We’re pleased to announce the publication of a new issue of Startwords, featuring essays celebrating, and inspired by, the Zooniverse project Scribes of the Cairo Geniza. Two of the pieces in particular we highlight below.

“Strangers in the Landscape”: On Research Development and Making Things for Making, co-authored by current and former Zooniverse team members Sam Blickhan, Will Granger, Shaun A. Noordin, and Becky Rother, is about the process of collaborating with teams to create research tools—specifically, what we learned through the process of creating the clickable keyboards for Scribes.

Serendipity in the Cairo Geniza is co-authored by Matthew Dudley, a Ph.D. Candidate at Yale, and Steffy Reader, a retired psychotherapist and Scribes volunteer. The piece is a conversation about how they met during a conference and discovered they’d already met—and collaborated!—via the Scribes Talk boards.

The publication is based on a series of conversations about crowdsourcing, inspired by Scribes of the Cairo Geniza, that was presented in April by 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. Information about the event can be found here, and a recap (including videos of all the conversations) can be found here.

Startwords is published by the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton. The special issue is guest edited by Emily Esten, Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica Curator of Digital Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and Project Manager for Scribes of the Cairo Geniza.