Correction/update on 1/21/2016: Citrus Label Bingo was created by Fred Hood of Gainesville, Florida. I apologize for the earlier omission on this!
Original blog post below with Fred Hood’s name now included.
One of the questions of the Digital Humanities and the Public Humanities asks us what we can do with and how we can our research to further the public good. Being at the University of Florida (UF), a public, land-grant institution with amazing collections, an easy response is that we digitize materials from our libraries to share them with the world, and we do as much as we can, seek out new resources to do more, and integrate the digital collections with outreach and teaching and research, and overall undertake many activities to share the primary resources in context for new connections with the world. We also collaborate widely to enable the what next and new steps that build upon the existing work. With Libraries being the labs of the university (and the labs of the humanities, and the labs of public research), we see many great experiments, innovations, and creations.
The UF Libraries digitized the Jerry Chichone Jr. Florida Citrus Label Collection, which is a beautiful and amazing collection of historical citrus crate labels. From it, one of the innovations and creations is a new bingo board for Citrus Label Bingo.
Fred Hood created the Citrus Label Bingo game as inspired by the Citrus Label Collection. The game utilizes the bright colors and simple text to create a memorable, easy enough, and pattern-matching required game that is fun for anyone. With large cards that are easy to hold and pick up, the game was designed to ensure its usability and applicability for players who may have physical difficulties (e.g., players with arthritis that impacts manual dexterity). Fred Hood, the designer was inspired by the colorful and simple citrus labels to create simple, yet match-requiring cards to support players with Alzheimer’s for ease of playability and supporting memory and activity. This is a great example of being inspired by a research collection to build upon and do new things. Research builds upon research, and it builds in many other ways as well. This is a particularly colorful research collection, and a fun example of what can be done. I’m happy to be able to share this example, and I hope this game helps to inspire other uses of the Citrus Labels!
For the Jerry Chichone Jr. Florida Citrus Label Collection, as explained in the Brief Introduction to the History of Fruit Crate Labels:
Colorful paper labels were widely used on citrus crates between the 1880s and 1970s. Citrus was packed and shipped in wooden crates and the use of labels was closely related to the general rise of promotion and branding for things sold in the marketplace. […] … there were at one time approximately 5,000 different citrus labels in use in Florida, although only about 4,000 examples have survived. […] Color designations, indicated in the label text or background color, denoted the grade of the fruit: Blue for Grade A, Red for Grade B, and Yellow or Green for mixed grade. Beginning in 1931, growers and packers registered their labels with the Department of Agriculture and registration slips can sometimes be found attached to labels. Producers also trade-marked label designs to protect them. The digital archive of the Jerry Chicone Jr. Florida Citrus Label Collection contains some 3,155 examples of printed labels, including about 122 non-Florida labels, mostly from Spain. There are 1,313 of the full-size 9 by 9 inch labels; more than 250 of the 7 by 7 inch; and 1,420 strip or “half-strap” box labels, as well as examples of blank templates for labels and other items. These labels were generously donated to the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida, where the originals are curated and maintained. All of the labels at the library were scanned and included in the online archive.