I spent an informative but deeply uncomfortable day at the Smithsonian, attending their 2017 Digitization Fair, open to the general public for the first time. Among the things I learned? Everyone struggles with evaluating the impact of digitization, digital programs/products and tools (and every other humanities endeavor), but there is an interesting tool part out by the Europeana Foundation: The Impact Assessment Playbook. (The digital collections are here; Europeana is behind the Art Up Your Tab plugin that I really enjoy.)
It’s also really clear that even within the museum field, the words “curate” and “curator” (verb and noun) now seem to mean whatever they like to whomever is using them. It’s hard to get used to hearing “curate” used when “aggregate” or “interpret” seem more appropriate, but once a word goes rogue in language, you never get it back.
To salve my sore backside and wounded pride, I made a variation on a sherry cobbler, presented here:
Curate What Ails You
1 Tablespoon honey syrup*
2 Tablespoons amontillado sherry
2-3 dashes Hella Bitters Aromatic bitters (or Angostura bitters)
2-4 ounces hard cider, chilled (I used Jack’s Hard Cider Helen’s Blend)
Combine all ingredients except the lime in a tall glass.
Add ice; stir until chilled.
Top with hard cider to taste – or – pour into an old fashioned glass and top with 2 ounces of hard cider.
Garnish with a lime wedge.
* Add equal parts honey and water to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stir until honey is completely dissolved. Let cool, store in a covered container in the refrigerator.