RECAP: Crowdsourcing and the Humanities: Roundtable Discussions Celebrating Scribes of the Cairo Geniza

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RECAP: Crowdsourcing and the Humanities: Roundtable Discussions Celebrating Scribes of the Cairo Geniza

The Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship at University of Pennsylvania Libraries, The Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton University Library, the Princeton Geniza Lab, and the Zooniverse present a series of conversations on project management and development, creation and use of data, and crowdsourcing platforms and research possibilities.

Scribes of the Cairo Geniza is a multilingual crowdsourcing project launched in 2017 to classify and transcribe manuscript fragments from a medieval Egyptian synagogue. An initiative led by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and Zooniverse, the project harnesses the power of technology and people to decipher some of the most challenging fragments in the world.

Building on the project’s work, this series of roundtable discussions explore methods for project development and management, data curation and use, and crowdsourcing experiences in conversation with historians, developers, librarians, philologists, curators, DH practitioners, Geniza specialists, and community members around the world. We hope to engage the field at-large in a community-building exercise to reflect on our project and its connections to other crowdsourcing efforts.

This event was part of the 2020–21 “Collections as Data” series presented by the Center for Digital Humanities and Princeton University Library. Now in its third year, the series was dedicated to exploring how library, archive, and museum collections can be leveraged to support data-driven scholarship and discovery. This year’s focus is community, exploring how communities can engage with and form around data-based projects.

View the recordings for each of these roundtables below:

About the Author

Emily Esten
Emily Esten
Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica Curator of Digital Humanities
As the Kaplan Curator, Emily spearheads projects that facilitate access to and use of Penn's Judaica collections, making connections between them and dispersed Judaica content around the globe. She is responsible for curating the Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica and for rolling out Scribes of the Cairo Geniza project, phase II.

As the inaugural Kaplan Curator, Emily Esten spearheads projects that facilitate access to and use of Penn's Judaica collections, promoting them and making connections between them and dispersed Judaica content around the globe. She is also responsible for curating, building, and researching the Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica. In addition, she coordinates Scribes of the Cairo Geniza project.

In addition to her role at the Penn Libraries, she is the Web Manager for Contingent Magazine and the Director of Communications for the National Emerging Museum Professionals Network. Previously, she worked at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate and at Brown University.

Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, with majors in history and digital humanities, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master's Degree in public humanities from Brown University.