Transcribing, Coding and Eating Our Way Through a Renaissance French Cookbook
Arts and Sciences
The process of creating a digital scholarly edition of a Renaissance French cookbook, Le Livre de cuysine [The Book of Cookery], provided a unique opportunity to study the history of 16th century cuisine. This project required learning how to read a Gothic printed text and understanding the recipes contained in a cookbook from this period. The final project involved transcribing and then coding the text in XML using TEI mark-up language. Along the way, we had to make editorial decisions that arose because of the nature of the cookbook text. For example, TEI coding requires that paragraphs be distinguished in the text and coding. This posed a challenge because the cookbook did not have clearly divided paragraphs. The archaic spelling in the original text also raised questions about whether or not to modernize the spelling. Finally, since this cookbook edition was filled with printing mistakes, we occasionally had to insert notes to explain difficult passages. In the end, the completed digitized text now allows new access to scholars to learn more about the text and Renaissance French cuisine. Instead of participating in a traditional lecture course on French literature, we were able to obtain hands-on experience doing actual scholarly research. The experiential nature of the course then culminated in a Renaissance French banquet complete with dishes made from recipes out of Le Livre de cuysine.
Sanchez, Andrea and LeCaptain, Jennifer, "Transcribing, Coding and Eating Our Way Through a Renaissance French Cookbook" (2017). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 654.