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15 February 2018

Citizen scientists transcribe historical cook book for the publication at the 'Online Collections' of the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art (Volkskundemuseum)

From June 2018, the transcribed content of a cook book from the 18th century will be published at the Online Collections (Online Sammlungen) of the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art, the Volkskundemuseum in Vienna. At the Online Sammlungen can be found several historical sources such as an early 20th century book (in German, French, English language!) about the designs of home-industry embroideries of peasants of the Bukovina (former part of the Austrian Empire; today Romania, Ukraine) with introductions into the making of traditional clothing, dyeing of materials, colors, bead-work,... and an richly illustrated chapter showing a high amount of patterns.

Currently, the next artefact from the archive of the folk life and folk art museum is prepared by citizen scientists for the Online Sammlungen: An old cook book written once by hand in the 18th century. The hand-written text and its information isn't easy to read and to understand. To make the content accessible, the museum started in October last year together with non-professionals and professionals from various fields such as from paleography (for deciphering the late baroque writing) or nutrition a 'Citizen Science' team. Additionally to the transcription of the text into today's letters such as used on screens, the citizen scientists are focusing their research on topics like the structure of the texts, ingredients, or measuring units (many of the old measurements are unknown or not in use today). More information about the project can be found on

fig.: Two pages of the hand-written cook book. Photo: Birgit & Peter Kainz, faksimile digital / © Volkskundemuseum Wien.

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