|Miss Frank E. Buttolph American Menu Collection, 1851-1930|
The NYPL menu collection has about 40,000 menus dating back to the turn of the century. Approximately 25% of the menu collection is available online, but only searchable by high level meta data about the restaurant, not the menu data itself. The first stage of the project is to take the menus that are already available digitally and have folks like you and me input what's on each menu.
I started playing with it recently and the interface is pretty slick. Within a couple of seconds I found myself contributing to the effort by clicking on menus and transcribing dishes. It has enough smarts to provide the right kind of inputs for whatever menu or menu item you are transcribing.
|What On The Menu? Transcription UI|
My question to my readers are: If you had access to a crazy huge menu database that chronicles some portion of how we ate over the past 150 years, what would you use it for?