Resources for Learning More about the Cairo Geniza
Halper 142, University of Pennsylvania, Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies Library, Cairo Genizah Collection
One of the most frequently asked questions we get on the Scribes of the Cairo Geniza talk boards is learning more about the fragments and current research happening. Our priority is to share materials that are open-access to anyone. This list is not meant to be definitive, exhausting, or representative of all Geniza research! Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with additional resources for this list.
- The Jewish Virtual Library provides an informative summary of the Cairo Geniza and survey of Geniza discoveries and research.
- WNET New York Public Media put together learning resources on the Cairo Geniza to accompany Simon Schama’s PBS series, The Story of the Jews.
- This guide from Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries provides a “Who’s Who” in the history of Geniza collectors and scholars.
- Toolkit for Genizah Scholars: A Practical Guide for Neophytes, compiled by Gregor Schwarb, includes introductory articles, websites, catalogues, and specific topics related to Cairo Geniza research.
- Finding a Fragment in a Pile of Geniza: A Practical Guide to Collections, Editions, and Resources by Oded Zinger complements the first toolkit by diving into the projects and editions that exist for Geniza scholars.
- “Some “Mass Produced” Scorpion-Amulets from the Cairo Genizah” by Gideon Bohak is my go-to introduction to amulets, which always capture volunteer attention.
- On a similar note,Geniza Magical Documents by Ortal-Paz Saar introduces Geniza magical texts and provides some guidelines for reading these documents.
- Fragment of the month from the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library is a series of blog posts from the unit’s team as well as guest researchers that dive into unique fragments.
- For more on our project in particular, Of Scribes and Scripts: Citizen Science and the Cairo Geniza by the inaugural Judaica Digital Humanities Coordinator Laura Newman Eckstein provides a great summary of the framing of our project
As a reminder, this list is not meant to be definitive, exhausting, or representative of all Geniza research! Rather, they address the topics that frequently come up from volunteers.
(links to IndieBound or Google Books)
- Gideon Bohak, Ancient Jewish Magic: A History
- Edited by Gideon Bohak, Yuval Harari and Shaul Shaked, Continuity and Innovation in the Magical Tradition
- Jonathan Bloom, Paper before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World
- Patricia Crone, Pre-industrial Societies: Anatomy of the Pre-modern World
- S. D. Goitein, Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders
- S. D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society
- Amitav Ghosh, In an Antique Land
- Jessica Goldberg, Trade and Institutions in the Medieval Mediterranean
- Jessica Goldberg and Eve Krakowski, editors, Documentary Geniza Research in the Twenty-First Century
- Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole, Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza
- Eve Krakowski, Coming of Age in Medieval Egypt: Female Adolescene, Jewish Law, and Ordinary Culture
- This is a fictional novel, but Michael David Lukas’s The Last Watchman of Old Cairo often brings people to the project!
- Stefan C. Reif, A Jewish Archive from Old Cairo: The History of Cambridge University’s Genizah Collection
- Marina Rustow, Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate
- Marina Rustow, The Lost Archive: Traces of a Caliphate in a Cairo Synagogue
- Solomon Schechter, “A Hoard of Hebrew Manuscripts,” in his Studies in Judaism: Second Series
Scribes of the Cairo Geniza Project Team
- Judaica Digital Humanities at the Penn Libraries
- e-Lijah Lab at the University of Haifa
- Princeton Geniza Lab
- Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford (digital library)
- Taylor-Schecter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Libraries (digital library)
- Columbia University Libraries (Hebrew manuscripts collection on Internet Archive)
- National Library of Israel (digital library)
- Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary
- The University of Manchester Library (digital library)
- University of Pennsylvania Libraries (digital library)
Resources from Judaica DH
Cairo Geniza Alephbets and the crib sheets viewable in the transcription workflow.
On our YouTube channel, we have included a few playlist for your perusal.
- Presentationsis a playlist featuringvarious presentations by our team about the project.
- How-to is a playlist for getting started in the sorting and transcription workflows.
- Resources about the Cairo Genizafeatures lectures and videos from other institutions that may be of interest.
We periodically share conversations from the Talk boards in our Talking The Talk series or take a look at the data in our Data Deep Dives. Here are some of our most viewed posts about the project:
- 10 Marriage Contracts from Penn’s Cairo Geniza Collections
- Birds of the Cairo Geniza
- #MCN2019: Cultivating Community with the Cairo Geniza
- Reviewing the Sorting Phase: Overview
- Scribes of the Seder
- Taking a Closer Look: Arabic Script Calligraphy
- Talking the Talk: Chad Gad Yah
- The Story of Scripts and Keyboards
- Who are the #GenizaScribes?
Join us at Scribes of the Cairo Geniza on Zooniverse!
As always, you can join us in classifying and transcribing fragments from the Cairo Geniza at scribesofthecairogeniza.org. Note: This project is also available in Hebrew and Arabic. To switch, use the language toggle in the top right of the page.