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The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project Pre print of article submitted for publication in Nachum Dershowitz and Ephraim Nissan (eds), Language, Culture, Computation: Essays Dedicated to Yaacov Choueka (Lecture Notes in Computer Science), Springer Verlag, Berlin [expected December 2010]. Rebecca J. W. Jefferson 3/31/2010

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 2 A complete inventory of the Cambridge Genizah Collections was compiled between the years 2004 and 2006 1 It was undertaken by researchers in the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit, 2 under the auspices of the Friedberg Genizah Project, 3 in order to prepare the way for the eventual digitization of these manuscrip ts. Yet when the project began, the exact number of Cairo Genizah manuscripts at Cambridge, the largest of the worldwide Genizah collections, was still unknown and number o 4 Furthermore, as far as the classification scheme was concerned, it was not possible to speak of a single, monolithic collection, let alone know whether just one fragment or many. Most of the Cambridge Genizah manuscr ipts were purchased by the Cambridge scholars Solomon Schechter and Charles Taylor, primarily from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo (some were purchased from other synagogues, local dealers, or excavated from the nearby Jewish cemeter y). The resulting c ollection, shipped in 5 was donated to Cambridge University Library in 1898 Schechter (T ge boxes 6 Schechter did not know how many manuscripts he had brought back to 7 Back in Cambridge, however, Schechte 8 1 This article is dedicated to Professor Yaacov Choueka (Chief Computerization Scientist at the F riedberg G enizah P roject (FGP) and Professor Eme ritus at Bar Ilan University) with whom I had the privilege of working on the devotion to detail and accuracy and his dedication to the task in hand is the inspiration behind the following historical investigation and reconstruction 2 The Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit (T S Unit) at Cambridge University Library (CUL) was founded in 1974 under the directorship of Stefan C. Reif. 3 The F GP profit international humanities venture established in 1999 by Mr. Albert (see http://www.friedberg .genizah.project.org) 4 See Reif, S. C. [12]: Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Library: a description and introduction (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications; 52), Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, p. 30 5 The number of crates is c onfirmed by Schechter in a letter to the University Librarian, Francis Jenkinson (see CUL MS Add.6463(E).3453 ) and by Jenkinson who recorded in his dia ry (CUL MS Eight large boxes came from Cairo, for which I paid £19.5.3 carriage &c. to ( 2 March 1897). Thank you to the Syndics of Cambridge University Library for permission to cite and quote from the Library manuscripts and archives. 6 Cambridge University Reporter 14 June 1898, No. 1215, Vol. XXVIII, No. 39, pp. 968 969 [Hereafter the annual reports of the Library Syndicate Annual Report ]. 7 CUL MS Add.6463(E).3416 8 Schechter, S. [15]: Studies in Judaism London, p. 9.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 3 The Old Series Annual Report for 1902 recalls that after it arrived the T S Collection underwent a preliminary sorting: The whole of the Collection, with the exception of a small portion in very bad condition, has now been through the process of a first sorting. The Hebrew section has been divided into two main portions by the separation of the more important fragments from those of less interest. These latter have been stored in boxes, ready for further examination. The Arabic portion has undergone the preliminary sorting, and is now gradually being dealt with in the same way as the Hebrew section. 9 practically the whole 10 The initial sorting process and the transfer of material i nto new boxes can be seen in the icon ic old Library (see figs 2 3) in 1898. The manuscripts are strewn around the tables in the room and boxes of various sizes are filled with papers. The T S Collection was donated to Cambridge Univers ity Library on a number of conditions, including the proviso that: T he University undertake to make such provision as is po ssible by binding, mounting, or otherwise for the preservation of the MSS., and to have them sorted, and a list or 11 During the next four years, before his departure to N ew York, Schechter was employed by the Library to work on the Collection. 12 He was assisted by the Librarian, Francis Jenkinson, with the sorting and classification process; 13 by a bindery assistant, Andrew Baldrey, with sorting, cleaning and pressing the fr agments, 14 and by Charles Taylor, Francis Crawford Burkitt, Agnes Smith Lewis 9 2 (June 3, 1903) Cambridge University Reporter June 23, 1903, No. 1463, Vol. XXXIII, No. 48, pp. 1066 6 7. 10 Appendix II: Report on t he Taylor Schechter Collect ended 31 December 1905 (University Cambridge University Reporter 2 June 1906, No. 1609, Vol. XXXVI, No. 40, pp. 1008 12. 11 Cambridge University Reporter 14 June 1898, No. 1215, Vol. XXVIII, No. 39, pp. 968 9. 12 Ibid. 13 Schechter and Jenkinson beg an the sorting process before the Collection was officially accepted by the Library (see Jenki entry f or 17 September 1897 reads 5 with 14 Andrew Baldrey was placed in charge of conserving the Genizah fragments, a role he conducted with great diligence until his retirement in 1926. Baldr ey even took the time to visit other Genizah collections at the Bodleian, the British Museum, and at Westminster College, Cambridge to observe their methods of treating the ed in the T S Unit departmental records. Thank you to Dr Ben Outhwaite, Head of the Genizah Research Unit, for permission to quote from these records). and the history of how the Collection was first ordered can be reconstructed thanks to his careful reports and handlists.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 4 and Margaret Dunlop Gibson with the identification and description of certain select pieces. 15 Between the years 1900 and 1901, Herman Leonard Pass (a Jewish convert to Christianit y who later became an Anglican priest) was employed to sort and catalogue the b iblical material and other literary pieces and between 1901 and 1902 Hartwig Hirschfeld College London) sorted through the Arabic and Judaeo Arabic fragments and created the T S Arabic series, 16 which is now known to comprise 10,165 fragme nts (14,385 folios) 17 After Schechter left the Library in 1902, an ordinary Library assistant who had proven a talented linguist assumed A true autodidact, Ernest Worman trained himself to decipher Judaeo Arabic manuscripts by starting to read the larger and more legible texts first before working through to the smaller and more fragmentary pieces. 18 Before his pre mature death in 1909, Worman had sorted through and classified a fair amount of documentary material including those comprise 1849 fragments ; 1948 folios) and some of the bound volu (15 95 fragments and folios) Within the ten year time frame allotted by the donors of the Collection, and with the help of the aforementioned scholars and curators, approximately one quarter of the collection was sorted and classi (A K = subject) and number scheme (6 32 = folio size) The fragments selected were, on the whole, among the largest and most legible manuscripts in the Collection. The official count in 1905 was 34,355 fragmen ts: 1714 were preserved in glass; 1952 were bound in volumes, and the rest were placed between cartridge paper and placed Annual Report (1906) noted that: 15 Taylor ( Master of St John donor ) helped Schechter identify and sort through the Ben Sira fragments and the Greek palimpse sts in the Collection. Burkitt (later a Professor of Divinity at Cambridge ) helped discover and describe some fragments of Aquila, and the scholarly sisters Lewis and Gibson helped with the elucidation and identification of thirty items in Syriac (see See Reif, S. C. [14]: A Jewish Archive from Old Cairo Richmond, pp. 237 38). 16 Ibid., p. 66. 17 The Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (2007) counted the number of manuscript pages assigned to each shelfmark. The results were at each shelfmark and the number of (recto and verso) + 1 bifolium (2 leaves, recto and verso) wou ld be counted as 2 fragments), whereas the term (recto and verso) + 1 bifolium (2 leaves, recto and verso) would be counted as 3 folios). 18 the order in which he listed the fragments that he had classified, starting with T

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 5 By completing the hand list and class catalogue above mentioned, and by providing a list of boxes in which all the more important parts of the collection have been arranged with the fullest possible attention to subdivision, the conditions of the gift will have been substantially fulfilled. Not long after this report was compiled another sub section of the Collection, the T S Miscellaneous Series, was created. A handlist of the T S Misc. manuscripts (see table 1) shows how the fragments were selected from some of the unsorted boxes, including nd Wooden Box [1 to the Misc. Series were 251 fragments taken on loan by Schechter when he left Cambridge for New York in 1902. 19 returned, were re classified as T S Misc.35 36 (unfortunately, they are still sometimes referred to in the scholarly world causes confusion). Handlists of both the T S Arabic and T S Misc. boxes represent the first attempts at compiling inventories of sections of the Collection by including a wever, referred to the number of 20 Table 1 : T S Misc. Series reproduced from a handlist appended to a catalogue from 1903 [now held in T S Unit Departmental Records] No. of Box No. of Frags Miscellaneous Contents 1 133 Bible 2 nd class vellum frags 2 115 Bible 2 nd selection 1. 3 124 Bible 2 nd selection 2. 4 6 Bible Unsorted 5 165 Bible Transl & Comm. Paper. 1 6 203 Bible Transl & Comm. Paper. 2 7 158 Bible Transl & Comm. Paper. 3 8 105 List of Names, History, Literature, Docs. 9 85 Hebrew from Wooden Box. 1 10 259 Hebrew from Wooden Box. 2 11 235 Hebrew from Wooden Box. 3 12 38 Inc. Identified 13 22 Inc. Not Identified 14 42 Printed 1 15 121 Printed 2 16 148 Printed 16th c.? 1 17 108 Printed 16th c.? 2 18 98 Printed Talmudic 1 19 Some 15, pp. 413 28 [in Hebrew]. 20 But even this item count would prove to be inaccurate ( e.g., the number of shelfmarks for T S Misc.14 is now known to be 80).

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 6 19 121 Printed Talmudic 2 20 234 Examined by Dr Mann. Liverpool Box. 21 11 For Mr Elmslie. 22 312 Hebr. frags turned out of Ar. Coll n by Dr Hirschfield 23 8 Pieces selected by Dr Davidson 24 187 25 147 26 64 27 c. 50 28 207 T S frags. 29 30 T S frags. 30 c. 99 T S frags printed 31 48 T S frags printed 32 55 T S frags printed 33 6 T S frags printed (Inc.) 34 2 T S frags printed 35 208 Loan Collection 1 36 Loan Collection 2 36L Not included in this handlist (Library Collection Loan) 37 40 Indexes to T S Collection The residue Annual Report Collection: the parts that had been set aside in the sorting process and rejected as rised eleven categories, eight of which had been placed into boxes according to a rough description of contents (see table 2). Table 2 Annual Report (1906); Section 6(B) No. Description 1 A box of Hebrew fragments turned out of the Arabic and printed sections (to be examined again) 2 Bible, second selection, arranged by books, 10 boxes 3 Bible, second selection, cleaned and pressed, 1 box 4 Bible, unimportant, not arranged, 1 box 5 Bible scrolls, 1 box 6 Bible, leather fragments, 1 box 7 Talmud, unimportant, 1 box 8 Liturgy, unimportant, 1 box 9 Four boxes of fragments (chiefly small) put aside in course of sorting (to be examined again) 10 11 Two boxes of rubbish T an u nknown quantity of manuscripts was stored in 24 wooden boxes of unspecified dimensions. A twenty contents were p ossibly those enigmatically Annual Report (1906) under the heading :

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 7 a considerable quantity of fragments from the same source as the Taylor Schechter brary within the last few years Only a small amount of work has been done on these, and it is very desirable that steps should be taken for th eir further examination. By 1912, all twenty a basement under the Map Room where they languished for at least another decade (see table 3). In the 1920s, when an increasing lack of space bec ame a pressing issue for the Library syndicate and at some point over the next few years (perhaps in 1921; see fn. 22) the Genizah residue was relocated there. 21 Ten ye ars after the Library had moved from its old location in the quadrangle of S Collection was re assessed by the Librarian, A. F. Scholfield. Reporting on a section of the residue, Scholf ield wrote: the leavings after Dr Schechter had picked over the whole collection. They might from their size and condition be fairly described as a dust heap. 22 But the boxes of residue were nevertheless brought over to the new Library building and by 1949 they were stored on the seventh floor of the Library tower. It was probably during this move that parts of the collection were transferred into smaller crates. The total number of these containers, according to a handlist compiled that year, was now thirty two (see table 4). 21 The use of t he Arts School for extra space is mentioned in the ending September 30, 192 2 Cambridge University Reporter May 8, 1923, No. 2438, Vol. LIII No. 38, p 937, and the Arts School is recorded as a storage facility for the Genizah material on the handlist from 1949 (see table 4). 22

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 8 Table 3: The list of wooden boxes which were removed from Cairo Room to the basement under the Map Room in June 1912 Box No. Box contents description Corresponding Library Annual Report (1906) No. 1 Bible, No. 2: Genesis 2. Bible, second selection, arranged by books 2 Bible, No. 2: Exodus 3 Bible, No. 2: Leviticus 4 Bible, No. 2: Numbers 5 Bible, No. 2: Deuteronomy 6 Bible, No. 2: Joshua Kings 7 Bible, No. 2: Isaiah, 5 scrolls 8 Bible, No. 2: Job, Proverbs, Psalter 9 Bible, No. 2: Jeremiah, Minor Prophets 10 Bible, No. 2: Chron., Ezra, Nehemiah, Ezekiel 11 Bible scrolls 5. Bible scrolls 12 Leather fragments 6. Bible, leather fragments 13 Talmudic (unimportant) 7. Talmud, unimportant 14 Liturgy (unimportant) 8. Liturgy, unimportant 15 Bible (unimportant) 4. Bible, unimportant 16 Printed (not cleaned) 1. Arabic and printed sections 17 To be examined again 9. Four boxes of fragments, chiefly small, to be examined again (by 1912 in five wooden boxes?) 18 To be examined again 19 To be examined again 20 To be examined again 21 To be examined again 22 Rubbish 11. Two boxes of rubbish (by 1912 in large tea chest?) 23 From Liverpool (not examined) 10. Not examined, bad condition (by 1912 in two original boxes shipped from Liverpool?) 24 From Liverpool (not examined) 25 Library Collection. Feb. 1902

