Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries Blog //Review: Judaica DH Projects at Penn Libraries
Blog //Review: Judaica DH Projects at Penn Libraries

Roundup: JudaicaDH Projects at Penn Libraries

Thanks to a start-up gift from the Gershwind-Bennett Families, Judaica Digital Humanities at Penn Libraries launched in 2016 in order to support research and development in digital humanities to the field of Jewish studies. But we’ve been working on JudaicaDH-related projects for even longer. If you saw our announcement late last year, we’re moving towards a new phase of JudaicaDH. Let’s show you some of the projects in our history!

You probably know us for Scribes of the Cairo Geniza, a multilingual crowdsourcing project to classify & transcribe fragments of medieval and premodern manuscripts. In addition to the site, we have this blog & an open-access repository for related materials. Visit us at scribesofthecairogeniza.organd uncover unknown chapters of the history & culture of medieval Jews.

Our Digital Second Edition of Judaica Americana is under development, bringing together digitized Jewish publications into one location. We released Singemran’s draft as an open-access PDF and dataset for you to download.

The Freedman Jewish Sound Archive contains over 4,000 recordings in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Ladino from the 19th and 20th centuries. Browse the lists of composers, lyricists, performers, song titles, and albums, and use our trilingual search database for keywords and names.

How did Christians in the Americas learn to read Hebrew? The Bibliotheca Hebraica Atlantica includes datasets of the specific library editions with online access to help visualize patterns of learning found in the colonial libraries of the Atlantic World. This project aims to explore volumes of such texts that crossed the Atlantic during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and were available as reading materials in institutional and private libraries.

The Jesselson-Kaplan American Genizah Project is an international initiative to integrate digital technologies into the way we study early American Jewry. Its primary goal is to create an open access digital repository or “genizah” of physically dispersed primary sources that document the development of Jewish life in the western hemisphere from the 16th-19th centuries.

We have a few projects under this initiative, including:

The Gershwind-Bennett Isaac Leeser Digital Repository brings together Isaac Leeser’s correspondence, the Occident, and various publications for easy discovery. Our Leeser site now contains digital images of over 2,100 original letters. Each letter has been transcribed so that it can be easily read, and each letter has been encoded using TEI, to allow for the most sophisticated type of full text search and discovery. The entire Occident, including most of the rare advertiser wraps that originally accompanied the monthly issues, has been encoded in XML, segmented files in partnership with the National Library of Israel, and Leeser’s publications have been converted from ASCII files into fully searchable OCR documents.

The Occident

The Sabato Morais Papers Digitization Project, which includes The Sabato Morais Ledger and the Sabato Morais Digital Repository (under development.) The Italian-born Morais is chiefly remembered by historians as the founder and first president of the Jewish Theological Seminary, established in New York City in 1886. He also was an outspoken intellectual force whose public concerns, such as religious freedom, human rights, antislavery and the abolition of the death penalty were national and international in scope. By making these writings and correspondence of Sabato Morais digitally available, researchers have access to primary sources that document the development of observant Jewish life in the broad context of Victorian culture on both sides of the Atlantic during the nineteenth century. In the ledger, one can browse more than 500 pages of the ledger and learn about Sabato Morais’ personal scrapbook of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, circulars, and typescripts that he collected during his lifetime (1823–1897).The latter will have digitized & TEI encoded writings and correspondence from the Sabato Morais Papers.

The Moldovan Holy Land Map Collection contains 94 maps from the 15th-18th centuries, and their high-res digital facsimiles for your review. The majority of the maps were printed in the 17th and 18th centuries in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Basel, Lyon, Paris, Rome, Strassburg, Tuebingen, and Venice. There are over fifty cartographers and engravers represented, including Adrichem, Bunting, Calmet, Hole, Mercator, Munster, Ortelius, Visscher, Wit, and Ziegler. It also features the unique surviving copy of Antonio De Angelis’s map of Jerusalem, printed in Rome in 1578.

The Zucker Holy Land Travel Manuscripttakes users on a tour through the Holy Land as it was known, geographically, both in Biblical times and at the end of the 17th century. It describes many sites of Biblical significance, starting with Damascus and ending with the grave of Mary. The author of this German manuscript was equally interested in the Holy Land’s geography and cartography; flora and fauna; history; ethnicities; economy; and languages. View over 500 pages of text, maps, and illustrations (with transcriptions when possible).

From the Zucker Holy Land Manuscript

The Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica documents an astonishingly broad range of commercial, social, religious, political, and cultural ties that connected Jews and the general public from the early colonial era through the onset of mass migration at the end of the nineteenth century. The collection includes records of everyday lives, families, businesses, communal institutions, religious organizations, voluntary associations, and political circumstances of Jewish life. It provides a unique window into the changing character of colonial life and culture around the Atlantic world and within the United States and it documents changing perceptions and experiences of new worlds of space and time, not only from the perspective of its Jewish colonists and citizens but also in the context of the larger societies in which they have lived.

Trade card; Sam Isaacs & Bros.; Tacoma, Washington, United States; undated.

Envisaging the Holy Lands includes over 18,000 images from Penn Libraries Holy Land Digital Images Collections. To accompany the exhibit, the inaugural Judaica Digital Humanities Coordinator Laura Eckstein used a facial recognition Python script to comb through the corpus & made collections of the various faces.

You can view all our projects on our website, https://judaicadh.github.io.

By Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries on April 21, 2020.

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Exported from Medium on May 11, 2020.

Cite this post: admin. “Review: Judaica DH Projects at Penn Libraries”. Published April 21, 2020. https://judaicadh.github.io//blog/2020-judaicadh-projects-summary/. Accessed on .