The decipherment, description and online accessibility of 16,500 medieval Hebrew and Judaeo-Arabic Genizah manuscripts

The project deciphers, describes, and digitises the medieval manuscripts from the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection at Cambridge University Library. The project describes and digitises around 16,500 items, creates bibliographic information, publishes catalogues, and provides access to descriptions, bibliographic information, and images online. The project gives scholars of religion, language, literature, culture, and history greater opportunity to study material from the collection. The collection contains material of interest to scholars from many fields, and the Genizah Unit has produced catalogues of items which have given scholars the ability to find manuscripts of interest.

Principal investigator
Dr Ben Outhwaite
Principal project staff
Professor Stefan Reif
Start date
Sunday, January 1, 2006
Completion date
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Source material
The source of the digital resource is the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection, which is held in Cambridge University Library. The T-S Collection consists of 193,000 fragements, principally in Hebrew, Judaeo-Arabic, Arabic and Aramaic. The text in the digital resources contains descriptions of the manuscripts and bibliographical information related to the manuscripts. The images in the resource are images of the manuscripts.

Outhwaite, Ben, and Niessen, Friedrich, ‘A newly discovered autograph fragment of Maimonides’ “Guide for the Perplexed” from the Cairo Genizah’, Journal of Jewish Studies 57.2 (Autumn 2006), 287–297;

Jefferson, Rebecca, ‘Genizah Marriage Contracts: Contrasting Biblical Law and Halakhah with Mediaeval Practice’, in Deborah W. Rooke (ed.), A Question of Sex: Gender and Difference in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond (Sheffield, 2007), 162-73;

Niessen, Friedrich; Chipman, Leigh; Lev, Efraim, ‘A Hospital Handbook for the Community: Evidence for the Extensive Use of Ibn Abī’l-Bayān’s al-Dustūr al-bīmāristānī by the Jewish Practitioners of Medieval Cairo’, Journal of Semitic Studies 53 (2008), 103–18;

Jefferson, Rebecca and Vince-Dewerse, Ngaio, ‘When curator and conservator meet: some issues arising from the preservation and conservation of the Jacques Mosseri Genizah Collection at Cambridge University Library, Journal of the Society of Archivists 29/1 (2008), 41–56;

Jefferson, Rebecca, ‘A Genizah secret: the Count d’Hulst and the letters revealing the race to recover the lost leaves of the original Ecclesiasticus’; Journal of the History of Collections 21/1 (May 2009), 125–42;

Outhwaite, Ben, ‘Byzantium and Byzantines in the Cairo Genizah: new and old sources’ in Nicholas de Lange, Julia Krivoruchko and Cameron Boyd-Taylor (eds), Proceedings of the International Colloquium on the Greek Bible in Byzantine Judaism (Tübingen, 2009), 182–220;

Outhwaite, Ben and Bhayro, Siam (eds), '"From a Sacred Source": Genizah Studies in Honour of Professor Stefan C. Reif. Cambridge Genizah Studies Series, Volume 1.