More on the Digitization of Jewish Texts
Haaretz has a nice article about the Friedberg Geniza Project and its work on the digitization of Geniza documents. (hat tip) The article includes a lot of information about the current work being done by Prof. Yaacov Choueka, his son Roni, and other computer scientists and scholars of Rabbinic Literature. The first is how they are using face-recognition software to piece together fragments of the same document that are found in different libraries. They also hope to apply the new software to the recently digitized collection of the Dead Sea Scrolls, hoping to reconstruct scattered fragments.
The following also caught my eye:
Along with computerizing the Cairo Geniza, Choueka is now beginning to work on a project that he says is bigger, more comprehensive and more important. The project, to be called “Hakhi Garsinan” – meaning “this is how the text should be read,” the Aramaic phrase Rashi used to denote changes in versions of the Babylonian Talmud – will present every change that appears in any version of the Talmud based on all the manuscripts and printed editions in the world.
“It will be a modern website constructed in an unprecedented manner,” said Choueka. “Anyone who studies a page of Gemara – a yeshiva boy, a student at home or a university researcher – would be able to see all the versions for every line based on all the existing manuscripts.”
For about 150 years, Talmud scholars have been trying to launch a similar project. Now, thanks to Choueka’s computers and technology, he promises that this project will take off within a few years.