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 9 Table 4: Residue crates list: rep roduced from a handlist signed by Don Crane ( Oriental Librarian) 17 November 1949 Crate No. Crate contents description Former wooden box no. 1 ? 15? 2 ? 15? 3 Talmudic unimportant. Mostly Maimonides Mishneh Torah and the code of R. Isaac al Fasi (Report, no. 7) 13 4 Library Collection. Not T/S. Feb. 1902 25 5 Genizah Library Collection 25 6 Liturgy unimportant (Report, no. 8) 14 7 22 8 ? ? 9 ? ? 10 ? ? 11 ? ? 12 To be examined again (Report, no. 9) 17 13 From Liverpool. Not examined. Not T/S 23 14 From Liverpool. Examined 24 15 To be examined again (Report, no. 9?) 18 16 ? ? 17 Bible No. 2. Leviticus (Report, no. 2) 3 18 Bible No. 2. Chron. Ezra. Neh. Ezek. 10 19 Bible No. 2. Exodus 2 20 Bible, leather frags. (Report, no. 6) 12 21 Bible No. 2. Joshua kings (Report no. 2) 6 22 Bible No. 2. Numbers. 4 23 To be examined again (Report, no. 9) 19 24 Bible scrolls (Report, no. 5) 11 25 Bible No. 2. Psalms, Proverbs, Job (Report, No. 2) 8 26 To be examined again. (Report, No. 9?) 20 27 Bible No. 2. Isaiah, 5 scrolls. (Report, No. 2) 7 28 Bible No. 2. Jeremiah, Minor Prophets (Report, No. 2) 9 29 Bible No. 2. Printed (uncleaned). Rejected by Worman 16 30 Bible No. 2. Genesis. (Report, no. 2?) 1 31 Bible No. 2. Deuteronomy 5 [32] 1 box unnumbered ? Twenty five of the 1949 crate numbers and descriptions correspond to the twenty five wooden boxes of the 1912 list, but an additional seven crates appear that were left un classified (see table 4). One of these, crate 10, had the following label placed ins ide of it: These Hebrew MSS. are part of [my emphasis] a collection bought from Messrs Henriques and Henriques of Cairo and Manchester. Six sacks were bought 23 Feb. 1899. Three bags were bought 19 Jan. 1902. [12 Jan, 1921. C. S.] 23 Mr Reginald Q. Henriques had befriended Schechter in Cairo where he worked as a 23 The label was written in 1921, perhaps as a result of the collection being re organized for a move to the Arts School (see fn. 20).

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 10 upon himself to hind as much of the leftover Genizah material as possible for Schechter. 24 According to the aforementioned label, Henriques sent two shipments of Genizah fragments to Cambridge University Library: six sacks full in 1899 and three bags in 1902. The arrival of the six sacks can be corroborated by Library records, but there does not seem to be any record of the 1902 shipment apart from the description in 1921. 25 It is not clear where the six sacks were placed when they reached the Library in 1899, but it seems possible that, if it arrived, the 1902 material was placed in wooden box no. 25, a box which the 1912 handlist clearly describes The term however, was also used to describe the material purchased in 1898 99 from Wertheimer and Raffalovich (see the section 1081) were tr ansferred into boxes But c ertainly by 1949 we ca c ollection had been transferred into crate number 10 (as attested by the 1921 label) and perhaps also into c rate number 13, described as mined. Not T/S By comparing these old lists, we can see how the unsorted parts of the residue were transferred from boxes to the crates from which a T S New Series would subsequently 11 Annual Report (1906) were transferred into one huge box (probably, in the 1949 list (see table 3). Over the next two decades, most of the contents of crate no. 24 the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS, Schechter Papers, Corr espondence, Box 4/11) and his letters to Schechter and Jenkinson in Cambridge University Library (CUL ULIB 6/6/1/2). Thank you to Jacqueline Cox, Deputy Keeper of the University Archives, for her kind help in locating the letters held in Cambridge Universi ty Library. Journal of the History of Collection s 21/1, 125 42. 25 (CUL ULIB 6/6/1/2) show that his c ollection was purchased in March 1899, and t he Library Synd icate Minutes for 26 April has acquired six

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 11 The New Series In 1955, the budding social historian, Shelomo Dov Goitein was spending time in Cambridge researching the documentary material in the T S Old Series. He was also helping the Library to classify a section of Genizah material that had been purchased both prior to and after Schechter had donated his hoard. This section is known as the Or R. Creswick, took him together with Susan Skilliter (Assistant Under Librarian in the Oriental Depa momentous visit suggests that he saw box 22; crate 7, for he wrote: there I saw a crate of dimensions I have never seen in my life. In huge letters the address Alexandria Liverpool was wri tten on it, but also, in another script, of course, the word: 26 Goitein convinced Creswick of the potential of the material in these residue boxes, and pressure was brought to bear on the Library to sort through the residue and to make it accessible for checking. 27 As the sorting began, the material already arranged in thirty two numbered crates was subdivided into further crates making a total of sixty crates or boxes. 28 The contents of the enormous crate of rubbish that had so impressed Goitein (box 22; crate 7) were divided into seven smaller crates. Parts of the original four containers of small fragments awaiting re examination (described as Annual Report 1906) appear to have been transferred into at least another fift een crates. Some were placed into crate no. 12 (out of which Goitein created sixteen divisions of the T S New Series), other parts were placed into crates labelled 12 (1 5), and others into crates numbered 15, 23 and 26 (which were subdivided into a total of nine crates) (see table 5). 26 Religion in a Religious Age : Proceedings of Regional Conferences held at the University of California, Los Angeles and Brandeis University in April, 1973 (Association for Jewish Studies), Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp. 139 46 (p. 145 6). 27 Further deta Sacred T rash by Peter Cole and Adina Hoffman (to be published by Schocken/Nextbook in 2011) I would like to thank Peter and Adina again for so generously sharing their archival discoveries with me and for their insightful questions and suggestions regarding the history of the Collection. 28 A number of these crates are still being used as a temporary storage facility for other Library archives in the Library manuscript storeroom. One of the crates has the following notation on its box lid: T S Crate 12(5) Exam by Goitein 10.x.55; 18.I.60 Spiegel.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 12 Table 5. List of the New Series boxes and the crates from which they were selected (reproduced from an undated, typed handlis t in the T S Unit departmental records, presumably compiled after Goitein had exam ined some of the boxes in 1955). Crate No. New Series No. Description 1 49 57 Unlabelled 2 31 38 Unlabelled [? Genizah Lib. Coll. Not T/S.] 3 (1 2) Talmudic unimportant. Mostly Maimonides. Mishneh Torah & the code of Isaac al Fasi (Rep. 7) 4 (1 2) Library collection. Not T/S. Feb. 1902 5 Genizah Library Collection 6 (1 5) Liturgy: unimportant (Rep. 8) 7 (1 7) 8 9 10 (1 2) 11 12 79 95 80 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 Goitein. 10.X.55. (Rep. 9) Vellum. Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) Miscellaneous. Examinded by Goitein. (Rep. 9) Printed. Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) (Unlabelled). Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) Hebrew. Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) Arabic. Examined by Goit ein. (Rep. 9) Hebrew poetry. Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) J1 418 (Identified). Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) 12 (1 5) Some also in move boxes 13 (1 3) From Liverpool. Not examined. Not T/S 14 (1 4) From Liverpool. Examined 15 (1 5) To be examined again. (Rep. 9?) 16 17 11 15 Leviticus. (Rep. 2) 18 16 17 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Ezekiel (Rep. 2) 19 7 10 Exodus (Rep. 2) 20 (1) Bible; leather fragments. (Rep. 6) 21 43 44 45 46 47 48 1 Samuel. (Rep. 2) 11 Samuel. (Rep. 2) Judges. (Rep. 2) Joshua. (Rep. 2) Kings. (Rep. 2) 22 18 24 Numbers (Rep. 2) 23 (1) To be examined again. (Rep. 9) 24 1 6 Bible scrolls. (Rep. 5) 25 39 40 41 42 Psalms. (Rep. 2) Proverbs. (Rep. 2) Job. (Rep. 2) 26 (1 3) To be examined again. (Rep. 9) 27 Isaiah, 5 Scrolls. (Rep. 2) 28 58 63 Jeremiah, Minor Prophets. (Rep. 2?) 29 25 30 Printed, uncleaned, rejected by Worman 30 72 78 Genesis. (Rep. 2) 31 64 68 Deuteronomy. (Rep. 2) 32? 69 71 One unnumbered unlabelled box

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 13 Over sixty years had passed before some order was brought to bear on a major section was put together over the next decade with final parts being organized in the 1970s. Un published handlists from the period reveal how boxes 1 284 (with some exceptions) were selected from the crates. In the case of those crates that had been original Annual Re port (1906), the transfer was straightforward. Thus, for example, manuscripts in T S NS boxes 10 7 165 all appear to have been taken from crate no. 6 In the case of NS boxes T S NS 172 211, however, their contents were selected by the Israeli scholar, Haim Schirmann from four different crates numbered 7, 10, 13 and 26 (see table 6). These crates were formerly described as either have seen, was later fn. 22). It is not known from which crates the boxes in New Series 285 342 were taken as the scholars who sorted NS material after Schirmann did not r ecord this information. Table 6: r eproduced from a handlist (probably in Schirma n Boxes in the Taylor Schechter Collection of Genizah Fragm [T S Unit Departmental Records] T S NS Box No. Conte nts and crate origin 172 Henriques Collection (from Crate 10) 173 174 Bible (from Crates 7 and 10) 175 182 Hebrew (from Crates 7, 10 and 26) 183 190 Arabic (from Crates 7, 10 and 26) 191 192 Printed (from Crates 7, 10 and 26) 193 194 Poetry Selection of Dr. Schirma n n 195 198 Common Prayers (from Crates 7, 10, 13, 26) 199 209 Poetry (from Crates 7, 10, 13, 26) 210 211 Hebrew general (from Crate 26) The removal of fragments from wooden boxes into crates and from thence randomly into the New Series boxes, meant that the manuscripts purchased from the

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 14 aforementioned Henriques were subsumed into the Taylor Schechter Collection and their origins barely ac knowledged. Having made his selections from crate 10, Schirma n n recorded next to his list of NS boxes that T S NS 172 (now known to comprise 18 9 fragments; 237 folios) some reason, he did not mark any other box in that way. Thus, in spite of havin g clearly supplied more than 189 fragments to the Library, T S NS 172 was the only folder in the T S New Series that was ever attributed to Mr Henriques. 29 Thus, the New Series, now known to comprise 44,435 fragments; 56 ,433 folios ( the exact number of minute scraps is still unknown ) was formed in a somewhat haphazard way. 30 Its initial numbers NS 1 78 (apart from NS 38a) were created from boxes that were already labelled. Subsequent boxes were formed due to the brilliant but uncoordinated efforts of a number of scholars, including Shelomo Dov Goitein (who examined and sorted boxes T S NS 79 95, of which T S NS 94 95 eventually became the NS J series), Haim Schirmann (NS 38a, 96 165, 172 264), Shalom Spiegel (NS 265 284), Nehemiah Allony (NS 285 307) and Shraga Abramson (NS 308 320). 31 These scholars created the New Series between 1955 and 1961 by selecting material that interested them, primarily from the crates numbered 1 16, 23 and 26. In 1961, the Israeli scholar, Nehem iah Allony published a description of the contents of the T S Collection. 32 He described the work undertaken to sort the New rough estimate of 100,000 fragments for the siz e of the T S Collection, Allony calculated that the Old Series amounted to 25,000 fragments; the New Series: 30,000, and the remainder: 45,000. Allony also lamented the unsystematic classification of the New Series, the absence of good guides to the Collec tion, and the lack of attention given to the remaining crates. 29 therefore seems unlikely that he expected any sort of official recognition or separate status for his man uscripts. 30 This criticism was first levelled at the New Series by Nehemiah Allony, one of the scholars involved in the sorting process, see Allony, N. [2]: Areshet 3, p. 413 [Hebrew]. 31 A han dlist of the NS collection held in the T S Unit Departmental Records provides the name of the scholar sorting the NS Boxes together with the date and a brief content description; so for example, T S NS 108 reads 32 See fn. 29 The description is part of an article dealing with the other collections of Hebraica held in Cambridge. Allony was the Director of the Insti tute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts in Jerusalem and had during the previous decade set out to obtain microfilm copies of all the major Hebrew manuscripts collections in Europe (see http://www.jnul.huji.ac.il/imhm/#history ).

