DIY History

In yet another case of the university library exploring the digital landscape, The University of Iowa Library has launched what is, to my limited knowledge, the first attempt to use crowdsourcing in their cataloging efforts. As explained on their website:


About the project

DIY History lets you do it yourself to help make historic artifacts easier to use. Our digital library holds hundreds of thousands of items — much more than library staff could ever catalog alone, so we’re appealing to the public to help out by attaching text in the form of transcriptions, tags, and comments. Through "crowdsourcing," or engaging volunteers to contribute effort toward large-scale goals, these mass quantities of digitized artifacts become searchable, allowing researchers to quickly seek out specific information, and general users to browse and enjoy the materials more easily. Please join us in preserving our past by keeping the historic record accessible — one page or picture at a time.


My favorite collection is the Szathmary Culinary Manuscripts, 1600-1963 . It is full of wonderful recipes for such things as: Calves Feet Jelly.

One thought on “DIY History

  1. I read the other day that Wikipedia is a complete project, and participation is tapering off. Maybe those with such inclinations will move over to the recipe for Calves Feet Jelly!

    I just hope that they have a way to ensure some level of quality in the captions.

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