Scribes, Scholars, & Scripts creating a Digital Humanities community through crowdsourcing

1. Abstract

How do you organize a research project around manuscript fragments? Digital collections can allow teams to create a shared online space in which images can be hosted, but the types of research questions that individual scholars may want to ask can be as fragmented as the objects of interest themselves. In this panel, we will discuss Scribes of the Cairo Geniza (, a collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and the Zooniverse (, the world’s largest platform for online crowdsourced research. The project invites the public to help classify and transcribe fragments from the Cairo Geniza, a corpus of 350,000 fragments primarily from the 10th-13th centuries, found in a storeroom (or ‘geniza’) of the Ben Ezra synagogue in Fustat. The panelists will discuss the process of designing, developing, and running a large, multi-institution online crowdsourcing project from the following perspectives: project manager, web developer, content specialist, and data specialist.

Emily Esten (, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, United States of America, Samantha Blickhan (, Adler Planetarium, Will Noel (, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, United States of America and Marina Rustow (, Princeton University

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