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 15 Once news of this newly created T S Series spread abroad, scholarly demand to work on the Genizah fragments greatly increased. But the material selected for each box badly needed conservation treatment, and the Library personnel available to answer queries was limited. 33 Pressure was thus brought to bear on the Library to create a Library post with sole responsibility for the Genizah Collections. Following many discussions on this issue, Henry K nopf, who was employed to work on the time librarian in charge of the Genizah material. 34 In addition to answering the growing number of queries, and starting to produce catalogues of the Biblical material (later incorporated into the volume produced by M. C. Davies), 35 Knopf oversaw the creation of further boxes in the New Series, bringing the number of boxes up to 331. 36 These additional boxes were selected from the crates by Alexander Scheiber (NS 325), Norman Golb (NS 321 328) and Jacob Teicher (NS 166 171, NS 330 331). Another Israeli scholar, Jacob Sussmann, removed material from boxes that had already been sorted and classified into the New Series by Schirmann in order to create a n ew sub division, T S NS 329.1 numbered and notices can be found throughout the NS Collection indicating that manuscript T S NS X has now been renumbered as manuscript T S NS 329.Y. 37 Knopf produced a short guide to the T S Collection in which he gave a brief history of the Old Series and described the conservation work about to begin on the New Series. 38 He detailed a couple of the handlists (classified as E1 3, E5 and E8) that were available to scholars, and he listed the filing order for the various sub sections of the T S Collection which began with the bound volumes, followed by the boxes A K, the Arabic boxes, and the Misc. boxes, and bo xes NS 1 33 The state of the fragments in the NS boxes is recalled in an Oriental Department Report (1965 66) in which 215 S Unit Departmental Records]. A copy of a letter dated 18 March 1970 attached to an undated Syndicate Report (Paper LS 69) in the T S Unit Departmental Records states 32 large wooden crates, and the fact that these have not been relaxed, mounted or handlisted is a serious rebuke to The pressure on the Library staff brought about by the increased interest in the T S Collection is described by Reif [14] in A Jewish Archive pp.247 8. 34 Ibid., p. 250. 35 Davies, M. C. [3]: Hebrew Bible Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections Vol. I, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge. 36 Ibid. 37 Although useful in terms of keeping subject matter together, the practice of relocating entire boxes of fragments was not continued, probably because of the confusion created over the numbering system. 38 Typed copies of this unpublished guide are held in the T S Unit departmental records

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 16 95. The NS J manuscripts were divided into six boxes: four of the boxes contained manuscripts NS J1 450 (identified by Goitein NS J 629). In 1968, Elazar Hurvitz a scholar in rabbinics from the Yeshiva University in New York, became enthused with the notion of transforming the New Series and the material left in the crates into a collection that could be easily accessed and utilized. 39 As a result of his intervention, the Library entered into negotiations with the Yeshiva University and in 1969 a six year legal agreement was drawn up to repair and microfil m this material at the cost of $25,000 While work on this project progressed, Knopf continued his discussions with vari ous institutions and companies into the use of inert polyester sleeves to house and preserve the fragments. 40 It soon became apparent, ho wever, that the funds were not sufficient to cover all the work needed on this huge amount of material. 41 The Additional Series After the 331 boxes of the New Series had been selected, the thirty two crates still containing the rejected 10 5,090 fragments ; 110,176 folios (+ minute scraps) were removed from and expanded from an unpublished typed list on University Library Cambridge headed paper [T S Unit Departmental Re cords] Crates moved to Sidgwick Site Description of contents (1949) 3 (1 2) Talmudic unimportant. Mostly Maimonides Mishneh Torah 4 (1 2) Library Collection. Not T/S. Feb. 1902 6 (2) Liturgy unimportant (Report. No. 8) 7 (1 5) This box contains only 10 [Part of the Henrique Collection] 12 (1 5) To be examined again (Report. No. 9) 13 (1 3) From Liverpool. Not examined. Not T/S 14 (1 4) From Liverpool. Examined 15 (1 5) To be examined again (Report no. 9?) 20 Bible, leather frags. (Report no. 6) 23 To be examined again (Report no. 9) 26 (1 2) To be examined again (Report no. 9) 39 As a result of their having met and discussed the T S Collection, Hurvitz wrote a letter to Knopf on 27 May S Unit Departmental Records]. 40 Knop S Unit Departmental Records. 41 In fact, the material would take eight years to conserve at the cost of around £300,000 (see Reif, S. C. (ed.) [9]: of p Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library 1 p. 1).

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 17 the Sidgwick Site (see table 7). As r epairing the New Series was the first focus of the Yeshiva University Project the leftover crates were not brought back over to the Library until 16 March 1972 possibility of fulfilling the six year clause of the legal agreement is remote. Almost 3 42 Knopf resigned later that year for a post at Bar Ilan University. creating a dramatic fund raising programme to deal with the conservation of the New in the Lib for all the remaining boxes to be replaced with special preservation binders. This vital preservation process would lay the foundation for important cataloguing work to take place. 43 T he classification of a T S AS) began in July 1974 and was first carried out by the Israeli scholar, Ezra Fleischer. Fleischer reported that the number of manuscripts in each of the crates varied: some were full; others half empty. pages, small or even tiny, on which the writing very occasionally amounts to a few 44 The fragments were s orted according to rough subject matter along similar lines to the New Series, but the biblical manuscripts were not divided into separate biblical books. Their poor physical condition forced Fleischer to sort some of the hich meant that the number placed in the wrong box were more than he would have liked. 45 Another Israeli scholar, Israel Yeivin, assisted Fleischer with the sorting in July and he continued to work on the fragments for another three months after Fleischer l eft in August. By October 1974, at the end of this four month process, Yeivin reported that the material in the newly created T S AS was divided into 26 42 This quote is taken from an undated report in the T ental Department (Taylor 43 of the Taylor The Written Word Remains. The Archive and the Achievement: Articles in Honour of Professor Stefan C. Reif Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, pp. 9 27. 44 /6/51. 45 Ibid.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 18 subject areas and filled 225 boxes, each holding between 100 300 fragments. 46 estimate, this new sub collection amounted to a total of 50,000 fragments. Comparing the contents of the Additional Series to those in the New Series, Yeivin concluded that although the latter was more voluminous, the former contained fragments that were m ore important. Nevertheless, these poor, 47 At the same time that the thirty two crates were finally being emptied, Yeivin also noted th Schechter Genizah Research Unit) had discovered some small fragments stored in 48 These 11 boxes were added to the 331 boxes of the New Series and numbered NS 332 342. The Library Genizah Collection s The Library holds its own collection of 1670 Genizah manuscripts (3134 folios ) in addition to the major collection donated by Taylor and Schechter. 49 But their purchase at various times and from numerous dealers means that they d o not form a distinct entity; indeed, Oriental Collection. isition may have been in the 1880s. The provenance of the manuscript (CUL MS Add.2586) is unknown, but it is a 13 th century deed of sale from Egypt typical of the Genziah. Another nine Library Genizah manuscripts are similarly of unknown provenance (CUL MS Add.863.2, Add.3339(a c), Add.3356, and Add.4320a d). One Genizah manuscript is recorded as purchased from an Ephraim Cohen of Jerusalem (CUL MS Or.3430); one was bought in 1892 from a George Ellis (CUL MS Or.1034), another apparently belonged to the coll ector Elkan Nathan Adler whose name appears on the envelope in which it is still housed; the manuscript was re 46 47 Ibid. 48 I bid. 49 These numbers have been adjusted to take into account those manuscripts missed from the inventory as well as one that has been counted by mistake (see fn. 67).

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 19 50 T hirty thr ee items were presented to the Library in 189 1 by the Oxford collector Revd. Greville John Chester and sixty two items were purch ased in the 1890s (mostly in 1896) from the Jerusalem based scholar Rabbi Solomon Aaron Wertheimer. These ninety five items each have individual shelfmarks under the Libra Later acquisitions include Mrs Agnes Smith Lewis to the Library in 1926 of the precious Ben Sira fragment that had led Schechter to Cairo ( this fragment is now labelled CUL MS Or.1102). In the 1960s, the Israel Abrahams Collection (21 items; 23 folios ) was given to the Library by the Oriental Faculty; they are part of the 51 Three Genizah manuscripts were acquired by the Library from the David Solomon Sassoon Collection in 1981: CUL MS Or.2243 ( Ohel Dawid No. 227: Karaite liturgy), Or.2245 ( Ohel Dawid No. 218: liturgical fragments for Special Sabbaths and Passovers) and Or.2246 ( Ohel Dawid No. 225: Karaite liturgy for the Day of Atonement). 52 Lastly, some fragments from the Ge nizah were recently rediscovered among the manuscripts in a collection donated to the Library by the Egyptologist Sir Herbert Thompson in 1939. Classified as Or.1700.1 19, they comprise twenty one folios and eleven unnumbered 53 A large p those marked as Or.1080 and Or.1081 were kept unsorted in 17 boxes until the 1950s when Goitein was asked to classify them. 54 Goitein saw that little work had been done on this sub collection, apart from i ts having been used by a few scholars such as Jacob 50 The provenance of these disparate items is detailed in Reif [12], Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge 51 It is not clear how Israel Abrahams (the Reader in Rabbinics at the University of Cambridge after Schechter) acquired his Genizah collection. But a cache of letters from Abrahams to his wife (published by his daughter after their deaths) show that Abrahams was in Egypt in March 1898 during which time he paid a visit to the Genizah. The Jewish Histori cal Society of England. Transactions, sessions 1970 1973 vol. XXIV, pp. 1 23 52 These three manuscripts were part of a collection of 25 Hebrew manuscripts that were given to the British Cambridge University Library (see Reif, S. C. Genizah Fragments: the newsletter Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library 3 1. Sassoon himself revealed that his Genizah manuscrips were acquired "On my jour ney from Damascus to India Sassoon, D. S. (ed.) [17]: Ohel Dawid: Descriptive catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London London, Oxford University Press, vol. I, p. x). 53 The fragments were re dis Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge Universi ty Library 49 2 It is unclear whe of Coptic MSS (particularly as no mention is made of them in the acquisition report), or whether they were placed in the same box in error (certainly, another manuscript in the box, a Bohairic MS, is accom Sir H. Thompson (Found in Cab. B, Nov. 1955)). These manuscripts, being both uncatalogued and stored as part of another Collection, were omitted from the Cambridge Inventory Project (2007). 54 145 6.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 20 Mann, so he requested permission to create a further subdivision: Or.1080/1081 J for all of the documentary papers. 55 Unfortunately, the provenance of some of the manuscripts in the Or.1080/81 series does not seem to have been recorded. Most of the material appears to have derived from at least two different sources. The first was W. S. Raffalovich who presented material to the Library, through Schechter, in 1898. The Library purchased around 1,000 of Raff 56 A second source was probably the aforementioned Wertheimer. Letters from Wertheimer offering manuscripts for sale are bound up with the manuscripts in Or.1 080 2 and in Or.1080 13. A list of items sent by Wertheimer in 1894 is also retained there and a comparison between its contents and the folder identifies Or.1080 13.68 as relocated to the shelfmark Or.1080 1.91. S material, the Or.1080/1081 manuscripts, perhaps because they we re left unbound, were housed in the same way as the T S Collection and stored in the same shelving area. A guide to the principle shelfmarks In 1973, Reif published A Guide to the Taylor Schechter Genizah Collection to coincide with the 75 th anniversary Collection in 1898. In order to incorporate more up to date information about the New Series and the Additional Series, the Guide was revised and reprinted in 1979. 57 The Guide provided a complete list of the various sub sections in the Collection together with a brief subject description and the number of boxes in each section. The collections were n ot. The filing order for these sub sections were altered slightly with the boxes A K being placed before the bound volumes. A total for the number of shelfmarks was not supplied in the 1973 edition, but nevertheless Reif noted that the 55 Ibid. 56 Raffalovich sold items to the Library in October 1897 and in January 1899 (see the letters sent from Raffalovich and his partner [Lipshitz?] which were sent to the Librarian from March 1898 to January 1899 (CUL MSS Add.6463)) 7422 (1897 1899)). 57 Reif, S. C. [8]: A Guide to the Taylor Schechter Collection Cambridge, Cambridge University Library.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 21 Collection was in ex preface to the 1979 reprint, after the T S Collection had been conserved with shelfmark labels, the size of the T S Collection was estimated at 140,000 fragments. The Cambridge Genizah Invent ory Project In order to identify the contents of the Cambridge Genizah Collections and to make them more accessible, Reif initiated a Library Genizah Series which would include the publication of catalogues and a Bibliography. However, a grand plan to dig itize the worldwide Genizah collections launched by the FGP in 1999 meant that even more accurate data concerning the physical make up of the various Genizah Collections would be required. Under this plan, the first major Collection to have its manuscripts counted and digitized was the second largest Genizah Collecti on (now known to comprise 31, 784 fragments ) held at t he Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Five years later, in 2004, the FGP engaged Mrs Shulie Reif ( Editorial Assistant in the T S Unit) to go through the Cambridge Collections and note down the first and last shelfmark of every book and binder. It was hoped that once this information had been recorded it might be possible to arrive at a rough estimate f or the time, labour, and cost of the Cambridge Digitization Project. A database was the principle shelfmarks of the Cambridge Genizah Collections were officially recorded Yet it quickly became apparent that the database of principle shelfmarks did not provide enough information on which to cost the Cambridge Digitization Project. A more detailed inventory of the exact number of shelfmarks and leaves was a must, but it was unclear how much manpower and how much time it would take to provide a precise inventory of a collection of manuscripts believed to be anywhere between several hundred thousand and half a million folios or leaves. Furthermore, the project had to be conduc Collections in general and Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts in particular. But at the outset it was not clear how many of them could be spared from their own time and budget bound projects and wha t the expense would be. Such questions could only be answered if some sort of preliminary investigation, a small pilot project, was carried out on a portion of the T S Collection.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 22 Having recently finished her latest work sub editing and indexing the fourte enth catalogue in the Genizah Series Shulie Reif was free to conduct the pilot project on behalf of FGP and the T S Unit. She was also the ideal candidate due to her well earned reputation for great precision and attention to detail and as a result of her many years of experience dealing with the Cambridge Collections and editing the 58 The pilot project was based on folders from the T S C section of the Old Series (A K) The FGP provided Shulie with a spreadsheet contain ing the list of primary shelfmarks along with any additional shelfmarks appended to the primary folders, it quickly became apparent that it would not be a simple matter of recor ding the number of manuscripts: one could note, for example, that MS T S C1.18 comprises one item, but for the purposes of digitization it might be necessary to report that the verso of this leaf is blank. 59 In the case of C1.49, one could record that there are 11 manuscripts under this shelfmark; yet that may not have been enough information for costing the project given that these 11 manuscripts actually comprise 10 single leaves and one bifolium which, depending on its size, might have to be photographed as two separate leaves. 60 Once it was decided to differentiate between single leaves and bifolia, it then became important to distinguish between leaves with stubs that had writing on them (clearly a bifolium) and leaves with blank stubs (counted as a singl e leaf). The danger of mistakenly identifying a manuscript with two unclear columns as a bifolium also arose and necessitated the need to record when a manuscript was actually part of a scroll. Other information would need recording too, like the case of T S C6.28: 10 fragments now renumbered as C6.151 160, or T S C6.87 which is now a part of T S C6.98, or C5.1 which splits into T S C5.1a and T S C5.1b. In some cases, tiny pieces of manuscript were conserved together with a folio in the same melinex pocket (sometimes from the same manuscript; sometimes not). One researcher might count 58 Shulie Reif worked in the T S Unit as a member of the research te am from 1976 unti l her retirement in 2006, during which time she assisted Genizah Series 59 Initially it was thought that the blank lea ves would not be photographed: t he need to get the project don e as quickly and as inexpensively as possible meant that only pages with writing on would be included. It was soon decided, however, that this would not convey complete information about the manuscript. Furthermore, it is not always possible to detect wit h the naked eye if a manuscript is truly blank. 60 It was still unclear whether bifolia would be photographed as one item or whether each leaf would be shot separately. Similarly, the method of photographing large scale manuscripts (bible scrolls, for exa mple) was, at this early stage, undetermined.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 23 this as one folio; another might count it as two. As additional questions arose, it was apparent that a column was needed in which to record this extra information. Such notes could help guide the photographer when it came to digitising problematic fragments. At the same time, decisions had to be made about what to leave out given the restricted length of the project. Thus notes about material and size were not included. 61 Other problems that arose, such as wrong shelfmark assignation, could be corrected right away. Thus, from this preliminary research, a model spreadsheet was created (see table 8). The FGP provided the spreadsheet with embedded formulae to automatically calculat e the total number of images based on the numbers of folios inputted and running totals at the end of each column (see table 9). In addition to counting the contents of the T S C folders, Shulie noted how long it was taking her to record this information. Working at a steady pace, she realised that she could count and record the data at an average rate of 100 manuscripts an hour. This calculation enabled the project managers to fix the time span and allot the necessary manpower for the project. 62 Six months was proposed as the ideal time span for the Cambridge Inventory Project and an additional three researchers (two part time, one full time) would be required. 61 A separate project to estimate the number of fragments over A4 size was conducted under the direction of the new Head of the Genizah Research Unit, Dr Ben Outhwaite, after the Inventory Project was completed in 2007 62 The project was administrated by the Director of the T S Unit, Stefan C. Reif and by the manager of the FGP, Rabbi Reuven Rubelow.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 24 Table 8: Cambridge Inventory Project model spread sheet Shelfmark single leaves images Bifolia images Blank versos total number of images extra information T S C7.1 1 1 Verso blank 1 T S C7.2 1 2 2 T S C7.3 5 10 10 T S C7.4 2 4 4 very large, stored separately Table 9: Cambridge Inventory Project spreadsheet with embedded formulae Shelfmark single leaves images Bifolia images Blank versos total number of images extra information T S C7.173 1 2 2 T S C7.174 1 2 2 Total 546 1081 576 1151 2224

