[Sca-cooks] Search Techniques

Galefridus Peregrinus galefridus at optimum.net
Thu Oct 4 13:21:41 PDT 2012

I find that the primary reference database that Iuse the most is Google 
Scholar (scholar.google.com), which lists books, theses, scholarly 
articles, and various other sources. It works pretty well for culinary 
history. I also make extensive use of bibliographies of existing books. 
The thing is, these resources are more helpful in locating scholarship 
about food and cooking than in locating primary sources that I might not 
have been aware of. Interestingly, the bibliographies of Wikipedia 
articles tend to be good for finding the primary stuff, especially if 
you have a name. Wiki articles about medieval cooks and physicians will 
often include a list of their works, and I often find out about useful 
primary materials in that way.

One trick that I've used productively is to google the primary source, 
which often results in a list of articles and books about that source, 
many of which may contain redacted recipes.

Recently I've taken to visiting the Prospect Books web site every so 
often and scanning the tables of contents of their most recent books, or 
recent issues of Petits Propos Culinaires. Lots of interesting and 
useful stuff to look at there.

I tend not to ask fr help until after I've exhausted my own resources, 
at which point I may post to this list, or possibly contact a known 
scholar in the hope that he or she will respond positively to my request 
for information.

-- Galefridus

> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2012 11:38:22 -0400
> From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>
> To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Subject: [Sca-cooks] Search Techniques
> Message-ID: <6ECF1755-DC87-4C4B-B1C3-DA55EBD34F0A at mac.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; CHARSET=US-ASCII
> 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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