Scribes of the Cairo Geniza
Scribes of the Cairo Geniza

Scribes of the Cairo Geniza is a multilingual crowdsourcing project to classify & transcribe fragments of medieval and premodern manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza. With an in-kind grant from the Zooniverse, the largest crowdsourcing platform in the world, along with institutional and image partners from 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, and The Bodleian Libraries at University of Oxford, we are harnessing the power of technology to decipher some of the most difficult to read fragments in the world.

We see this project as a way for people with shared interests and different skill levels from around the world to meet in a common endeavor. We see this as a way to develop new tools for the public to learn to read a variety of scribal hands and to open texts accessible only to a handful of specialists to millions of people.

Check out additional resources here.


  • Scribes of the Seder Haggadah: In 2018, we used the power of the crowd to create a Haggadah out of fragments from the Cairo Geniza. This patchwork haggadah invites people to look critically at the texts that they use on Passover. Read the blog post introducing the Haggadah. Get the list of Geniza Fragment sources and images we used for each section of the Haggadah.
  • Cairo Geniza Alephbet Chart: A chart of different Hebrew script types found in the Cairo Geniza, created by Laura Newman Eckstein with help from Dr. Judith Olszowy-Schlanger. This is available as an SVG, a PDF, and AI file.
  • Scribes of the Cairo Geniza Event Organizing Toolkit: Are you interested in hosting an event around the Scribes of the Cairo Geniza project? Host a group of #GenizaScribes using our self-contained Organizing Toolkit. In addition to a quick guide, this toolkit includes printable instruction, a sample press announcement, and images for promotional use. The most recent version of this guide is available on Google Drive.

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Project Team and Advisors:
  • Samantha Blickhan
  • IMLS Postdoctoral Fellow for Zooniverse
  • Doug Emery
  • Special Collections Digital Content Programmer
  • Emily Esten
  • Project Manager; Judaica Digital Humanities Coordinator
  • Will Granger
  • Front-end Developer for Zooniverse
  • Arthur Kiron
  • Schottenstein-Jesselson Curator of Judaica Collections
  • Moshe Lavee
  • Co-director of E-lijah Lab, University of Haifa (Haifa, Israel)
  • Vered Raziel-Kretzmer
  • The University of Haifa (Haifa, Israel)
  • Eve Krakowski
  • Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  • Coleman Krawczyk
  • Zooniverse
  • William Noel
  • Director of the Kislak Center for Special Collections
  • Shaun A. Noordin
  • Web Developer for Zooniverse
  • Becky Rother
  • Designer for Zooniverse
  • Marina Rustow
  • Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East, Professor of Near Eastern Studies and History at Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  • Zach Wolfenbarger
  • Zooniverse
  • University of Pennsylvania Libraries
  • Research Partner
  • Princeton Geniza Lab
  • Research Partner
  • Zooniverse
  • Research Partner
  • e-Lijah Lab and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research of the Cairo Genizah at the University of Haifa
  • Research Partner
  • Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library
  • Image Partner
  • The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary
  • Image Partner
  • The University of Manchester Library
  • Image Partner
  • The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford
  • Image Partner
  • Columbia University Libraries
  • Image Partner
  • National Library of Israel
  • Image Partner