Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Digitization of High-Priority Collections of the JTS Library

"Thanks to the visionary generosity of philanthropic leaders Dr. Georgette Bennett and Dr. Leonard Polonsky, The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary is now enhancing its digital library with images from 120 digitized manuscripts that were earlier unavailable in this format. When the project is finished, The JTS Library will have added a total of 50,000 images from more than 300 manuscripts to its electronic holdings.

"Manuscripts digitized in this project include more than 125 illuminated manuscripts in The Library's collection, along with manuscripts that do not have any surrogate copies. With their incorporation into The Library's digital collections, these works are being made available to the general public for the first time."

Photo credit:  Haggadah shel Pesah, Darmstadt, 1733

The manuscripts are searchable on The Library digital collections site, which utilizes ExLibris's Digitool software. The manuscripts can be searched by keyword, manuscript number, author, title, genre, and specific date.

The digital images are viewable in either METS or PDF format. All illuminated images are displayed in METS format utilizing the JPEG2000 viewer.

The Library houses more than 11,000 manuscript codices and 35,000 genizah fragments. The selections digitized are culled from many areas of the collection, including Bible, History, History of Science and Medicine, Kabbalah and Mysticism, Liturgy, Philology, Philosophy, Poetry and Belles Lettres, and Rabbinics. Further information about the manuscript collection is available on The Library's website.

In addition to manuscript digitization, the gift by Drs. Bennett and Polonsky enables The Library to build the Polonsky Digitization Lab in Memory of Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum. The late Rabbi Tanenbaum, a graduate of JTS, was a leader in human rights and interreligious affairs. Utilizing the lab, The Library will continue to digitize rare manuscripts and other materials for years to come. In this way, The JTS Library will be able to maintain its commitment to serving the public, providing access to its exceptional collection using the best technologies available.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Graduate Student Workshop in American Jewish History - Call for Applications


 Graduate Student Workshop in American Jewish History, May 20-22, 2013

 Deborah Dash Moore, University of Michigan
Beth S. Wenger, University of Pennsylvania

 Jewish Politics and American Society

The Frankel Center for Judaic Studies together with the American Jewish Historical Society and the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives announce a graduate student workshop in American Jewish history to be held at the University of Michigan. Designed to bring together graduate students invested in both American history and Jewish history, the workshop will encourage productive conversations that push the boundaries of both fields based on the premise that these historical subfields are mutually constitutive.

While sessions will focus on in-depth discussion of dissertation chapters, the workshop’s larger goal aims to give graduate students a forum in which to discuss their work within the growing field of American Jewish history and to explore issues of pedagogy and professionalization with the purpose of creating an intellectual community. The theme of the workshop looks at politics—broadly defined—to enable more sophisticated analysis and understanding of identity formation, negotiation of power, voting choices, social affiliation, religious change, and ultimately transformations in American and Jewish life.

ELIGIBILITY: Graduate students who have achieved candidacy and will have a dissertation chapter ready to pre-circulate by early spring 2013. Housing and meals will be provided. Students must provide their own transportation.

APPLICATION: All materials should be submitted online as pdfs to
A 3- to 5-page dissertation prospectus that demonstrates how the dissertation fits in the historiography of both Jewish history and American history
A brief description of career goals (250 words)
One recommendation letter from an advisor (sent separately)

 DEADLINE: January 4, 2013
Students will be notified of decision by February 4, 2013