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 25 The team of researchers began compiling the inventory data in November 2005. 63 Some parts of the collection were counted at a very quick pace. The Additional Series, for example, with its large quantities of small single folios, was fairly straightforward. Unusual items included the mul tiple minute fragments at the end of each binder: min i ature pieces that were each housed in a single, tiny pocket on a sheet of melinex which was assigned one shelfmark. In this case, the researcher counted every minute manuscript as one item and entered t his number into the single folios column. The number of images, however, was given as two (the recto and verso of the entire sheet), even though it was not yet clear how they might be photographed (they might be scanned in sections, as individual pieces, o r shot as one entire sheet). In the case of the NS folders the scraps from each NS box were housed together in were impossible to count as one could not always clearly see ho w many each envelope contained. Another problem concerning precision arose with MS T S NS 329.655 a quire of pages that are stuck together so that it is impossible to tell how many pages it comprises. 64 In this case, the inventory recorded the manuscript as having five visible folios between the outer leaves, but only the two outer leaves would be digitized. Parts of the Arabic, Misc. and Or. folders were more problematic with multiple folios, bifolia columns and blank sides, as well as missing or renumbered items. An example is MS Or.1081 2.75 which consists of thirty six folios all from different manuscripts. This problem was resolved by renumbering them Or.1081 2.75.1 36. The A K section contains manuscripts that posed similar difficulties: MSS T S A2.5 & T S A2.6, for example, comprise two separate manuscripts with different sets of handwriting, but parts of T S A2.5 had been incorrectly labelled as T S A2.6 and vice versa. Once again, the manuscr ipts needed to be re labelled. S 8 32, contained a number of renumbered and relocated items and, as a result, it was sometimes hard to keep track of which manuscript had been joined to which (for example, three separate manuscrip ts, MSS 63 Shulie Reif continued to work on the A K section of the Collection; Leigh Chipman began counting the Arabic fold ers; Mila Ginsburskaya worked on the Misc. folders, the bound volumes 6F 18K, and the AS folders; Rebecca Jefferson counted folders (Glass) 8 32, the Or./Add series, and the AS folders, and, due to the awkward size of the folders, Chipman, Ginsburskaya and Jefferson all worked to gether to count the New Series 64 This manuscript is currently being examined by the University Library Conservation Department to see if it can be dismantled without damaging its contents.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 26 T S 8.167, T S 8.179 and T S 8.117, had been joined together and relabelled as T S 12.814). The process of checking and typing in these relocations served to slow down the counting process. The mechanical process of compiling an inventory was reli eved by occasional interesting oddities like MSS T S A8.8 & T S A8.11. The second manuscript, MS T S A8.11, consists of two different manuscripts under the one shelfmark while the first, MS T S A8.8, is recorded as missing. Obviously one of the manuscripts now labelled T S A8.11 was originally classified as T S A8.8. Given the impossibility of knowing which one, the manuscripts were not relabelled and the inventory had to record zero for the number of folios at T S A8.8. This phenomenon occurs in other part s of the Cambridge Collections too and shows that many of the items that were deemed unexpected items, including odd shelfmarks like Or.1080 D1.1: the only number in that seri es; Misc 29.1 30 which was preceded by Misc.29.1a 62a, and unexpected The spreadsheet results began to highlight the disparity between the number of shelfmarks and the number of leaves in any given folder (enabli ng one to see, for example, how manuscripts in the Old Series tend to have greater numbers of folios per shelfmark). Such differences were also a major factor in the previous underestimation of the size of the T S Collection. At the end of 2005, the FGP employed Professor Yaacov Choueka as its Chief Computerization Scientist to design, implement and supervise the technical aspects of the project, and to establish the computerization unit of FGP based in Jerusalem now 65 Choueka soon established rules for the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project about the citation of shelfmarks to create one formal, unique ssification schemes. 66 The inventory was completed sooner than expected, enabling the Genizah fragments at Westminster College, Cambridge (the Lewis and Gibson Collection) to be included in the Project. The Westminster fragments were straightforward in te rms of number, housing and shelfmark order with only two items that had been 65 For more information, see the FGP websi te: http://www.genizah.org/about History.htm 66 See http://www.genizah.org/about SoA Computerization.htm#comp

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 27 renumbered and relocated. The manuscripts themselves, however, were in a poor state of conservation, which slightly impeded progress. In addition to which, it became apparent that digitization could not proceed without some preliminary conservation work. The Cambridge Inventory Project, including Westminster College, was finished in April 2006. Processing the data brought a number of inconsistencies and errors to light. Some of th two teams in Jerusalem and Cambridge to determine which of the variant terms (leaves, folios, sides or pages; bifolio and bifolios or bifolium and bifolia) to use. Agreemen t was soon reached with the understanding that consistency and adherence to bibliographical norms was vital to the construction of the database and to the metadata that would accompany the digital image. A measure of confusion also arose over the use in th use of these different terms signify? Did the fact that the item had been renumbered also mean that it had been relocated? Similar problems occurre d with the terms terms to mean different things? The answer from Cambridge was that the compilers re that this could be misconstrued. As a result of these discussions, the computerization team ved and relocated. Another important issue was the way in which the compilers had recorded the t the database should be mostly numerical and that words or code letters should be retained for certain explanatory notes only. At the end of this process, a complete table of results was produced. The results from the work of the invento ry compilers and the database scientists (2007) are shown below (table 10). Curiously the figure of 140,000 was very close to the end result for the number of shelfmarks The total number of fragments (193,654) and the total number of folios (225,141) was, however entirely new information.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 28 Table 10: Cambridge Inventory Project 2007 results Series Collection_name No_of_shelfmarks No_of_folios No_of_bifolios Total f ragments Total f olios Old T S Boxes 10374 8836 6752 15588 22340 T S Bound 3466 5042 4 5046 50 50 T S Ar. 8030 5945 4220 10165 14385 T S Misc. 4543 5431 2229 7660 9889 T S Glass 1854 1750 99 1849 1948 New T S NS 39605 32437 11998 44435 56433 T S NS J 689 625 68 693 761 Additional T S AS 67883 100004 5086 105090 110176 Library CUL Or. 1557 1599 939 2538 3477 CUL Add. 111 498 92 590 682 SUM 138112 162167 31487 193654 225141

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 29 The Cambridge Digitization Project g ot underway in Cambridge University Library on 17 August 2009. For the purposes of assigning file names to the images for storing them, it has been necessary to add labels (P1, P2 etc.) to those fragments that have one shelfmark and multiple leaves. This p rocess of labelling the fragments has revealed some errors in the Cambridge Inventory Project which will have to readjusted (it is expected that due to t hese errors there will be a 0.3 % margin of error). 67 Another problematic aspect with th e final count will arise due to the digitization of the minute fragments currently clumped together in melinex pockets at the back of the T S NS and some of the T S AS folders. These fragments are being released from the pockets and photographed together i n one shot (see fig. 1). But if each tiny fragment is counted as a single leaf this will mean that the total will be much higher and pe rhaps closer to a total of 230,000 folios 68 67 Such errors include the three Sassoon manuscripts which were overlooked in 2007 amount ing to a total of 32 folios, and the Herbert Thompson manuscripts (Or.1700) which comprise 21 folios and 11 minute fragments. 68 This total, however, would not reflect the true size of the Genizah; a figure that could only be r eached by digitally restoring each scrap and leaf to its original state.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 30 the minute scraps from T S AS 84 (im age reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library)

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 31 Thus, only at the end of the Digitization Project will the final numbers be realized and the 69 Yet, for the first time in the history of the Cambridge Genizah Collections, the Cambridge Inventory Project (2007) was able to provide the most up to date information regarding their classification and size. The results of this project have already be en u sed in attempts to calculate the total number of manuscripts originally held in the Cairo Genizah, with a first estimate of 298,003 fragments ( comprising perhaps as many as 350,000 folios) and with subsequent estimates being placed higher 70 The Cambridge these manuscripts (and with others around the world). By the same token, the inventory re sults can be used to break the Cambridge Genizah C ollection s down into their various components in order to facilitate estimates about their contents (the amount of biblical material, for example) or about their physical make up (e.g., the number of scrolls or the number of books). The inventory helps the T S Unit to deal more accurately with the many various queries about the Collections (for instance, it can explain missing items in the microfilms), and it provides the necessary data for the T S Unit to devise collection management and development policies (by su pplying the size of an uncatalogued section of fragments, for example). Finally, as we have seen, the Cambridge Inventory Project is in enabling an historical reco nstruction of how these collections were formed. Rebecca J. W. Jefferson 1. Research Associate, Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit Cambridge University Library 2. Head of the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica George A. Smathers Libraries University of Florida 69 If it is eventually decided that even blank scraps of Genizah paper should be counted and digitized, then account will also have to be taken of the crate of scraps left over from th 70 known or estimated to be held worldwide wer e: 193,654 fragments (CUL) + 2,565 fragments (Westminster) + 31,784 fragment s (Jewish Theological Seminary) + c. 8,000 fragments ( The Jacques Mosseri Genizah Collection ) + c. 13,000 fragments (Bodleian) + c. 14,000 fragments (John Rylands, Manchester) + c. 35,000 fragments (other world collections) = c. 298,003 fragments (the estimate for supplied in Richler, B. [16]: Guide to Hebrew Manuscript Collections Jerusalem). Current figures may obtained from the FGP who maintain the most up to date and acc urate data regarding the world collections.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 32 Image reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 33 Fig. 3: detail of Schechter at work (1898) (image reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library)

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 34 References Primary sources CUL MS Add.6463(E).3416 CUL MS Add.6463(E).3453 CUL MS Add.7420/1897) Cambridge University Library Archives ULIB 1//2/4 Cambridge University Library Archives ULIB 6/6/1/2 Cambridge University Library Archives ULIB 6/7/6/51 Cambridge University Library Reports, including: Cambridge University Reporter 14 June 1898, No. 1215, Vol. XXVIII, No. 39, pp. 968 969. Cambridge University Reporter June 23, 1903, No. 1463, Vol. XXXIII, No. 48, pp. 1066 67. Cambridge University Reporte r 2 June 1906, No. 1609, Vol. XXXVI, No. 40, pp. 1008 12. Cambridge University Reporter May 8, 1923, No. 2438, Vol. LIII, No. 38, p. 937. Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit Dep artment Records Secondary sources 1. A brahams, P., 1974: The Jewish Historical Society of England. Transactions, sessions 1970 1973 vol. XXIV, pp. 1 23. 2. A llony, N., 1961: Areshet 3, pp. 395 425. [Hebrew]. 3. Davies M. C. 1978: Hebrew Bible Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections Vol. I, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge. 4. Goitein, S. D., 1974: Religion in a Religious Age: proceedings of regional conferences held at the University of California, Los Angeles and Brandeis University in April, 1973 (Association for Jewish Studies), Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1974, pp. 139 46. 5. Jefferson, R. J. W., 2004: (ed.), The Written Word Remains. The Archive and the Achievement: Articles in Honour of Professor Stefan C. Reif Ca mbridge University Library, Cambridge, pp. 9 27. 6. Jefferson, R. J. W., 2009: Journal of the History of Collections 21/1, 125 42.

