Please post:  Scribes of the Cairo Genizah

  Dear Ha-safran readers,

  The University of Pennsylvania Libraries, the Princeton Genizah Project, the 
Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Cambridge University Library and 
Zooniverse are partnering to bring the Cairo Genizah to The Zooniverse 
community of Citizen Scientists.  As most of you know, the Cairo Genizah is a 
corpus of sacred and everyday texts--including everyday documents like personal 
letters and legal contracts-which were preserved in the attic storage chamber 
of the Ben Ezra synagogue in Fustat (old Cairo) over the course of a thousand 
years. Its contents date mostly from the 10th-13th centuries CE and is widely 
recognized as the most important documentary source for reconstructing the 
social, economic, political and religious lives of Jews and other inhabitants 
of the premodern Mediterranean basin.

The project is taking place in two phases.  The first phase, launched on August 
8, 2017, involves sorting tens of thousands of Cairo Genizah fragments in order 
to prepare them for transcription in phase II.   The public is invited to help 
sort fragments into different categories based on their script types, whether 
they are written in Hebrew or Arabic scripts, whether they are written in 
formal or informal scripts, and whether they contain specific visual 
characteristics.    Students and the general public have the opportunity to 
benefit from encountering these fragments online and from learning how to sort 
and eventually transcribe them. This project provides a way for people with 
shared interests and different skill levels from around the world to meet in a 
common endeavor and unlock this storage chamber of ancient fragments.

To participate, go to:



Arthur Kiron, Ph.D.
Schottenstein-Jesselson Curator of Judaica Collections
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts
University of Pennsylvania Libraries
3420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
T. (215) 573-7431
F. (215) 898-0559
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Library at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
T. (215) 238-1290 ext 202
F. (215) 238-1540
Wednesday and Friday

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