AHRC Rylands Cairo Genizah Project
The Arts and Humanities Research Council awarded the Library in June 2006 a grant of over £361,000 to digitise and catalogue the Rylands Genizah.
The two main objectives of the AHRC Rylands Cairo Genizah Project are to photograph both recto and verso of nearly 15,000 fragments and to provide the images with their catalogue descriptions.
This will result in the creation of an online image collection holding nearly 30,000 images that is available through the University of Manchester Library website as part of a searchable and browseable catalogue.
As part of the AHRC Project, we organise regular workshops to which we invite a number of Genizah specialists with an eye on enhancing the database and in the hope of new identifications.
For each workshop we select a specific group of Rylands Genizah fragments and ask the participants of the workshop to give a short paper about how they think the fragments relate to the Cairo Genizah as a whole.
These workshops provoke lively discussions and lead to new discoveries.
We also intend to publish a number of articles on specific groups of Rylands Genizah fragments, such as Targum fragments and medical fragments, in the Journal of Semitic Studies and other periodicals in the field of Jewish Studies.
The Rylands Cairo Genizah Project has been running since October 2003 following generous grants by the Friedberg and Safra Foundations and Mr. Joe Dwek for the first three years of the Project.
Its primary objective was initially to describe the Rylands Genizah fragments and supply the electronic records to the Friedberg Foundation as part of the Library's contribution to an international initiative to produce a union catalogue for all Genizah collections world-wide.
The Library will continue its close collaboration with the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts at the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem.
The Institute is adding descriptions of a substantial amount of Rylands Genizah fragments to its online catalogue of manuscripts.
We consider our online catalogue and image collection as work-in-progress and welcome any new input, comments and rectifications.