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Rebecca J. W. Jefferson : The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre print version: 03/31/2010) 35 7. Outhwaite B., 2005: Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library Cambridge, No. 49. 8. Reif, S. C., 1979: A Guide to the Taylor Schechter Genizah Collection Cambridge University Library; Cambridge. 9. Reif, S. C., (ed.), 1981: Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Lib rary Cambridge, No. 1. 10. Reif, S. C., (ed.), 1981: Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library Cambridge, No. 1. 11. Reif, S. C., (ed.), 1982: Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library Cambridge, No. 3. 12. Reif, S. C., 1997: Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Library: a d escription and introduction (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications; 52), Cambridge University Press; Cambridge. 13. Reif, S. C., 1999: 15 (1999), pp. 413 28. [Hebrew]. 14. Reif, S. C. 2000: A Jewish Archive from Old Cairo : Collection (Culture and Civilization in the Middle East), Curzon Press; Richmond. 15. Schechter, S., 1908: Studies in Judaism London. 16. Richler, B., 1994: Guide to Hebrew Manuscript Collections Jerusalem. 17. Sassoon, D. S. (ed.) 1932: Ohel Dawid: Descriptive catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London London, Oxford University Press, 2 vols.



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The Historical S ignificance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project Rebecca J. W. Jefferson 1, 2 1 Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library 2 Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica, George A. Smathers Libraries, University o f Florida rjefferson@ufl.edu Abstract The Cambridge Inventory Project, sponsored by the Friedberg Genizah Project and carried out by a number of researchers at the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit, was the first attempt to provide accurate informat ion regarding the size and classification of th e more than 193,000 Genizah manuscript fragments held at Cambridge University Library. Prior to th is project, no authoritative list of valid shelf marks was available nor was it known how many fragments were classified under any one shelf mark. The provision of such data and the creation of a searchable database were essential for the planning and implementation of a future digitization project This article not only describes the ensuing Inventory Project it findings together with additional information in previously unseen archives, to provide a new history of how these collections were formed over time. Keywords Cambridge Inventory Project, Cambridge Genizah Collection s, Cambridge University Library, Friedberg Genizah Project, Cairo Genizah, Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Genizah manuscripts, Genizah fragments, Solomon Schechter, library, digitization, shelf marks, handlists, folios, Hebrew, Arabic, collections crates, residue A complete inventory of the Cambridge Genizah Manuscript Collections was compiled between the years 2004 and 2006. It was undertaken by researchers in the Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit, 1 under the auspices of the Friedberg Gen izah Project, 2 in order to prepare the way for the eventual digitization of these manuscripts. Yet when the project began, the exact number of Cairo Genizah manuscripts at Cambridge, the largest of the worldwide Genizah collections, was still unknown and a 3 Furthermore, as far as the classification scheme was concerned, it was not possible to speak of a single, monolithic collection, let 1 The Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit (T S Unit) at Cambridge University Library (CUL) was founded in 1974 under the d irectorship of Stefan C. Reif. 2 The F GP profit international humanities venture established in 1999 by Mr. Albert (see http://www.friedberg.genizah.project.org) 3 See Reif, S. C. [12]: Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge U niversity Library: a description and introduction (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications; 52), Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, p. 30

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alone know whether shelf mark just one fragment or many. Most of the Cambridge Genizah manuscripts were purchased by Cambridge scholars Solom on Schechter and Charles Taylor, primarily from the Ben Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo (some were purchased from other s ynagogues, local dealers, or excavated from the nearby Jewish cemeter y). The resulting collection, shipped in 4 was donated to Cambridge University Library in 1898 or Schechter (T S) 5 Schechter did not know how many manuscripts he had sent back to England; 6 Surveying his collection first estimate was that it comprised 100,000 manuscripts. 7 The Old Series Annual Report for 1902 recalls that after it arrived the T S Collection underwent a prelim inary sorting: The whole of the Collection, with the exception of a small portion in very bad condition, has now been through the process of a first sorting. The Hebrew section has been divided into two main portions by the separation of the more importa nt fragments from those of less interest. These latter have been stored in boxes, ready for further examination. The Arabic portion has undergone the preliminary sorting, and is now gradually being dealt with in the same way as the Hebrew section. 8 This t ask was 9 The initial sorting process and the transfer of material i nto new boxes can be seen in the icon ic old Library ( see figs 2 3) in 1898. The manuscripts are strewn around the tables in the room and boxes of various sizes are filled with papers. 4 The number of crates is confirmed by Schechter in a letter to the University Librarian, Francis Jenkinson (see CUL MS Add.6463(E).3453 ) and by Jenkinson who recorded in his dia ry (CUL MS Eight large boxes came from Cairo, for which I paid £19.5.3 carriage &c. to ( 2 March 1897). Thank you to the Syndics of Cambridge Universi ty Library for permission to cite and quote from the Library manuscripts and archives. 5 Cambridge University Reporter 14 June 1898, No. 1215, Vol. XXVIII, No. 39, pp. 968 969 [Hereafter the annual Annual Report ]. 6 CUL MS Add.6463(E).3416 7 Schechter, S. [15]: Studies in Judaism London, p. 9. 8 (June 3, 1903) Cambridge University Reporter June 23, 1903, No. 1463, Vol. XXXIII, No. 48, pp. 1066 6 7. 9 Appendix II: Report on t he Taylor Schechter Collect i Cambridge University Reporter 2 June 1906, No. 1609, Vol. XXXVI, No. 40, pp. 1008 12.

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The T S Collection was donated to Cambridge Univers ity Library on a number of conditions, including the proviso that: T he Un iversity undertake to make such provision as is possible by binding, mounting, or otherwise for the preservation of the MSS., and to have them sorted, and a list or 10 Dur ing the next four years, before his departure to New York, Schechter was employed by the Library to work on the Collection. 11 He was assisted by the Librarian, Francis Jenkinson, with the sorting and classification process; 12 by a bindery assistant, Andrew B aldrey, with sorting, cleaning and pressing the fragments, 13 and by Charles Taylor, Francis Crawford Burkitt, Agnes Smith Lewis and Margaret Dunlop Gibson with the identification and description of certain select pieces. 14 Between the years 1900 and 1901, He rman Leonard Pass (a Jewish convert to Christianity who later became an Anglican priest) was employed to sort and catalogue the b iblical material and other literary pieces and between 1901 and 1902 Hartwig Hirschfeld (lecturer in Syriac and Arabic at Jews College London) sorted through the Arabic and Judaeo Arabic fragments and created the T S Arabic series, 15 which is now known to comprise 10,165 fragme nts (14,385 folios) 16 After Schechter left the Library in 1902, an ordinary Libr ary assistant who had proven a talented linguist assumed A true autodidact, Ernest Worman trained himself to decipher Judaeo Arabic manuscripts by starting to read 10 f a collection of manuscripts brought from Cairo (8 June Cambridge University Reporter 14 June 1898, No. 1215, Vol. XXVIII, No. 39, pp. 968 9. 11 Ibid. 12 Schechter and Jenkinson beg an the sorting process before the Collection was officially accepte d by the Library (see Jenki entry for 17 September 1897 reads 5 with 13 Andrew Baldrey was placed in charge of conserving the Genizah f ragments, a role he conducted with great diligence until his retirement in 1926. Baldrey even took the time to visit other Genizah collections at the Bodleian, the British Museum, and at Westminster College, Cambridge to observe their methods of treating t he in the T S Unit departmental records. Thank you to Dr Ben Outhwaite, Head of the Genizah Research Unit, for permission to quote from these records). Over 40,000 manusc and the history of how the Collection was first ordered can be reconstructed thanks to his careful reports and handlists. 14 Taylor ( Master of St John donor ) he lped Schechter identify and sort through the Ben Sira fragments and the Greek palimpsests in the Collection. Burkitt (later a Professor of Divinity at Cambridge ) helped discover and describe some fragments of Aquila, and the scholarly sisters Lewis and Gib son helped with the elucidation and identification of thirty items in Syriac (see See Reif, S. C. [14]: A Jewish Archive from Old Cairo Richmond, pp. 237 38). 15 Ibid., p. 66. 16 The Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (2007) counted the number of manuscrip t pages assigned to each shelf mark The results were at each shelf mark and the number of shelf mark comprising 1 single leaf (recto and verso) + 1 bifolium (2 leaves, recto and verso) would be counted as 2 fragments), whereas the term shelf mark comprising 1 single leaf (recto and verso) + 1 bifolium (2 leaves, recto and verso) would be c ounted as 3 folios).

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the larger and more legible texts first before working through to the smal ler and more fragmentary pieces. 17 Before his premature death in 1909, Worman had sorted through and classified a fair amount of documentary material including those manuscripts placed in glass with the shelf mark comprise 1849 f ragments ; 1948 folios) and (15 95 fragments and folios) Within the ten year time frame allotted by the donors of the Collection, and with the help of the aforementioned scholars and curators, approximately on e quarter (A K = subject) and number scheme (6 32 = folio size) The fragments selected were, on the whole, among the largest and most legible manuscripts in the Collecti on. The official count in 1905 was 34,355 fragments: 1714 were preserved in glass; 1952 were bound in volumes, and the rest were placed between cartridge paper and placed Annual Report (1906) noted that: By c ompleting the hand list and class catalogue above mentioned, and by providing a list of boxes in which all the more important parts of the collection have been arranged with the fullest possible attention to subdivision, the conditions of the gift will hav e been substantially fulfilled. Not long after this report was compiled another sub section of the Collection, the T S Miscellaneous Series, was created. A handlist of the T S Misc. manuscripts (see table 1) shows how the fragments were selected from some of the unsorted boxes, nd Wooden Box [1 Furth er additions to the Misc. Series were 251 fragments taken on loan by Schechter when he left Cambridge for New York in 1902. 18 returned, were re classified as T S Misc.35 36 (unfortunately, they are still sometimes ref causes confusion). Handlists of both the T S Arabic and T S Misc. boxes represent the first attempts at compiling inventories of sections of the Collection by including a t. The number 17 T 18 Th Some 15, pp. 413 28 [in Hebrew].

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19 Table 1: T S Misc. Series reproduced from a handlist appended to a catalogue from 1903 [ Now held in T S Unit Departmental Records] No. of Box No. of Frags Miscellaneous Contents 1 133 Bible 2 nd class vellum frags 2 115 Bible 2 nd selection 1. 3 124 Bible 2 nd selection 2. 4 6 Bible Unsorted 5 165 Bible Transl & Comm. Paper. 1 6 203 Bible Transl & Comm. Pap er. 2 7 158 Bible Transl & Comm. Paper. 3 8 105 List of Names, History, Literature, Docs. 9 85 Hebrew from Wooden Box. 1 10 259 Hebrew from Wooden Box. 2 11 235 Hebrew from Wooden Box. 3 12 38 Inc. Identified 13 22 Inc. Not Identified 14 42 Printed 1 15 121 Printed 2 16 148 Printed 16th c.? 1 17 108 Printed 16th c.? 2 18 98 Printed Talmudic 1 19 121 Printed Talmudic 2 20 234 Examined by Dr Mann. Liverpool Box. 21 11 For Mr Elmslie. 22 312 Hebr. frags turned out of Ar. Coll n by Dr Hirschfiel d 23 8 Pieces selected by Dr Davidson 24 187 25 147 26 64 27 c. 50 28 207 T S frags. 29 30 T S frags. 30 c. 99 T S frags printed 31 48 T S frags printed 32 55 T S frags printed 33 6 T S frags printed (Inc.) 34 2 T S frags printed 35 208 Loan Collection 1 36 Loan Collection 2 36L Not included in this handlist (Library Collection Loan) 37 40 S Collection The R esidue Annual Report Collection: the parts that had been set aside in the sorting process and rejected as residue list comprised eleven categories, eight of 19 But even this item count would prove to be inaccurate ( e.g., the number of shelf mar ks for T S Misc.14 is now known to be 80).

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which had been placed into boxes according to a rough description of contents (see table 2). Annual Report (1906); Section 6(B) No. Description 1 A box of Hebr ew fragments turned out of the Arabic and printed sections (to be examined again) 2 Bible, second selection, arranged by books, 10 boxes 3 Bible, second selection, cleaned and pressed, 1 box 4 Bible, unimportant, not arranged, 1 box 5 Bible scrol ls, 1 box 6 Bible, leather fragments, 1 box 7 Talmud, unimportant, 1 box 8 Liturgy, unimportant, 1 box 9 Four boxes of fragments (chiefly small) put aside in course of sorting (to be examined again) 10 bad condition 11 Two boxes of rubbish T an u nknown quantity of manuscripts was stored in 24 wooden boxes of unspecified dimensions. A twenty e 3); its contents were p ossibly those enigmatically Annual Report (1906) under the heading : a considerable quantity of fragments from the same source as the Taylor Schechter purchased by the Li brary within the last few years Only a small amount of work has been done on these, and it is very desirable that steps should be taken for their further examination. By 1912, all twenty a basement under the Map Room where they languished for at least another decade (see table 3). In the 1920s, when an increasing lack of space became a pressing issue the disposal of the Library syndicate and at some point over the next few years (perhaps in 1921; see fn. 22) the Genizah residue was relocated there. 20 Ten years after the Library had moved from its old location in the quadrangle of buildings known as th S Collection was re assessed by the Librarian, A. F. Scholfield. Reporting on a section of the residue, Scholfield wrote: 20 The use of the Arts School for extra space is mentioned in the ending September 30, 192 2 Cambridge University Reporter May 8, 1923, No. 2438, Vol. LIII No. 38, p 937, and the Arts School is recorded as a storage facility for the Genizah material on the handlist from 1949 (see table 4).

