The Scribes of the Cairo Geniza project aims to classify and transcribe selected fragments from the Cairo Geniza, an archive of over 300,000 fragments of pre-modern and medieval Jewish texts discovered in a storeroom in the Ben Ezra synagogue in Cairo.

Recently, the team launched a major transcription initiative featuring a custom frontend built by Zooniverse web developers* in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and their Judaica Digital Humanities initiative. However, the first phase of the project (created using the Zooniverse Project Builder) launched in the fall of 2017, and invited volunteers to help sort the fragments by script type.

The Judaica DH team have recently begun publishing a series of blog posts, written by Judaica DH Coordinator Emily Esten, reviewing the results of the Sorting phase. Series topics published so far include an overview of the Sorting phase, and a discussion of the classification of fragments as being written in Hebrew or Arabic script, which includes some really interesting statistics on the frequency of agreement among responses.

You can read the series, as well as lots of other interesting posts about Scribes of the Cairo Geniza, on the project blog: To participate in the project, visit


*Development for this project is supported by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).