Announcement 13



The Friedberg Genizah Project

January 16, 2013

Announcement No. 13

"Genazim" is pleased to announce the launching of Version 11 of the

Genizah website.

Following is an overview of the improvements in this version.





The entire Genizah collection of the John Rylands Library, the University of

Manchester, has been digitized by the Library, and a copy was given graciously by the Library to the Friedberg Genizah Project. The images – about 25,700 - are now displayed in the Genizah website, together with the metadata compiled for these shelfmarks by Manchester.



The entire Genizah collection at the Brotherton Collection of the University of Leeds has been digitized by the Library, and the 62 images of that collection are now displayed in our website.



About 5,200 images from the Mosseri collection, conserved and digitized by the Genizah Research unit of Cambridge University Library, are now displayed in the website. The remaining images of that collection are expected to reach us and to be displayed in the website soon.

We are grateful to the Libraries, Officers and technical persons in charge at the Universities of Manchester, Leeds and Cambridge for their support and their spirit of cooperation.


What else is still missing?

With the availability of the Manchester, Leeds and Mosseri images in the

Genizah website, this website currently contains about 450,000 (!) highquality digital images of Genizah fragments from more than 65 public and private collections, covering more than 99% of all Genizah fragments available anywhere. What we are missing are the Oxford, and Westminster collections, which are under negotiations, and the St. Petersburg, Kiev and

Moscow ones, as well as the private Sofer (London) collection, all together totaling probably less than 30,000 images.




The Jigsaw module

We are proud to announce the availability in this version of what we believe to be one of the most useful and important functions for Genizah research: the Jigsaw function.

Using this new module, a Genizah researcher, who suspects that a specific set of fragments is indeed a "join", whether a "physical" one, i.e. a few pieces that combine together to form a page, or a 'contextual' one, i.e. a set of folios that originate from the sane manuscript, can call these fragments' images - cropped to the actual fragment - to the screen, and manipulate them as with a puzzle pieces. He can magnify or reduce an image without distorting it, calibrate all the images to the same common size, move any of them or rotate it by any angle and any direction instantaneously, flip it to the other side (recto/verso), add to - or delete from - this set whatever images he

wishes, and after getting a first draft of what might be a join, to flip it by one click to the other side, in order to check whether it is indeed also a join from that side too. He can store a temporary configuration to check it more thoroughly in a subsequent session, or finally recognize (and store) a definitive join, which will be then displayed in the site with his name as the source.

An audio-visual "help" (in English) for this function is available in every page of the wensite, as it is available for all the other functions in this site.


Textual search combined with the Advanced search

Many times when a user is looking for a word or an expression in the transcriptions corpus, for example, he would like to restrict the search to a specific set of fragments that satisfy certain criteria (that can be defined by the Advanced Search function). This option is now available in the current version. Start with the full-text search by writing the expression to search, and then restrict the corpus to be searched by following the" Search limited to partial corpus" link.


Computed metadata

As was announced earlier, our Image Analysis Research Group was successful in developing an automatic system for the computation of a large number of numerical attributes about the physical aspects of the fragment , such as its external and internal dimensions, number of lines, line and interline widths, text density, margins and their widths etc.

Recently, Genazim finished the complex task of applying this system to the entire collection of 450,000 Genizah images (with the exception of a few percentages of very small or corrupt fragments), a unique and unparalleled accomplishment in the world of historical manuscripts. Not only a substantial saving in tine and efforts was attained by this, but as should be

obvious, important and useful data was compiled and is now displayed, that would have been virtually impossible to compile otherwise.

For a detailed explanation on how the data is displayed and can be processed, see the appendix.


Import and export of files from the Workspace

This function allows a user to export some of the files stored in his workspace to any registered user, who can then import them to this workspace. The import and export icons are explicit in every workspace.

This function can be very efficient in the case of a lecturer giving a seminar to a group of students, discussing a given set of images, since the lecturer can build this set in his workspace, exporting it later to all his students. The same would apply to a group of researchers who would like to share a common set of images for study and analysis.


Sending the results of an advanced search by email

When sending the results of an advanced search by email (at the user's request), the original query that created these results is also attached to the email, so as to remind the user of the nature of the emailed list of shelfmarks, in case he is looking at it a few days later.


Registration for Libraries

The registration for libraries and their visitors has been further simplified, in the sense that once a librarian has registered and has designated a group of

PCs in the library for accessing the Genizah website, then any visitor can access the website immediately through these PCs without any usernames or passwords.


Additional improvements a – FGP numbers

The box in which an FGP image number can be marked and requested for display, has now been modified to accept en entire range of numbers, such as C87403 – C87405 (no more than 10 consecutive n umbers). The user is advised however to use this option with extreme caution, since the FGP numbers are not necessarily continuous, neither in numbering the images in a shelfmark nor in numbering the images in consecutive shelfmarks. b – FOLUS

The Friedberg Online User system currently available to site users (to add data to the site) has been updated to allow for the input of the following data: full or partial transcriptions (and the indication of whether the transcription is full or partial), physical status of the fragment (including margins and blank sides), columns (number, width and inter-column width), and lines

(number, and inter-line space). c – Transcriptions of Joins

If a complete transcription is available for the entire set of a join, then this complete transcription will be attached to each one of the members of the join, and be displayed accordingly. d

– Adding the Rotating Images to the Workspace

Any user can now add the set of rotating images in the website homepage to his workspace by just clicking the appropriate icon in the homepage.

Any comments or suggestions will be welcome as usual.


Appendix – Automated Measurements

The automatically computed data on the physical attributes of the images appear now as part of the catalog record of a shelfmark, that appears in the website page as .

Since such data relates to an image rather than to the corresponding shelfmark, the user will see such data first as recorded by image, and if the image is of a bifolio, then the data will be given for each folio by itself, and finally if the image contains several components, then, for each component by itself; the whole process is activated by the following link that appears in the Catalog Record page:

In the Advanced Search, that appears in the website as where a set of criteria is specified to retrieve the relevant shelfmarks, these computed data, that are part of can be used as part of the specified criteria.

Finally, the user can see this data in another more meaningful context, by clicking on and looking at the screen with the given image.

Two collections of 4 icons each above the image help manipulate the various metadata functions.

In the group at the right, clicking on the first icon will draw the frames of the various parts of the image and pointing the cursor to the frame will give the appropriate measures. Clicking on the second icon will mark the lines of the fragment, and pointing the cursor appropriately will

number the lines. If the image contains several components, then clicking on the third icon will number these components in a fixed, never to be changed way; thus allowing the user to specifically refer to such a component by its number, as in C84072/3.

Finally clicking on the fourth icon will determine the unit of measurement, whether in cms or in ins.

In the left group of icons, clicking on the first icon will give an explicit list of some of these measures. The adjoining icons can be used to display additional images that may be attached to that shelfmark.