May 12, 2016
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In Spring 2011, the New York Public Library (NYPL) launched one of the largest culinary data projects of all time: What's on the Menu?. The NYPL maintains one of the world's largest menu collections (around 45,000 menus dating back to the 1840s). The project aims to ease searching through this massive dataset. In simplifying menu search, What's on the Menu launched the first NYPL public API.
When we search for information on a map we tend to be searching to find where something is now. But, what if you wanted to find out where something used to be? What businesses used to be located at a particular address? Where did somebody used to live? Where did all the blacksmiths used to hang out? If you are interested in find out that information there's now a solution: AddressingHistory. AddressingHistory is a recently launched web app and API that provides access to historical data consisting of digitised Scottish post office directories combined with maps from the same time period.
How far back do your newspaper's online archives go? The U.S. Library of Congress has a database of thousands of newspapers dating back to the 1800s. In the case of over 150 of the papers, there are also digitized, searchable pages. And it's all available via its new Chronicling America API (technical details at our Chronicling America API profile).