 11 AM GMT: Transcription Begins! We’ll start the day out tweeting about what we find in the manuscript, and with tips for getting going. Get ready to transcribe here. Join us with the hashtags #EMROCTranscribes and #EMROCis10
11 AM EDT / 8 AM PDT / 3 PM GMT: Live Q&A with presenting scholars via Zoom link, available via the Wellcome Eventbrite page.
Drop in to talk about the manuscript as you transcribe. We’ll be there to answer questions about transcription, chat about ingredients, and talk about early modern household practices. During this Zoom time, we’ll also launch the new Early Modern Studies Journal issue commemorating EMROC’s birthday.
11-12 February 2022 The Carteret Collection at the PCDP Conference
Come join us to transcribe the manuscript recipe book of Grace Carteret, 1st Countess Granville (1654-1744), housed at the Wellcome Collection!
This event brings together participants in The Ohio State University’s Popular Culture and the Deep Past conference, devoted to “The Experimental Archaeology of Medieval and Renaissance Food,” and transcribers from around the world joining in from their home and classroom computers.
We’ll be working to transcribe Lady Carteret’s recipe collection (Wellcome MS.8903) and its wide array of culinary and medical recipes. Participants in this event will be helping to make Carteret’s manuscript keyword searchable, and in that process they’ll help illustrate the overlap between Carteret’s book and that of Ann Fanshawe, whose recipe collection was part of last year’s EMROC transcribathon.
Drop in any time — before, during, or after the event — and transcribe as long as you like! NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY – our webpages will help you through the coding and offer pointers on the handwriting.
Events on Saturday, February 12
9:30 EST: At the PCDP Conference? Come visit EMROC on Saturday in the Creative Arts Room at the Ohio Union. Chatting and questions welcome!
10:00 EST: Paper Presentation on learning to transcribe from University of Akron students Jasmine Beaulieu and Hannah Curtis, “Early Modern Recipe Transcription: The ‘Each One Teach One’ Method.” Join in person in the Ohio Room, or via Zoom here.
Interested in joining our Transcribathon virtually? Contact Hillary Nunn, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just sign up to transcribe a page and jump in. Keep up with our events here on the EMROC webpage, and on Twitter.
The Royal College of Physicians has announced that the transcription of Lady Catherine Sedley’s manuscript, RCP 534, is now publicly available. Produced during our Spring transcribathon, the text is available here, via FromthePage.
This post is one of seven scheduled to appear in The Recipes Project’s upcoming September Teaching Series, which focuses on new ideas and strategies for teaching with recipes.
As we all prepare for the next EMROC Transcribathon on Sept. 18, I look back at the role Transcribathons might play in literature classrooms—specifically, in this case, a class on early modern women’s writing (compare techniques here and here).
Interested in bringing transcription into the classroom? It’s easier than you might think, and just as exciting for your students as you might expect! This post describes a locally hosted, teaching-oriented EMROC Transcribathon, and provides some resources for those wishing to host local Transcribathons of their own.
The course was designed around experiential learning: in addition to the Transcribathon, students also received training in textual bibliography and editorial theory; critically analyzed editorial choices in two women writer anthologies; and each produced an edition of a text of their choosing for a class-wide anthology (conducting bibliographical research, undertaking textual collation, and producing textual and bibliographical introductions for their texts). Students left aware of the work that went into producing their textbooks, and empowered to not just consume but produce those texts themselves.
At the heart of the course’s emphasis on experiential learning, then, was the EMROC Transcribathon, where students gathered together to transcribe, and reflect on the place of transcription in a women’s writing course. For attending and participating in the Transcribathon for at least an hour, and submitting their reflections, students received a grade worth 5% of their final mark.
What does it take to run a local Transcribathon? Not much! The funding sources mentioned above allowed us to fly in and host an EMROC representative (Prof. Rebecca Laroche); reserve a room and provide refreshments; and hire graduate RAs to serve as (paid) organizers and facilitators. But at a minimum, one needs only a designated space and a committed group of transcribers!
Leading up to the event, we talked in class about EMROC, and why so many scholars are invested in transcribing these recipe books. I went over standard transcription conventions, describing the differences between transcribing and modernizing with a handout (Transcription Conventions) and I went over how to mark up with this handout: Dromio guidelines.
I also gave them a manuscript “alphabet”—a cheat sheet (TurnerMS alphabet) showing the manuscript’s particular graphs. These handouts were prepared by Melanie Simoes Santos and myself. Jennifer Munroe has also written on helpful tips for easing students into transcription, here.
On the day itself, the instructions were simple: show up for an hour and transcribe! One student wrote about the experience, “It gave me a surreal sense of intimacy with a woman who lived in a completely different time,” and another was surprised that “the personal grammatical and expressive preferences of the author became familiar to me; … I didn’t expect something like an old cookbook to possess such a distinct voice.” One student said, “It never occurred to me how much work actually goes into uncovering a work, transcribing it, and publishing it in an anthology,” and this insight prompted larger reflections for another student: “Getting the chance to transcribe something makes me think about the relationship that exists between the original work versus the modernized or edited work we see in our anthologies.” The event allowed one student “to reflect … on why certain texts are privileged and transcribed over others.” Another concluded, “I felt like I was contributing to something bigger than just our course.” There were also extremely practical outcomes: “I learned how to make orange pudding and dry figs!”
Anyone interested in hosting a local Transcribathon of their own is welcome to get in touch with me; I’m happy to share funding materials or answer questions about hosting. In the meantime, I leave you with some parting thoughts and tips.
1) Flexibility. Though many students cherished the collaboration of the group Transcribathon, some students had irreconcilable work obligations, so I allowed a few to “check in” and “check out” via email, and send copies of their transcriptions, if they couldn’t come in person.
2) Food. Funding made it possible to have ample refreshments set out for the duration of the event, and many students mentioned how much they appreciated draw of the free lunch.
3) Prizes. A trip to the Canadian store Dollarama the night before yielded us some cheap prizes: e.g., if someone found the word “spoon” in a recipe, they could win a wooden spoon to add to their own kitchen.
These prizes were surprisingly effective motivators for our transcribers, and we’d recommend this practice to others!
4) Beyond? It might have been exciting to try the recipes themselves out, as other Transcribathonshave done, or to link the Transcribathon more specifically with a same-day research event. Transcribathons that include linked research talks remind participants of what is at stake in their transcribing labor.
Please join us virtually for our 3rd annual online Transcribathon on Tuesday, November 7, where we will have a number of texts available for transcription.
In the past two Transcribathons, we have worked only on one text, Rebeckah Winche (Folger V.b.366) and then Lady Castleton (Folger V.a.600)—respectively—from start to finish. This year we are going to take a different approach: to complete several texts. 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.
In terms of transcription, we will begin with the L. Cromwell recipe book (Folger V.a.8), which is one third done, and then when it is finished we will move onto Margaret Baker manuscript (Folger Va619), which is approximately two thirds transcribed.
To make an Apple pudding. Cromwell Manuscript, Folger V.a.8, F37.
For advanced paleographers interested in learning the art of vetting, we will also be offering a number of texts to be vetted, first then Mary Cruso (Folger X.d.24) then Lady Castleton, and finally the recipe manuscript written by Lettice Pudsey (Folger V.a. 450). We are, in short, offering a kind of smorgasbord of transcribing—or a “choose your own adventure” in early modern paleography with a mix of 21st century coding.
Please save the date, November 7, and stayed tuned for more information soon. We hope you will join us.