Thursday, July 23, 2009

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY also has a Geniza Project, to which Mike Fieschko has alerted me in an e-mail. There's also a recent blog post on Princeton's IT's Academic blog, which links to a podcast of a recent lecture by Professor Mark Cohen and Ben Johnston from the Princeton Humanities Resource Center, with an accompanying pdf document. (I mentioned the project briefly in 2003, but did not give much detail.)

From the project website:
Initiated in the mid-1980s, the Computer Geniza Project of the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University seeks to extend the methodologies available to Hebrew, Judaeo-Arabic, and Arabic scholars working with the documents found in the Geniza chamber of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo in the late 19th century.

The project is dedicated to transcribing documents from film copies, photocopies, draft texts typed by S. D. Goitein, and printed editions to computer files, creating a full text retrieval text-base of transcribed documents, developing new tools such as dictionaries, semantic categories and morphological aids to further the study of Geniza texts.

Finally, the project is committed to disseminating its materials as widely as possible to the international community of scholars with an interest in the life of the medieval Middle East, as well as to all with an interest in Judaica. Ultimately, we hope to provide links to digitized images of manususcripts in our corpus, as libraries pursue the imaging of their collections..

It is our hope that by making materials from this very esoteric field widely available that new insights can be gained into the interaction of the peoples of the Middle East in past time. Funding has come from Princeton University and from the Friedberg Genizah Project.