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ey are the leavings after Dr Schechter had picked over the whole collection. They might from their size and condition be fairly described as a dust heap. 21 But the boxes of residue were nevertheless brought over to the new Library building and by 1949 they were stored on the seventh floor of the Library tower. It was probably during this move that parts of the collection were transferred into smaller crates. The total number of these containers, according to a handlist compiled that year, was now thirty two (see table 4). Twenty five of the 1949 crate numbers and descriptions correspond to the twenty five wooden boxes of the 1912 list, but an additional seven crates appear that were left un classified (see table 4). One of these, crate 10, had the following label placed inside of it: These Hebrew MSS. are part of [my emphasis] a collection bought from Messrs Henriques and Henriques of Cairo and Manchester. Six sacks were bought 23 Feb. 1899. Three bags were bought 19 Jan. 1902. [12 Jan, 1921. C. S.] 22 Mr R eginald Q. Henriques, working in Cairo on business, had befriended Schechter during his trip to that city and Schechter, it appears, had excited Henriques to the Henrique acquire as much of the leftover Genizah material as possible for Schechter. 23 According to the afo rementioned label, Henriques sent two shipments of Genizah fragments to Cambridge University Library: six sacks full in 1899 and three bags in 1902. The arrival of the six sacks can be corroborated by Library records, but no record of the 1902 shipment has been found 24 It is possible that the shipment was forgotten in the upheaval caused by 21 22 The label was written in 1921, perhaps as a resul t of the collection being re organized for a move to the Arts School (see fn. 20). 23 the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS, Schechter Papers, Cor respondence, Box 4/11) and his letters to Schechter and Jenkinson in Cambridge University Library (CUL ULIB 6/6/1/2). Thank you to Jacqueline Cox, Deputy Keeper of the University Archives, for her kind help in locating the letters held in Cambridge Univers ity Library. Journal of the History of Collectio ns 21/1, 125 42. 24 (CUL ULIB 6/6/1/2) show that his c ollection was purchased in March 1899, and t he Library Synd icate Minutes for 26 April has acquired si

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June 1912 Box No. Box contents description Corresponding Library Annual Report (1906) No. 1 Bible, No. 2: Genesis 2. Bible, second selection, arranged by books 2 Bible, No. 2: Exodus 3 Bible, No. 2: Leviticus 4 Bible, No. 2: Numbers 5 Bible, No. 2: Deuteronomy 6 Bible, No. 2: Joshua Kings 7 Bible, No. 2: Isaiah, 5 scrolls 8 Bible, No. 2: Job, Proverbs, Psalter 9 Bible, No. 2: Jeremiah, Minor Prophets 10 Bible, No. 2: Chron., Ezra, Nehemiah, Ezekiel 11 Bible scrolls 5. Bible scrolls 12 Leather fragments 6. Bible, leather fragments 13 Talmudic (unimportant) 7. Talmud, unimportant 14 Liturgy (unimportant) 8. Liturgy, unimportant 15 Bible (unimportant) 4. Bible, unimportant 16 Printed (not cleaned) 1. Arabic and printed sections 17 To be examined again 9. Four boxes of fragments, chiefly small, to be examined again (by 1912 in five wooden boxes?) 18 To be examined again 19 To be examined again 20 To be examined again 21 To be examined again 22 Rubbish 11. Two boxes of rubbish (by 1912 in large tea chest?) 23 From Liverpool (not examined) 10. Not examined, bad condition (by 1912 in two original boxes shipped from Liverpool?) 24 From Liverpool (not examined) 25 Library Collection. Feb. 1902

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Table 4: Residue crates list: reproduced from a handlist signed by Don Crane (Oriental Librarian) 17 November 1949 Crate No. Crate contents description Former wooden box no. 1 ? 15? 2 ? 15? 3 Talmudic unimportant. Mostly Maimonides Mishneh Torah and the code of R. Isaac al Fasi (Report, no. 7) 13 4 Library Collection. Not T/S. Feb. 1902 25 5 Genizah Library Collection 25 6 Liturgy unimportant (Report, no. 8) 14 7 22 8 ? ? 9 ? ? 10 ? ? 11 ? ? 12 To be examined again (Report, no. 9) 17 13 From Liverpool. Not examined. Not T/S 23 14 From Liverpool. Examined 24 15 To be examined again (Report, no. 9?) 18 16 ? ? 17 Bible No. 2. Leviticus (Report, no. 2) 3 18 Bible No. 2. Chron. Ezra Neh. Ezek. 10 19 Bible No. 2. Exodus 2 20 Bible, leather frags. (Report, no. 6) 12 21 Bible No. 2. Joshua kings (Report no. 2) 6 22 Bible No. 2. Numbers. 4 23 To be examined again (Report, no. 9) 19 24 Bible scrolls (Report, no. 5) 11 25 Bib le No. 2. Psalms, Proverbs, Job (Report, No. 2) 8 26 To be examined again. (Report, No. 9?) 20 27 Bible No. 2. Isaiah, 5 scrolls. (Report, No. 2) 7 28 Bible No. 2. Jeremiah, Minor Prophets (Report, No. 2) 9 29 Bible No. 2. Printed (uncleaned). Rejecte d by Worman 16 30 Bible No. 2. Genesis. (Report, no. 2?) 1 31 Bible No. 2. Deuteronomy 5 [32] 1 box unnumbered ? It is not clear where the six sacks were placed when they reached the Library in 1899, but it seems possible that, if it arrived, the 1902 material was placed in wooden box no. 25, a box which the 1912 handlist clearly describes The term however, was also used to describe the material purchased in 1898 99 from Wertheimer and Raff alovich (see the 1081) were transferred into boxes But c ertainly by 1949 we ca n see that parts o c ollection had been transferred into crate number 10 (as attested by the 1921 label) and perhaps also into c rate number 13, described as mined. By comparing these old lists, we can see how the unsorted parts of the residue

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were transferred from boxes to the crates from which a T S New Series would Annual Report (1906) were transferred into one huge become crate no. 7 in the 1949 list (see table 3). Over the next two decades, most of time. The New Series In 1955, the budding social historian, Shelomo Dov Goitein was spending time in Cambridge researching the documentary material in the T S Old Series He was also helping the Library to classify a section of Genizah material that had been purchased both prior to and after Schechter had donated his hoard. This section is known as the h R. Creswick, took him together with Susan Skilliter (Assistant Under Librarian in the mo mentous visit suggests that he saw box 22; crate 7, for he wrote: there I saw a crate of dimensions I have never seen in my life. In huge letters the address Alexandria Liverpool was written on it, but also, in another script, of course, the word: Rubb 25 Goitein convinced Creswick of the potential of the material in these residue boxes, and pressure was brought to bear on the Library to sort through the residue and make it accessible for checking. 26 As the sort ing began, the material already arranged in thirty two numbered crates was subdivided into further crates making a total of sixty crates or boxes. 27 The contents of the enormous crate of rubbish that had so impressed 25 Religion in a Religious Age : Proceedings of Regional Conferences held at the University o f California, Los Angeles and Brandeis University in April, 1973 (Association for Jewish Studies), Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp. 139 46 (p. 145 6). 26 Further deta Sacred Trash by Peter Cole and Adina Hoffman (to be published by Schocken/Nextbook in 2011) I would like to thank Peter and Adina again for so generously sharing their archival discoveries with me and for their insightful questions and suggestions regarding the history of the Collection. 27 A number of these crates are still being used as a temporary storage facility for other Library archives in the Library manuscript storeroom. One of the crates has the following notation on its box lid: T S Crate 12(5) Exam by Goitein 10.x.55; 18.I.60 Spiegel.

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Goitein (box 22; crate 7) were divided i nto seven smaller crates. Parts of the original four containers of small fragments awaiting re examination (described as No. 9 of the Annual Report 1906) appear to have been transferred into at least another fifteen crates. Some were placed into crate no. 12 (out of which Goitein created sixteen divisions of the T S New Series), other parts were placed into crates labelled 12 (1 5), and others into crates numbered 15, 23 and 26 (which were subdivided into a total of nine crates) (see table 5). O ver sixty years had passed before some order was brought to bear on a major 342 boxes, was put together over the next decade with final parts being organized in the 1970s. U npublished handlists from the period reveal how boxes 1 284 (with some exceptions) were selected from the crates. In the case of those crates that had been original Annual R eport (1906), the transfer was straightforward. Thus, for example, manuscripts in T S NS boxes 1 07 165 all appear to have been taken from crate no. 6 In the case of NS boxes T S NS 172 211, however, their contents were selected by the Israeli scholar, Haim Schirmann from four different crates numbered 7, 10, 13 and 26 (see table 6). These crates were formerly described as either have seen, was later fn. 22). It is not known from which crates the boxes in New Series 285 342 were taken as the scholars who sorted NS material after Schirmann did not r ecord this information. The removal of fragments from wooden boxes into crates and from thence randomly into the New Series boxes, meant that the manuscripts purchased from the aforementioned Henriques were subsumed into the Taylor Schechter Collection and their origins barely acknowledged. Having made his selections from crate 10, Schirma n n recorded next to his list of NS boxes that T S NS 172 (now known to comprise 189 fragments; 237 folios) some reason, he di d not mark any other box in that way. Thus, in spite of having

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Table 5: List of the New Series boxes and the crates from which they were selected (reproduced from an undated, typed handlist in the T S Unit departmental records, presumably compiled afte r Goitein had examined some of the boxes in 1955). Crate No. New Series No. Description 1 49 57 Unlabelled 2 31 38 Unlabelled [? Genizah Lib. Coll. Not T/S.] 3 (1 2) Talmudic unimportant. Mostly Maimonides. Mishneh Torah & the code of Isaac al Fasi (R ep. 7) 4 (1 2) Library collection. Not T/S. Feb. 1902 5 Genizah Library Collection 6 (1 5) Liturgy: unimportant (Rep. 8) 7 (1 7) 8 9 10 (1 2) 11 12 79 95 80 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 xamined by Goitein. 10.X.55. (Rep. 9) Vellum. Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) Miscellaneous. Examinded by Goitein. (Rep. 9) Printed. Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) (Unlabelled). Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) Hebrew. Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) Arabic. Exami ned by Goitein. (Rep. 9) Hebrew poetry. Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) J1 418 (Identified). Examined by Goitein. (Rep. 9) 12 (1 5) Some also in move boxes 13 (1 3) From Liverpool. Not examined. Not T/S 14 (1 4) From Liverpool. Examined 15 (1 5) To be examined again. (Rep. 9?) 16 17 11 15 Leviticus. (Rep. 2) 18 16 17 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Ezekiel (Rep. 2) 19 7 10 Exodus (Rep. 2) 20 (1) Bible; leather fragments. (Rep. 6) 21 43 44 45 46 47 48 1 Samuel. (Rep. 2) 11 Samuel. (Rep. 2) Judges (Rep. 2) Joshua. (Rep. 2) Kings. (Rep. 2) 22 18 24 Numbers (Rep. 2) 23 (1) To be examined again. (Rep. 9) 24 1 6 Bible scrolls. (Rep. 5) 25 39 40 41 42 Psalms. (Rep. 2) Proverbs. (Rep. 2) Job. (Rep. 2) 26 (1 3) To be examined again. (Rep. 9) 27 Isaiah, 5 Scrolls. (Rep. 2) 28 58 63 Jeremiah, Minor Prophets. (Rep. 2?) 29 25 30 Printed, uncleaned, rejected by Worman 30 72 78 Genesis. (Rep. 2) 31 64 68 Deuteronomy. (Rep. 2) 32? 69 71 One unnumbered unlabelled box

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clearly supplied more than 18 9 fragments to the Library, T S NS 172 was the only folder in the T S New Series that was ever attributed to Mr Henriques. 28 Schechter Collection of [T S Unit Departmental Records] T S NS Box No. Contents and crate origin 172 Henriques Collection (from Crate 10) 173 174 Bible (from Crates 7 and 10) 175 182 Hebrew (from Crat es 7, 10 and 26) 183 190 Arabic (from Crates 7, 10 and 26) 191 192 Printed (from Crates 7, 10 and 26) 193 194 Poetry Selection of Dr. Schirma n n 195 198 Common Prayers (from Crates 7, 10, 13, 26) 199 209 Poetry (from Crates 7, 10, 13, 26) 210 211 He brew general (from Crate 26) Thus, the New Series, now known to comprise 44,435 fragments; 56,433 folios ( the exact number of minute scraps is still unknown ) was formed in a somewhat haphazard way. 29 Its initial numbers NS 1 78 (apart from NS 38a) were c reated from boxes that were already labelled. Subsequent boxes were formed due to the brilliant but uncoordinated efforts of a number of scholars, including Shelomo Dov Goitein (who examined and sorted boxes T S NS 79 95, of which T S NS 94 95 eventually b ecame the NS J series), Haim Schirmann (NS 38a, 96 165, 172 264), Shalom Spiegel (NS 265 284), Nehemiah Allony (NS 285 307) and Shraga Abramson (NS 308 320). 30 These scholars created the New Series between 1955 and 1961 by selecting material that interested them, primarily from the crates numbered 1 16, 23 and 26. In 1961, the Israeli scholar, Nehemiah Allony published a description of the contents of the T S Collection. 31 He described the work undertaken to sort the New 28 therefore seems unlikely that he expected any sort of official recognition or separate status for his ma nuscripts. 29 This criticism was first levelled at the New Series by Nehemiah Allony, one of the scholars involved in the sorting process, see Allony, N. [2]: Areshet 3, p. 413 [Hebrew]. 30 A ha ndlist of the NS collection held in the T S Unit Departmental Records provides the name of the scholar sorting the NS Boxes together with the date and a brief content description; so for example, T S NS 108 reads 31 See fn. 29 The description is part of an article dealing with the other collections of Hebraica held in Cambridge. Allony was the Director of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts in Jerusalem and had during the previous decade set out to obtain microfilm copies of all the major Hebrew manuscripts collections in Europe (see http://www.jnul.huji.ac.il/imhm/#history ).

