Women's Writing Before Woolf: A Social Reference/Early Modern Recipes Online Collective (EMROC)

The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective (EMROC)Edit

EMROC[1] is an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars, students, and enthusiasts working together to transcribe recipe books from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Founded in 2012 in collaboration with the Early Modern Manuscripts Online project of the Folger Shakespeare Library, and Zooniverse’s Shakespeare’s World project, EMROC seeks to provide an open, searchable database of early modern recipes for anyone to access, as well as academic analysis on the historical connotations of these recipes.[2]

MembersEdit

The project is overseen by a steering committee made up of several scholars from several different institutions and disciplines[3]:

  • Dr Elaine Leong is a visiting scholar of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin. She has a doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford, achieved in 2006.[4] Her first book, Recipes and Everyday Knowledge: Medicine, Science, and the Household in Early Modern England was published in 2018 and discusses early modern ‘household science’ with reference to modern understandings about gender and culture.[5]
  • Dr Hillary Nunn is a Professor of English at the University of Akron. She teaches courses in Shakespeare and studies Renaissance literature with a focus on early modern domesticity, cookery, and medicine.[6]
  • Jennifer A. Munroe is a Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research is focused on feminist and ecocritical studies of early modern literature and society.[7]
  • Dr Lisa Smith is the Humanities Faculty Dean and Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex. She studied history at the University of Alberta and the University of Essex. Her research is focused on gender, the body and the household in the early modern period.[8]
  • Margaret Simon is an Associate Professor at North Carolina State University, whose studies are focused on comparative literature and materialism in the early modern period.[9]

There are also two founding members who have since stepped back from the committee:

  • Rebecca Laroche, a Professor of English at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, whose studies surround early modern women writers, medical history, and ecofeminism.[3]
  • Amy L. Tigner, associate professor of English at the University of Texas, Arlington, and editor-in-chief of the online journal Early Modern Studies Journal.[3]

Several other scholars also call themselves members, all from a variety of academic institutions and disciplines, with particular interest in the preservation of early modern recipes, but also early modern culture and history.[10]

ProjectsEdit

EMROC is in the process of transcribing several recipe books from early modern writers, such as Anne Fanshawe and Frances Catchmay, with the aid of students across several campuses. The collective often makes use of crowdsourcing via ‘transcribathons’—online events wherein several students, scholars, and enthusiasts work together to transcribe particular works.[11] In 2015, they created a full transcription of a manuscript from Rebeckah Winche (d. 1713) which contains several recipes for both culinary and medical uses, as well as a family history of major events such as births, baptisms, and deaths.[12] For the next transcribathon, on November 4th, 2022, there will be two 17th century medical recipe books being transcribed: “Mary Hawker’s from Wellcome Collection… and MS 502, a collection of medical receipts and prescriptions from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in London.”[13]

Other projects include:

  • The Ayscough Project, from Lady Ayscough’s book of ‘Receits of phisick and chirurgery.’ It was part of the 2021 transcribathon and is the earliest documented library acquisition in the Wellcome Collection.[14]
  • The Bacon Project
  • The Baker Project, which is now complete. It is the 1675 Baker manuscript (there are two others, 1670 and 1672, both held at the British Library), and was transcribed by students of Drs Tigner and Smith across 2016-7.[15]
  • The Bulkeley Project
  • The Castleton Project
  • The Corlyon Project
  • The Dawson Project
  • The Folger Manuscript V.b.400 Project
  • The Folger MS V.b.380 Project
  • The Granville Project, which was transcribed by students at the University of Texas, Arlington in 2015, as part of their studies in a course titled ‘Culinary Shakespeare.’[16]
  • The Pudsey Project
  • The Sedley Project, also part of the 2021 transcribathon, is a medical recipe book dated to 1686.[17]
  • The Turner Project
  • The St. John Project, which is almost complete, and was partially transcribed by Dr Smith’s students in 2012 and completed by students at the University of Akron and research assistants at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin in 2013.[18]
  • The Fanshawe Project
  • The Catchmay Project
  • The Winche Project, discussed above.

Associated ProjectsEdit

In 2021, EMROC project leader Hillary Nunn collaborated with the Early Modern Studies Journal, an online journal under the auspices of the University of Texas, on a special volume titled Early Modern Recipes in a Digital World: The Baumfylde Manuscript.[19] The volume comprised 9 articles around the 'Baumfylde Manuscript,' a single early modern recipe manuscript associated with Mary Baumfylde which is a significant text in the history of early modern recipes. The transcription of this manuscript at the 2018 Shakespeare Association of America generated much scholarly discussion, and, consequently, the Early Modern Recipes in a Digital World: The Baumfylde Manuscript volume deals with questions of distinction between early modern writing and early modern recipe writing; the legacies of early modern recipe manuscripts and the their contexts of creation; and methods for teaching and practicing palaeography, amongst other disciplinary issues.[20]

Social Media PresenceEdit

The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective also has an online social media presence, although this could be substantially developed in the pursuit of reaching new audiences to engage with the history of early modern recipe transcription. EMROC's Instagram page[21] features images of scholars at work during transcribathons, ingredients mentioned in recipes, and original recipe writings. The page only has 8 posts and approx. 120 followers. EMROC's Twitter presence is more active,[22] with regular tweets and updates of EMROC activity and interests since the page's activation in 2015. The @EMRecipesOnline Twitter takes pride in providing followers with regular updates about upcoming transcribathon events and engaging with fellow transcribers through following them back, consequently creating an online network of researchers and students who are interested in early modern recipe history.

