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Historical Recipes + Digital Collaborations Symposium

By May 17, 2016September 16th, 20232 Comments
1820 recipe for Portugal Cake from the Wangensteen Historical Library.

1820 recipe for Portugal Cake from the Wangensteen Historical Library.

Join Lois Hendrickson, Curator of the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine, and Emily Beck, Ph.D. candidate in the Program for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, on May 24, 2016 for a day-long symposium on historical recipes.

From food and medicines to textile dyes and invisible ink, recipes permeate manuscript and print culture across the temporal scale. This symposium will bring together scholars from the Twin Cities community to discuss the diverse ways they use recipes in their work and encourage the development of new ideas about using recipes in public spaces, teaching, and scholarship.

RSVP by May 23

Event Details

What: Historical Recipes + Digital Collaborations Symposium 
When: May 24, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: 555 Diehl Hall (adjacent to the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine)
Registration: Free and open to the public, RSVP requested by May 23

About the Symposium

Morning Session: Part 1

The morning will be a two part session consisting of several talks. Michelle Sharp, professor of Spanish at the University of St. Thomas, will present about the various social and political agendas present in twentieth-century peninsular domestic manuals and cookbooks. Associate Professor of English at St. Olaf, Karen Marsalek, will discuss using Elizabethan recipes in her Shakespeare and Material Culture course, and in her own research. Nicole LaBouff, Assistant Curator of Textiles at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts will talk about using manuscript and print recipe books in museum exhibits. Marguerite Ragnow, Curator of the James Ford Bell Library, will explore medieval diets and ideas about food.

Morning Session: Part 2

Katie Rawson, Ph.D. from the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory, will deliver a keynote address on digitized, transcribed, and marked-up recipes and how they can form the basis on inquiry about people’s lives, both in ways that historians and literary scholars often use them, and in more experiential ways, through the act of making food. Rawson is actively involved in studying and supporting digital research methods, particularly around text analysis and humanities data. Her current research is in menus and restaurant history, and she is one of the principal investigators of Curating Menus.

Afternoon Session

The afternoon session will be dedicated to exploring ideas of how to connect recipe scholarship with the digital humanities in the Twin Cities community. The University of Minnesota’s DASH and LATIS initiatives will explain their pilot digital humanities program, particularly focusing on the exhibit-building platform Omeka. Using a small data set from the Wangensteen’s digitized manuscript recipe collection, participants will workshop ideas of how recipes can be integrated in the digital humanities in order to create dynamic spaces for interdisciplinary and collaborative research and for public presentation.

If you plan on participating in the afternoon session, please bring your laptop with you. Feel free to bring a .jpg image of an historical recipe page to practice uploading to our “sandbox” Omeka site (a picture with a camera or phone will be good enough to practice with). If you don’t have a recipe example, we will provide examples from the Wangensteen’s collection.

This event is sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Premodern World, Wangensteen Historical Library, Digital Arts Sciences + Humanities, and Liberal Arts Technologies & Innovation Services.

Erinn Aspinall

Author Erinn Aspinall

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Ashley says:

    Do you plan on hosting this event on another day in the future, a weekend perhaps, or is this a one-time event? Thanks.

    • Mark Engebretson says:

      Hi Ashley,

      I believe this is a one-time event, but please be in touch with the curator, Lois Hendrickson, who can provide more information. She’s at or 612-626-6881.

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