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Series and he enumerated the boxes an rough estimate of 100,000 fragments for the size of the T S Collection, Allony calculated that the Old Series amounted to 25,000 fragments; the New Series: 30,000, and the remainder: 45,000. Allony also lamen ted the unsystematic classification of the New Series, the absence of good guides to the Collection, and the lack of attention given to the remaining crates. Once news of this newly created T S Series spread abroad, scholarly demand to work on the Genizah fragments greatly increased. But the material selected for each box badly needed conservation treatment, and the Library personnel available to answer queries was limited. 32 Pressure was thus brought to bear on the Library to create a Library post with sol e responsibility for the Genizah Collections. Following many discussions on this issue, Henry Knopf, who was employed to work on the time librarian in charge of the Genizah material. 33 In addition to answering the growing number of queries, and starting to produce catalogues of the Biblical material (later incorporated into the volume produced by M. C. Davies), 34 Knopf oversaw the creation of further boxes in the New Series, bringing the number of boxes up to 331. 35 These additional boxes were selected from the crates by Alexander Scheiber (NS 325), Norman Golb (NS 321 328) and Jacob Teicher (NS 166 171, NS 330 331). Another Israeli scholar, Jacob Sussmann, removed material from boxes that had already been sorted and classified into the New Series by Schirmann in order to create a new sub division, T S NS 329.1 numbered and notices can be found throughout the NS Collection indicating that manuscript T S NS X has now been renumbered as manuscript T S NS 329.Y. 36 Knopf produced a short guide to the T S Collection in which he gave a brief 32 The state of the fragments in t he NS boxes is recalled in an Oriental Department Report (1965 66) in which 215 S Unit Departmental Records]. A copy of a letter dated 18 March 1970 attached to an unda ted Syndicate Report (Paper LS 69) in the T S Unit Departmental Records states 32 large wooden crates, and the fact that these have not been relaxed, mounted or handlisted is a se rious rebuke to The pressure on the Library staff brought about by the increased interest in the T S Collection is described by Reif [14] in A Jewish Archive pp.247 8. 33 Ibid., p. 250. 34 Davies, M. C. [3]: Hebrew Bible Manuscripts in the Camb ridge Genizah Collections Vol. I, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge. 35 Ibid. 36 Although useful in terms of keeping subject matter together, the practice of relocating entire boxes of fragments was not continued, probably because of the confusion cre ated over the numbering system.

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history of the Old Series and described the conservation work about to begin on the New Series. 37 He detailed a couple of the handlists (classified as E1 3, E5 and E8) that were available to scholars, and he listed the filing order for the various sub sections of the T S Collection which began with the bound volumes, followed by the boxes A K, the Arabic boxes, and the Misc. boxes, and boxes NS 1 95. The NS J manuscripts were divided into six boxes: four of the boxes contained manuscripts NS J1 450 (identified by Goitein 629). In 1968, Elazar Hurvitz a scholar in rabbinics from the Yeshiva University in New York, became enthused with t he notion of transforming the New Series and the material left in the crates into a collection that could be easily accessed and utilized. 38 As a result of his intervention, the Library entered into negotiations with the Yeshiva University and in 1969 a six year legal agreement was drawn up to repair and microfilm this material at the cost of $25,000 While work on this project progressed, Knopf continued his discussions with vari ous institutions and companies into the use of inert polyester sleeves to house and preserve the fragments. 39 It soon became apparent, however, that the funds were not sufficient to cover all the work needed on this huge amount of material. 40 The Additional Series After the 331 boxes of the New Series had been selected, the thirty two crates still containing the rejected 10 5,090 fragments ; 110,176 folios (+ minute scraps) were removed from recently constructed Sidgwick Site (see table 7). As repairing the New Series was the 37 Typed copies of this unpublished guide are held in the T S Unit departmental records 38 As a result of their having met and discussed the T S Collection, Hurvitz wrote a letter to Knopf on 27 May 1968 requesting an estimat S Unit Departmental Records]. 39 S Unit Departmental Records. 40 In fact, the material would take eight years to conserve at the cost of around £300,000 (see Reif, S. C. (ed.) [9]: Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library 1 p. 1).

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an unpublished typed list on University Library Cambridge headed paper [T S Unit Departmental Records] Crates moved to Sidgwick Site Descriptio n of contents (1949) 3 (1 2) Talmudic unimportant. Mostly Maimonides Mishneh Torah 4 (1 2) Library Collection. Not T/S. Feb. 1902 6 (2) Liturgy unimportant (Report. No. 8) 7 (1 5) 10 [Part of the Henrique Collection] 12 (1 5) To be examined again (Report. No. 9) 13 (1 3) From Liverpool. Not examined. Not T/S 14 (1 4) From Liverpool. Examined 15 (1 5) To be examined again (Report no. 9?) 20 Bible, leather frags. (Report no. 6) 23 To be examine d again (Report no. 9) 26 (1 2) To be examined again (Report no. 9) first focus of the Yeshiva University Project the leftover crates were not brought back over to the Library until 16 March 1972 That same year, Knopf reported he felt that ility of fulfilling the six year clause of the legal agreement is remote. Almost 3 years have elapsed and probably less than 1/5 of the fragments have been 41 Knopf resigned later that year for a post at Bar Ilan University. The following year, th creating a dramatic fund raising programme to deal with the conservation of the New ions to be encapsulated within melinex pockets and for all the remaining boxes to be replaced with special preservation binders. This vital preservation process would lay the foundation for important cataloguing work to take place. 42 The classification of a T S AS) began in July 1974 and was first carried out by the Israeli scholar, Ezra Fleischer. Fleischer reported that the number of manuscripts in each of the crates varied: some were full; others half empty. Their physical state h pages, small or even tiny, on which the writing very occasionally amounts to a few 43 The fragments were sorted according to rou gh subject matter along similar 41 This quote is taken from an undated report in the T (Taylor 42 Thirty years of the Taylor The Written Word Remains. The Archive and the Achievement: Articles in Honour of Professor Stefan C. Reif Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, pp. 9 27. 43 A copy of Fleis

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lines to the New Series, but the biblical manuscripts were not divided into separate biblical books. Their poor physical condition forced Fleischer to sort some of the mber placed in the wrong box were more than he would have liked. 44 Another Israeli scholar, Israel Yeivin, assisted Fleischer with the sorting in July and he continued to work on the fragments for another three months after Fleischer left in August. By Octo ber 1974, at the end of this four month process, Yeivin reported that the material in the newly created T S AS was divided into 26 subject areas and filled 225 boxes, each holding between 100 300 fragments. 45 collection amounted to a total of 50,000 fragments. Comparing the contents of the Additional Series to those in the New Series, Yeivin concluded that although the latter was more voluminous, the former contained fragments that were more important. Neverth eless, these poor, 46 At the same time that the thirty two crates were finally being emptied, Yeivin also noted that Stefan Reif (now th Schechter Genizah Research Unit) had discovered some small fragments stored in 47 These 1 1 boxes were added to the 331 boxes of the New Series and numbered NS 332 342. The Library Genizah Collections The Library holds its own collection of 1670 Genizah manuscripts (3134 folios ) in addition to the major collection donated by Taylor and Schech ter. 48 But their purchase at various times and from numerous dealers means that they d o not form a distinct entity; indeed, Oriental Collection. 1880s. The 44 Ibid. 45 Cambridge dated October 1974 is appended to t 46 Ibid. 47 I bid. 48 These numbers have been adjusted to take into account those manuscripts missed from the inventory as well as one that has been counted by mistake (see fn. 67).

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provenance of the manuscript (CUL MS Add.2586) is unknown, but it contains a 13 th century deed of sale from Egypt typical of the Gen iz ah. Another nine Library Genizah manuscripts are similarly of unknown provenance (CUL MS Add.863.2, Add.3339 ( a c), Add.3356, and Add.4320a d). One Genizah manuscript is recorded as purchased from an Ephraim Cohen of Jerusalem (CUL MS Or.3430); one was bought in 1892 from a George Ellis (CUL MS Or.1034), another apparently belonged to the collector Elkan Nathan Ad ler whose name appears on the envelope in which it is still housed; the manuscript was re discovered in the Library in 1904 by Jenkinson who 49 T hirty thr ee items were presented to the Library in 1891 by the Oxford colle ctor Revd. Greville John Chester and sixty two items were purch ased in the 1890s (mostly in 1896) from the Jerusalem based scholar Rabbi Solomon Aaron Wertheimer. These ninety five items each have individual shelf marks under classification scheme. Later acquisitions include Mrs Agnes Smith Lewis to the Library in 1926 of the precious Ben Sira fragment that had led Schechter to Cairo ( this fragment is now labelled CUL MS Or.1102). In the 1960s, the Israel Abrahams Col lection (21 items; 23 folios ) was given to the Library by the Oriental Faculty; they are part of the 50 Three Genizah manuscripts were acquired by the Library from the David Solomon Sassoon Collection in 1981: CUL MS Or.2243 ( Ohel D awid No. 227: Karaite liturgy), Or.2245 ( Ohel Dawid No. 218: liturgical fragments for Special Sabbaths and Passovers) and Or.2246 ( Ohel Dawid No. 225: Karaite liturgy for the Day of Atonement). 51 Lastly, some fragments from the Genizah were recently red iscovered among the manuscripts in a collection donated to the Library by the Egyptologist Sir Herbert Thompson in 1939. Classified as Or.1700.1 19, they comprise twenty one folios and 49 The provenance of these disparat e items is detailed in Reif [12], Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge 50 It is not clear how Israel Abrahams (the Reader in Rabbinics at the University of Cambridge after Schechter) acquired his Genizah collection. But a cache of letters from Abrahams to his w ife (published by his daughter after their deaths) show that Abrahams was in Egypt in March 1898 during which time he paid a visit to the Genizah. He had also met the manuscripts dealer, W. S. Raffalovich on board the ship for Egypt (see Abrahams, P. [1]: The Jewish Historical Society of England. Transactions, sessions 1970 1973 vol. XXIV, pp. 1 23 51 These three manuscripts were part of a collection of 25 Hebrew manuscripts that were given to the British Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge University Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library 3 1. Sassoon himself revealed that his Genizah manuscripts were acquired "On my journey from Damascus to India Sassoon, D. S. (ed.) [17]: Ohel Dawid: Desc riptive catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London London, Oxford University Press, vol. I, p. x).

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eleven unnumbered 52 A large proportion of the Librar those marked as Or.1080 and Or.1081 were kept unsorted in 17 boxes until the 1950s when Goitein was asked to classify them. 53 Goitein saw that little work had been done on this sub collection, apart from its having been used by a few scholars such as Jacob Mann, so he requested permission to create a further subdivision: Or.1080/1081 J for all of the documentary papers. 54 Unfortunately, the provenance of some of the manuscripts in the Or.1080/81 series does not seem to have been recorded. Most of the material appears to have derived from at least two different sources. The first was W. S. Raffalovich who presented material to the Library, through Schechter, in 1898. The Library purchased most of his offerings being described by 55 A second source was probably the aforementioned Wertheimer. Letters from Wertheimer offering manuscripts for sale are bound up with the manuscripts in Or.1080 2 and in Or.1080 13 A list of items sent by Wertheimer in 1894 is also retained there and a comparison between its contents and the 080 13.68 as relocated to the shelf mark Or.1080 1.91. S material, the Or.1080/1081 manuscripts, perhaps because they were left unbound, were housed in the same way as the T S Collection and stored in the same shelving area. A Guide to the Principle S helfmarks In 1973, Reif published A Guide to the Taylor Schechter Genizah Collection to coincide with the 75 th ial acceptance of the 52 The fragments were re find Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge Universi ty Library 49 2 of Coptic MSS (particularly as no menti on is made of them in the acquisition report), or whether they were placed Sir H. Thompson (Found in Cab. B, Nov. 1955)). These manuscripts, being both uncatalogued and stored as part of another Collection, were omitted from the Cambridge Inventory Project (2007). 53 145 6. 54 Ibid. 55 Raffalovich sold items to the Library in October 1897 and i n January 1899 (see the letters sent from Raffalo vich and his partner Lipshitz, which were sent to the Librarian from March 1898 to January 1899 (CUL MSS 7422 (1897 1899)).

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Collection in 1898. In order to incorporate more up to date information about the New Series and the Additional Series, the Guide was revised and reprinted in 1979. 56 The Guide provided a complete list of the various sub sections in th e Collection together with a brief subject description and the number of boxes in each section. The collections were not. The filing order for these sub sections was altered sli ghtly with the boxes A K being placed before the bound volumes. A total for the number of shelf marks was not supplied in the 1973 edition, but nevertheless Reif noted that the the preface to the 1979 reprint, after the T S Collection had been conserved with shelf mark labels, the size of the T S Collection was estimated at 140,000 fragments. The Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project In order to identify the contents of the Camb ridge Genizah Collections and to make them more accessible, Reif initiated a Library Genizah Series which would include the publication of catalogues and a Bibliography. However, a grand plan to digitize the worldwide Genizah collections launched by the FG P in 1999 meant that even more accurate data concerning the physical make up of the various Genizah Collections would be required. Under this plan, the first major Collection to have its manuscripts counted and digitized was the second largest Genizah Coll ecti on (now known to comprise 31, 784 fragments ) held at t he Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Five years later, in 2004, the FGP engaged Mrs Shulie Reif ( Editorial Assistant in the T S Unit) to go through the Cambridge Collections and note down the first and last shelf mark of every book and binder. It was hoped that once this information had been recorded it might be possible to arrive at a rough estimate for the time, labour, and cost of the Cambridge Digitization Project. A database was compiled the principle shelf marks of the Cambridge Genizah Collections were officially recorded. Yet it quickly became apparent that the database of principle shelf marks did not provide enough information on which to cost the Cambridge Digitization Project. 56 Reif, S. C. [8]: A Gui de to the Taylor Schechter Collection Cambridge, Cambridge University Library.