LegacyEdit

Not only has EMROC developed a platform for the promotion of early modern studies, but it has encouraged an international community of students to engage with such studies and the skill of transcribing handwritten texts. Over twenty books have been transcribed since founding, with manuscripts being housed at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) database.[23] EMROC also offers several courses on learning transcription and early modern history through the institutions its founding scholars come from.[24] Additionally, due to the nature of the transcription methodologies, it teaches computer coding and promotes digital humanities, and offers a future for English and history students in an increasingly digital world. EMROC hopes to extend its transcription efforts to include languages and cultures other than early modern English in the future.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. EMROC: The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  2. a b “About.” The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/about. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  3. a b c “Steering Committee Members.” The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/about/members. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  4. “Elaine Leong.” Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/users/eleong. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  5. “Dr Elaine Leong.” University College London. www.ucl.ac.uk/history/people/academic-staff/dr-elaine-leong. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  6. “Dr. Hillary Nunn.” English Department, The University of Akron. www.uakron.edu/english/faculty-staff/bio-detail.dot?identity=1126471. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  7. “Jennifer A. Munroe, PH.D.” Department of English: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. pages.charlotte.edu/jennifer-a-munroe/. Accessed 19/10/2022.
  8. “Dr Lisa Smith.” University of Essex. www.essex.ac.uk/people/smith62403/lisa-smith. Accessed 19/10/2022.
  9. “Margaret Simon.” College of Humanities and Social Sciences, North Carolina State University. chass.ncsu.edu/people/mfyfe/. Accessed 19/10/2022.
  10. “Members.” The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/about/members-2. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  11. “Projects.” The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/ongoing-projects. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  12. “The Winche Project.” The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/ongoing-projects/the-winche-project. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  13. “Transcribathon 2022: Investigating Recipes.” Transcribathons, The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/transcribathons/transcribathon-2022. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  14. “The Ayscough Project.” Projects, The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/ongoing-projects/the-lady-ayscough-project. Accessed 18/10/2022.
  15. “The Baker Project.” Projects, The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/ongoing-projects/the-baker-project. Accessed 19/10/2022.
  16. “The Granville Project.” Projects, The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/ongoing-projects/the-granville-project. Accessed 19/10/2022.
  17. “The Sedley Project.” Projects, The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/ongoing-projects/the-sedley-project. Accessed 19/10/2022.
  18. “The St. John Project.” Projects, The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/ongoing-projects/johanna-st-john. Accessed 19/10/2022.
  19. Early Modern Studies Journal, vol 7: Early Modern Recipes in a Digital World: The Baumfylde Manuscript, 2021. Early Modern Studies Journal Webpage, https://earlymodernstudiesjournal.org/
  20. Nunn, Hillary., & Ligner, Amy. "Introduction to Early Modern Recipes in a Digital World: The Baumfylde Manuscript," Early Modern Studies Journal, vol. 7, 2021. Early Modern Studies Journal Webpage, https://earlymodernstudiesjournal.org/review_articles/introduction/
  21. @earlymodernrecipesonline , Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/earlymodernrecipesonline/
  22. @EMRecipesOnline, Twitter, https://twitter.com/EMRecipesOnline
  23. Laroche, Rebecca, et al. “Becoming Visible: Recipes in the Making.” Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2018, pp. 133-143. CORE, core.ac.uk/download/pdf/158371068.pdf. Accessed 19/10/2022.
  24. “Teaching.” The Early Modern Recipes Online Collective. emroc.hypotheses.org/teaching-transcription. Accessed 19/10/2022.

Further readingEdit

Leong, Elaine. Recipes and Everyday Knowledge: Medicine, Science, and the Household in Early Modern England. The University of Chicago Press, 2018.

Munroe, Jennifer. Making Gardens of Their Own: Advice for Women, 1550-1750. Routledge, 2008.

Nunn, Hillary. Staging Anatomies:  Dissection and Tragedy in the Early Stuart Era.  Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity series. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.

Laroche, Rebecca, et al. “Becoming Visible: Recipes in the Making.” Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2018, pp. 133-143. The University of Chicago Press Journals, www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1353/emw.2018.0056.