Scribes of the Cairo Geniza

Scribes of the Cairo Geniza
Scribes of the Cairo Geniza aims to sort and transcribe Cairo Geniza fragments using new technological approaches in partnership with a community of citizen humanists using the Zooniverse platform.

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Role: Project Manager
Where: University of Pennsylvania Libraries
When: 2019-present

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.

As the project manager, I work with a team of researchers, curators, and volunteers to develop a comprehensive approach towards fostering public participation in research. I led the launch of two new user tasks in the project; ran user testing on three additional user tasks, and coordinated with translators and content experts to review content and materials. I have also developed workflows for data collection and review so that scholars can monitor and track the progress of the project. In developing our interface and engagement strategy, I have hosted in-person and livestreamed events, recorded instructional videos, developed promotional materials, and curated images from our image library to engage users.


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