Performing Patents Otherwise: Archival conversations with 320,000 clothing inventions

Performing Patents Otherwise is one of several experimental book pilot projects conducted by the experimental publishing group at the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs project. In the spirit of open infrastructures, we documented the publication process for each pilot book. Towards this end, the experimental publishing group curated the Experimental Publishing Compendium, which collates experimental book publishing tools and practices and examples of experimental scholarly publications. While we share some insights on the making of experimental scholarly books in the compendium, we will zoom in here on what it takes to make database books and Performing Patents Otherwise in particular.

In the Compendium, we categorised Performing Patents Otherwise as a database book. We define database books as books containing a dynamically searchable database within their pages; or books generated from a database. In 'making of,' we reflect on the making Performing Patents Otherwise in the hope that it will be helpful to other authors and publishers who are experimenting with database books.

Simon Bowie's essay 'on combining databases and books' reflects on the theoretical and practical implications of bringing books and databases into conversation from his perspective as the project's coder and co-author. Joana Chicau, the project's interface designer, shares how her design interfaces with the archive. The project team comes together to share reflections on making this book in 'making of-a collective interview.'