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What's on the Menu?, Food for Thought, NYPL Labs
New Feature! Unlock Menus to Continue Editing
We've gotten a number of questions over the past week of What's on the Menu? about menus marked as "done." Do we really mean done? As in finished, vetted, archived for posterity? Fear not, we've cleared up this confusion with some new language. What we really meant to say was "under review."
On several occasions, a volunteer e-mailed us saying they'd spotted errors, or missing dishes, on menus marked as complete. I happily re-opened the menus in question (a facility only open to site administrators) and invited them to continue their work. After doing this a few times ad hoc, we decided to just add this as a feature.
Now, for any menu you find that's under review, you can click the little lock icon to its left to re-open it for further editing, correcting or transcribing. So if you are feel like donning your proofreader's glasses, we invite you to dive into the menus formerly known as finished to hunt out typos and problematic transcriptions (as ameliorated by these helpful tips), or to insert decimal points in the price fields to bring the cost of living and dining down to appropriate circa 1900 levels (as required, say, in this menu), or other tidying and correcting tasks not yet anticipated. Don't forget to re-submit the menu for review (via the button below the dishes list, left sidebar) when you're "done"!
And then what?
As is often the case in libraries, and on the always-evolving web, the work is never completely and totally done. For the menus, finishing transcription is in fact just the beginning of a long and only partially mapped out journey of data cleanup and rectification — not to mention subsequent tasks we may open up, such as the identification of sections (appetizers, desserts), categorization (breakfast menu, dinner menu), and other things still TBD.
Our philosophy all along has been to launch the project as openly and simply as possible, build a big data pile, and then to start finding solutions for navigating and improving the data. Any brave souls who want to jump in now to start polishing and tweaking are more than welcome! Please report back any common issues that you find (in the comments field below or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org).
We're also racing to post a detailed Help page, much of it informed by valuable user feedback, and soon, we expect, by the forthcoming insights of menu unlockers as well. The key is in your hands!
Go to What's on the Menu?