January 25, 2022

University of Kansas: Digital Scholarship Rescues Ethnographic Cookbook From Oblivion

From the University of Kansas:

2018-09-19_19-59-57Cultural anthropologist Laura Hobson Herlihy is from New Orleans, so she knew a thing or two about Caribbean cuisine and culture before she traveled to Honduras on an academic research trip in 1997.

Now, thanks to digital technology and KU Libraries’ open-access publishing program, Herlihy’s 20-year-old research on Honduran food, folkways and language has been saved from the ravages of time and nature.

Hauks, Chip, Grate, and Squeeze: Recipes of the Honduran Bay Islands,” a revised and expanded edition of Herlihy’s 1997 research, has just been digitally published in KU ScholarWorks, KU’s online institutional repository of work by faculty, staff and students. Anyone with an internet connection may download it free of charge for noncommercial use.


By 1998, she had produced a written report and handed over it and her audio tapes to the ministry in Tegucigalpa. On Oct. 29 of that year, mega-storm Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras, causing widespread flooding. It destroyed the office where Herlihy’s report was stored.

Laura Herlihy heard about the destruction, then mostly forgot about the project for 20 years. That’s when she began working with Josh Bolick, scholarly communications librarian, and Marianne Reed, digital initiatives coordinator in the KU Libraries, on the 2017 publication of two books: “Green Man, Blue Woman: A Miskitu Operetta Set in the Nicaraguan Rainforest” and “Yamni Balram (Welcome!): A Miskitu Grammar and Workbook,” both of which were made freely available through KU ScholarWorks.

“Marianne Reed said, ‘Is there anything else you have (to publish)?’ and I thought of it,” Laura Herlihy said. “I had the only copy, but it was 90 to 100 pages, and I was not inclined to retype it. But now we could scan it automatically and start making a book out of it.”

Learn More About the Research and Book in the Complete Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.