[Sca-cooks] Search Techniques

Daniel Myers dmyers at medievalcookery.com
Thu Oct 4 10:26:08 PDT 2012

Very interesting questions.

Back a decade or so ago I usually dug into print books first - works
like Scully's "Early French Cookery" and "Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery
Books".  I also followed this list to keep up with what others were
learning and hear about new sources.

Nowadays I tend to gravitate towards online copies of primary sources. 
I still watch the list, but don't post nearly as much as I used to. 
Facebook is pretty much all social and no research for me.

I'm a bit of an introvert (there's a surprise), so I'll usually research
on my own first and only post to the list if I'm really having trouble
locating a bit of information.  I generally distrust a lot of what's on
the web, unless it's well documented.  Mostly I'm using primary sources
(in facsimile) or translations thereof.

I use the search tools on my own website a *lot*.  I still hit the print
books I have at home, though not anywhere near as often as I used to. 
The online materials are simply more convenient and flexible.  The
iPhone is too small for serious research, but I do use it for recipes
while cooking (so I don't have to print things out).

While I have slowed in my research in the past couple of years, I'm
still very interested.  There are other aspects of my life that have
been taking up more time (e.g. writing & family).  I'm most certainly
not retired.

- Doc

> -------- Original Message --------
> From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>
> Date: Thu, October 04, 2012 11:38 am
> This may seem a bit offbeat, but I thought maybe this list might like the topic.
> For a talk I am scheduled to give at a cookery conference down the road, 
> I have been looking once more into the larger question of how people go looking for information on historical Medieval and Renaissance cookery, foods, and/or recipes.
> Where do you look for information and ideas on medieval foods and feasts in 2012 as opposed to say back in 2002 or 1992? The web and lists first? 
> Have the lists of yesteryear been supplanted by Facebook?
> If seeking information, do you post the query before attempting to look on your own? 
> Or do you Google first? Is this being driven by use of cellphones and not computers? Is it easier to post the query than to search
> on the smartphone? Do people also not respond to a query now because it's harder to do so from a smartphone? 
> How about Resources at home? Do you buy fewer books? 
> How about using Resources/databases through a library? Do you ever look through a book at home first?
> How have your search techniques changed?
> Medieval recipes? Do you look at books at home first or turn
> to the web?  Which sites do you use and trust? 
> Have you dropped out of researching ? After an N number of years, you no longer care to keep up with the field. You've retired.
> I was told recently that someone did all of his/her medieval cookery research for an SCA "cookbook"
> by using Yahoo and the term "medieval". The author didn't check the validity of the sources. 
> Yahoo was good enough! "All of the information [needed] is just there!" 
> When questioned if this was good enough, the author was of the opinion that everyone's research was equally valid  and ok because this
> was the SCA. 
> Johnnae
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