The Cairo Genizah manuscripts: Taylor-Schechter Old Series and the Mosseri Collection

Project start date: 2009-03 Project end date: 2012-02
The project aims to complete the cataloguing and detailed description of the Old Series of the Taylor-Schechter Cairo Genizah Collection and a substantial proportion of the Jacques Mosseri Genizah Collection. The T-S Collection consists of approx. 193,000 medieval (and early modern) Jewish manuscripts recovered from a storeroom (Genizah) in Old Cairo one hundred years ago, and is an unparalleled resource for the study of medieval Judaism, Islam and the history of the Mediterranean and Near East in the Middle Ages. The Old Series is the historical core of the Collection, and approx. 16,000 manuscripts (dating mostly from the 9th to the mid-13th c. CE) will be described in detail. The descriptions will be matched to high-quality digital images (produced by a parallel project), and will be made available online through the Library's web site. 1000 items from the Jacques Mosseri Genizah Collection - a collection of Genizah manuscripts made later than the T-S but originating, mostly, from the same source - will also be described and digitised, images and descriptions to go online.
Methods usedCategory
3d scanningData capture
Collaborative publishingData publishing and dissemination
CollatingData analysis
CollocatingData analysis
General project managementStrategy and project management
General website developmentData publishing and dissemination
IndexingData analysis
Manual input and transcriptionData capture
PhotographyPractice-led research
PreservationStrategy and project management
Resource sharingData publishing and dissemination
Text encoding - descriptiveData structuring and enhancement
Text encoding - presentationalData structuring and enhancement
Textual interaction (asynchronous)Communication and collaboration
Use of existing digital dataData capture
Funding sources: 
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Software tools used: 
  • TextEdit; Adobe Photoshop; Oxygen; as-yet unspecified DAMS.
Source material used:  
Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection and the Jacques Mosseri Genizah Collection: predominantly Jewish manuscripts dating from the 5th c. CE to the late 19th c., but with the majority dating between the late 9th to mid 13th c., and 16th-17th c. The manuscripts are mostly written in Hebrew, Judaeo-Arabic, Arabic and Aramaic, though documents in many other languages can also be found. Both collections are held at Cambridge University Library: the T-S Collection as part of the Library's permanent collection and the Mosseri as a 20-year loan from the Mosseri family of Paris.
Digital resource created:  
Zoomable images and searchable descriptions to be displayed through Cambridge University Library's new digital asset management system. All to be freely available over the web as an essential resource for the study of Jewish literature, religion and history in the medieval and early-modern periods.
Access to digital resource:  
Open Access
Data Formats created: 
Metadata standards employed: 
Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), Other

Institutions affiliated with this project: 

UK HE institutions involved:
University of Cambridge

Project staff and expertise: 

Principal staff member:Dr Ben Outhwaite
Other staff:Computing officer(s) / Technical supporter(s), Postdoctoral researcher(s) / Research assistant(s)
External expertise:Advice and expertise on Metadata (specifically XML and TEI) is provided by Grant Young, Cambridge University Library's metadata specialist, and training has been provided by Oxford's TEI group.

Metadata on this record
Author(s) of recordBen Outhwaite
TitleThe Cairo Genizah manuscripts: Taylor-Schechter Old Series and the Mosseri Collection
Record created2010-07-19
Record updated2010-07-19 12:10
URL of record
Citation of recordBen Outhwaite: The Cairo Genizah manuscripts: Taylor-Schechter Old Series and the Mosseri Collection. <> created: 2010-07-19, last updated 2010-07-19 12:10


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