The Digital Humanities Turn

By Lisa Smith

The digital humanities are everywhere in the academic world these days. And although we don’t talk much about it, it’s something that underpins our own editorial interest in The Recipes Project. Part of the rationale for starting the blog was to bring together a community of people interested in recipes, both academic and non-academic. So far, we have had over seventy contributors from around the world and, so far in 2015, about 140,000 unique readers.

Siege of Paris Menu [in English]. Image Credit: Wellcome Library, London.
What’s on the menu this month? Fortunately, our offerings are better than those of he Siege of Paris, 1870-1. Image Credit: Wellcome Library, London.
It’s an exciting month here at The Recipes Project, as we are officially relaunching our blog. You may have noticed the new site theme, but there are even more substantial changes. Please check out our new thematic series pages, where we round up all of the special series. Under the Credits tab, we also now highlight the work of our student contributors.

If you’re interested in the history of The Recipes Project, take a look at the Flashback section, which resurrects much of the material of Elaine Leong’s 2010 Remedies, Recipes and Receipts website.

We’re also excited to announce our new Zotero group, which is a handy way of keeping track of manscript and print recipe books in the archives and our recipe-related reading lists. If you want to contribute your own bibliographies, we’d love to have you join our Zotero group.

It’s as good a time as any to remind you about our Facebook page and Twitter feed—both of which we use to share tasty tidbits from around the web.

To celebrate our relaunch (and my own new job as Lecturer in Digital History at the University of Essex), we’ve decided to focus on the digital humanities this month. Posts include Hillary Nunn reviewing the Six Degrees of Francis Bacon from a recipe-history perspective; Katherine Allen discussing the problems of setting up database categories; Chelsea Clark explaining the rationale for her updates to The Recipes Project website; Stephen Schmidt introducting the Manuscript Cookbooks Survey; and Kathleen Walker-Miekle unveiling (for us, anyway) the Digital Antidotarium.

Of course, there will be some non-digital posts, too… with Marieke Hendriksen on using iron in cookery; Aileen Das on non-surgical methods of removing arrowheads; and—a treat for Halloween–Andrew Sneddon on a remedy for demonic possession!

Thanks to student assistants Chelsea Clark, Julia Jaegle, and Erin Spinney for their help in getting the site ready for relaunch. And thank you so much to all our contributors and readers for making our online community such a success.


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