Curating Menus in Laying the Foundation

Katie contributed a chapter titled, “Curating Menus: Digesting Data for Critical Humanistic Inquiry” to Laying the Foundation: Digital Humanities in Academic Libraries, an edited volume devoted to the role of libraries and librarians in successful digital humanities projects. Laying the Foundation was edited by John H. White and Heather Gilbert (College of Charleston), and published by Purdue University Press in 2016. An open access copy of the book is available thanks to Knowledge Unlatched.

From Katie’s introduction:

This chapter will explore three interrelated projects, all based in libraries. From 1899 to 1923, volunteer librarian Frank E. Buttolph collected thousand of menus for the New York Public Library. These menus were eventually digitized and became the corpus for What’s On the Menu?, a crowdsourced transcription project developed by NYPL Labs. This chapter will describe the stakeholders for these projects and reveal the individual contributions to generating and curating the projects’ data. This case study in data curation as cultural construction begins with two claims: there are traces of many contributors in our data sets, and a critical engagement requires us to see them. Ultimately, this chapter argues that scholars and librarians can and should structure digital projects in a way that reveals explicit engagement with these traces.

Read more at Purdue University Press.