The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) announced its receipt of a substantial grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the conservation and digitization of material from its Cairo Genizah collection. The project will make a valuable body of material widely available for research for the first time and further the JTS Library’s part in an ongoing international collaboration.
“The Library is thrilled to be able to conserve and digitize unidentified fragments from the Cairo Genizah. With support from the NEH, we will bring to light and make available to the world documents written over the past thousand years,” said Naomi Steinberger, director of Library services and of the entire project.
The Cairo Genizah is one of the most voluminous and significant historical resources of all time, on par with the Dead Sea Scrolls in importance. A collection of writings held for centuries in the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo, it provides information about life in North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean from the ninth to the 19th centuries. Its documents testify to details of both Jewish and non-Jewish life that are unparalleled in any other source from any other historical period.