Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries Blog //Help us unlock the mysteries of the Cairo Geniza!
Blog //Help us unlock the mysteries of the Cairo Geniza!

How to get involved in Scribes of the Cairo Geniza

Scribes of the Cairo Geniza is an international collaboration led by the Penn Libraries in partnership with universities, libraries, and scholars to sort and transcribe thousands of medieval fragments. A geniza is a storeroom or repository for old, used, and damaged sacred texts in the Jewish tradition. The Cairo Geniza (whose contents mostly date from the 10th-13th centuries CE) is an important source for learning about the social, economic, political, and religious lives of Jews and other inhabitants of the Mediterranean world. Hidden for centuries in an attic in Cairo, over 300,000 fragments of pre-modern and medieval Jewish texts — from everyday receipts to biblical works — have yet to be fully deciphered. Scholars who study these texts come away with a transformed sense of the history of the region, and we hope you do too!

This is your chance to work with others to unlock the secrets of one of the greatest archives of the Middle Ages! In the first step of the project, volunteers sort fragments into Hebrew or Arabic script. In the second step, volunteers transcribe easy-to-read Hebrew and Arabic fragments. Zooniverse designed an interface that allows someone with no experience in these languages to transcribe fragments. Everyone can try their hand with the #genizascribes!

Help us transcribe these fragments from the Cairo Geniza at scribesofthecairogeniza.org. You can also join us on the talk boards to ask questions, discuss what you’re seeing, and be a part of the community. Come learn the history of everyday lives of medieval Jews, Christians, and Muslims!

Scribes of the Cairo Geniza partners include the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, the Princeton Geniza Lab, the e-Lijah Lab and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research of the Cairo Genizah at the University of Haifa, the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library, The University of Manchester Library, the Bodleian Libraries at University of Oxford, and the Zooniverse community.

By Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries on .

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Exported from Medium on April 14, 2020.

Cite this post: admin. “Help us unlock the mysteries of the Cairo Geniza!”. Published March 06, 2019. https://judaicadh.github.io//blog/2019-03-06-help-cairo-geniza/. Accessed on .