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A more detailed inventory of the exact number of shelf marks and leaves was a must, but it was unclear how much manpower and how much time it would take to provide a precise inventory of a collection of manuscripts believed to be anywhere between several hundred thousand and half a million folios or leaves. Furthermore, the project Collections in general and Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts in particular. But at the outset it was not clear how many of them could be spared from their own time and budget bound projects and what the expense would be. Such questions could only be answered if some sort of preliminary investigation, a small pilot project, was carried out on a portion of the T S Collection. Having recently finished her latest work sub editing and indexing the fourteenth catalogue in the Genizah Series Shulie Reif was free to conduct the pilot project on behalf of FGP and the T S Unit. She was also the ideal candidate due to her well earned reputation for great precision and attention to detail and as a result of her many years of experience dealing with the Cambridge Collections and editing the talogues and Bibliography. 57 The pilot project was based on folders from the T S C section of the Old Series (A K) The FGP provided Shulie with a spreadsheet containing the list of primary shelf marks along with any additional shelf marks appended to the primary shelf marks folders, it quickly became apparent that it would not be a simple matter of recording the number of manuscripts: one could note, for example, that MS T S C1.18 comprise s one item, but for the purposes of digitization it might be necessary to report that the verso of this leaf is blank. 58 In the case of C1.49, one could record that there are 11 manuscripts under this shelf mark ; yet that may not have been enough informatio n for costing the project given that these 11 manuscripts actually comprise 10 single leaves and one bifolium which, depending on its size, might have to be photographed as two separate leaves. 59 Once it was decided to differentiate between 57 Shulie Reif worked in the T S Unit as a member of the research te am from 1976 until her retirement in 2006, during which time she assisted with the editing and indexing of mo Genizah Series 58 Initially it was thought that the blank lea ves would not be photographed: t he need to get the project done as quickly and as inexpensively as possible meant that only pages with writing on would be included. It was soon decided, however, that this would not convey complete information about the manuscript. Furthermore, it is not always possible to detect with the naked eye if a manuscript is truly blank. 59 It was still unclear whether bifolia woul d be photographed as one item or whether each leaf would be shot separately. Similarly, the method of photographing large scale manuscripts (bible scrolls, for example) was, at this early stage, undetermined.

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single leaves an d bifolia, it then became important to distinguish between leaves with stubs that had writing on them (clearly a bifolium) and leaves with blank stubs (counted as a single leaf). The danger of mistakenly identifying a manuscript with two unclear columns as a bifolium also arose and necessitated the need to record when a manuscript was actually part of a scroll. Other information would need recording too, like the case of T S C6.28: 10 fragments now renumbered as C6.151 160, or T S C6.87 which is now a part of T S C6.98, or C5.1 which splits into T S C5.1a and T S C5.1b. In some cases, tiny pieces of manuscript were conserved together with a folio in the same melinex pocket (sometimes from the same manuscript; sometimes not). One researcher might count this as one folio; another might count it as two. As additional questions arose, it was apparent that a column was needed in which to record this extra information. Such notes could help guide the photographer when it came to digitising problematic fragments. A t the same time, decisions had to be made about what to leave out given the restricted length of the project. Thus notes about material and size were not included. 60 Other problems that arose, such as wrong shelf mark assignation, could be corrected right a way. Thus, from this preliminary research, a model spreadsheet was created (see table 8). The FGP provided the spreadsheet with embedded formulae to automatically calculate the total number of images based on the numbers of folios inputted and running tota ls at the end of each column (see table 9). In addition to counting the contents of the T S C folders, Shulie noted how long it was taking her to record this information. Working at a steady pace, she realised that she could count and record the data at a n average rate of 100 manuscripts an hour. This calculation enabled the project managers to fix the time span and allot the necessary manpower for the project. 61 Six months was proposed as the ideal time span for the Cambridge Inventory Project and an addit ional three researchers (two part time, one full time) would be required. 60 A separate project to estimate the number of fragments over A4 size was conducted under the direction of the new Head of the Genizah Research Unit, Dr Ben Outhwaite, after the Inventory Project was completed in 2007 61 The project was administrated by the Director of the T S Unit, Stefan C. Reif and by the manager of the FGP, Rabbi Reuven Rubelow.

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Table 8: Cambridge Inventory Project model spreadsheet Shelf mark single leaves images Bifolia images Blank versos total number of images extra information T S C7.1 1 1 Verso blank 1 T S C7.2 1 2 2 T S C7.3 5 10 10 T S C7.4 2 4 4 very large, stored separately Table 9: Cambridge Inventory Project spreadsheet with embedded formulae Shelf mark single leaves images Bifolia images Blank versos total number of i mages extra information T S C7.173 1 2 2 T S C7.174 1 2 2 Total 546 1081 576 1151 2224

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The team of researchers began compiling the inventory data in November 2005. 62 Some parts of the collection were counted at a very quick pace. The Addition al Series, for example, with its large quantities of small single folios, was fairly straightforward. Unusual items included the multiple minute fragments at the end of each binder: min i ature pieces that were each housed in a single, tiny pocket on a sheet of melinex which was assigned one shelf mark In this case, the researcher counted every minute manuscript as one item and entered this number into the single folios column. The number of images, however, was given as two (the recto and verso of the entir e sheet), even though it was not yet clear how they might be photographed (they might be scanned in sections, as individual pieces, or shot as one entire sheet). In the case of the NS folders the scraps from each NS box were housed together in melinex pock ets without any shelf mark were impossible to count as one could not always clearly see how many each envelope contained. Another problem concerning precision arose with MS T S NS 329.655 a quire of pages that ar e stuck together so that it is impossible to tell how many pages it comprises. 63 In this case, the inventory recorded the manuscript as having five visible folios between the outer leaves, but only the two outer leaves would be digitized. Parts of the Arabi c, Misc. and Or. folders were more problematic with multiple folios, bifolia, columns and blank sides, as well as missing or renumbered items. An example is MS Or.1081 2.75 which consists of thirty six folios all from different manuscripts. This problem wa s resolved by renumbering them Or.1081 2.75.1 36. The A K section contains manuscripts that posed similar difficulties: MSS T S A2.5 & T S A2.6, for example, comprise two separate manuscripts with different sets of handwriting, but parts of T S A2.5 had b een incorrectly labelled as T S A2.6 and vice versa. Once again, the manuscripts needed to be re labelled. S 8 32, contained a number of renumbered and relocated items and, as a result, it was sometimes hard to keep track of whic h manuscript had been joined to which (for example, three separate manuscripts, MSS 62 Shulie Reif continued to work on the A K section of the Collection; Leigh Chipman began counting the Arabic folders; Mila Ginsburskaya worked on the Misc. folders, the bound volumes 6F 18K, and the AS fol ders; Rebecca Jefferson counted folders (Glass) 8 32, the Or./Add series, and the AS folders, and, due to the awkward size of the folders, Chipman, Ginsburskaya and Jefferson all worked to gether to count the New Series 63 This manuscript is currently bein g examined by the University Library Conservation Department to see if it can be dismantled without damaging its contents.

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T S 8.167, T S 8.179 and T S 8.117, had been joined together and relabelled as T S 12.814). The process of checking and typing in these relocations served to slow down the counting process. The mechanical process of compiling an inventory was relieved by occasional interesting oddities like MSS T S A8.8 & T S A8.11. The second manuscript, MS T S A8.11, consists of two different manuscripts under the one shelf mark while the first, MS T S A8.8, is recorded as missing. Obviously one of the manuscripts now labelled T S A8.11 was originally classified as T S A8.8. Given the impossibility of knowing which one, the manuscripts were not relabelled and the inventory had to record ze ro for the number of folios at T S A8.8. This phenomenon occurs in other parts of the Cambridge Collections too and shows that many of the items that were deemed unexpected it ems, including odd shelf marks like Or.1080 D1.1: the only number in that series; Misc 29.1 30 which was preceded by Misc.29.1a 62a, and unexpected shelf marks The spreadsheet results began to highlight the disparity betwee n the number of shelf marks and the number of leaves in any given folder (enabling one to see, for example, how manuscripts in the Old Series tend to have greater numbers of folios per shelf mark ). Such differences were also a major factor in the previous underestimation of the size of the T S Collection. At the end of 2005, the FGP employed Professor Yaacov Choueka as its Chief Computerization Scientist to design, implement and supervise the technical aspects of the project, and to establish the computer ization unit of FGP based in 64 Choueka soon established rules for the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project about the citation of shelf marks to create one formal, unique shelf mark for each manuscript and to bring order to w hat has been 65 The inventory was completed sooner than expected, enabling the Genizah fragments at Westminster College, Cambridge (the Lewis and Gibson Collection) to be included in t he Project. The Westminster fragments were straightforward in terms of number, housing and shelf mark order with only two items that had been 64 For more information, see the FGP website: http://www.genizah.org/about History.htm 65 See http://www.genizah.org/about SoA Computerization.htm#comp

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renumbered and relocated. The manuscripts themselves, however, were in a poor state of conservation, which slight ly impeded progress. In addition to which, it became apparent that digitization could not proceed without some preliminary conservation work. The Cambridge Inventory Project, including Westminster College, was finished in April 2006. Processing the data b rought a number of inconsistencies and errors to light. between the two teams in Jerusalem and Cambridge to determine which of the variant terms (leaves, folios, sides or pag es; bifolio and bifolios or bifolium and bifolia) to use. Agreement was soon reached with the understanding that consistency and adherence to bibliographical norms was vital to the construction of the database and to the metadata that would accompany the d igital image. use of these different terms signify? Did the fact that the item had been renumbe red also mean that it had been relocated? Similar problems occurred with the terms shelf mark terms to mean different things? The answer from Cambridge was that the compilers had dire could be misconstrued. As a result of these discussions, the computerization team signify a relocated. Another important issue was the way in which the compilers had recorded the ers had recorded a numerical value. Again, the two teams agreed that the database should be mostly numerical and that words or code letters should be retained for certain explanatory notes only. At the end of this process, a complete table of results wa s produced. The results from the work of the inventory compilers and the database scientists (2007) are shown below (table 10). Curiously the figure of 140,000 was very close to the end result for the number of shelf marks The total number of fragments (1 93,654) and the total number of folios (225,141) was, however entirely new information.

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Table 10: Cambridge Inventory Project 2007 results Series Collection_name No_of_shelfmarks No_of_folios No_of_bifolios Total f ragments Total f olios Old T S Boxes 10374 8836 6752 15588 22340 T S Bound 3466 5042 4 5046 50 50 T S Ar. 8030 5945 4220 10165 14385 T S Misc. 4543 5431 2229 7660 9889 T S Glass 1854 1750 99 1849 1948 New T S NS 39605 32437 11998 44435 56433 T S NS J 689 625 68 693 761 Addit ional T S AS 67883 100004 5086 105090 110176 Library CUL Or. 1557 1599 939 2538 3477 CUL Add. 111 498 92 590 682 SUM 138112 162167 31487 193654 225141

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The Cambridge Digitization Project g ot underway in Cambridge Un iversity Library on 17 August 2009. For the purposes of assigning file names to the images for storing them, it has been necessary to add labels (P1, P2 etc.) to those fragments that have one shelf mark and multiple leaves. This process of labelling the fr agments has revealed some errors in the Cambridge Inventory Project which will have to readjusted (it is expected that due to t hese errors there will be a 0.3 % margin of error). 66 Another problematic aspect with the final count will arise due to the digit ization of the minute fragments currently clumped together in melinex pockets at the back of the T S NS and some of the T S AS folders. These fragments are being released from the pockets and photographed together in one shot (see fig. 1). But if each tiny fragment is counted as a single leaf this will mean that the total will be much higher and pe rhaps closer to a total of 230,000 folios 67 Thus, only at the end of 68 Yet, for the first time in the history of the Cambridge Genizah Coll ections, the Cambridge Inventory Project (2007) was able to provide the most up to date information regarding their classification and size. The results of this project have already be en used in attempts to calculate the total number of manuscripts origina lly held in the Cairo Genizah, with a first estimate of 298,003 fragments ( comprising perhaps as many as 350,000 folios) and with subsequent estimates being placed higher 69 The Cambridge Inventory Project is the first important step in facilitating the same token, the inventory re sults can be used to break the Cambridge Genizah C ollections down into their various components in order to facilitate estimates about 66 Such errors include the three Sassoon manuscripts which were overlooked in 2007 amount ing to a total of 32 folios, and the Herbert Thompson manuscripts (Or.170 0) which comprise 21 folios and 11 minute fragments. 67 This total, however, would not reflect the true size of the Genizah; a figure that could only be reached by digitally restoring each scrap and leaf to its original state. 68 If it is eventually decided that even blank scraps of Genizah paper should be counted and digitized, then account purposes. 69 In 2007, the number of fragments (that known or estimated to be held worldwide wer e: 193,654 fragments (CUL) + 2,565 fragments (Westminster) + 31,784 fragments (Jewish Theological Seminary) + c. 8,000 fragments ( The Jacques Mosseri Genizah Collection ) + c. 13,0 00 fragments (Bodleian) + c. 14,000 fragments (John Rylands, Manchester) + c. 35,000 fragments (other world collections) = c. 298,003 supplied in Richler, B. [16]: Guide to Hebrew Manuscript Collections Jerusalem). Current figures may obtained from the FGP who maintain the most up to date and accurate data regarding the world collections.

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their co ntents (the amount of biblical material, for example) or about their physical make up (e.g., the number of scrolls or the number of books). The inventory helps the T S Unit to deal more accurately with the many various queries about the Collections (for in stance, it can explain missing items in the microfilms), and it provides the necessary data for the T S Unit to devise collection management and development policies (by supplying the size of an uncatalogued section of fragments, for example). Finally, as we have seen, the Cambridge Inventory Project is significant not only as historical reconstruction of how these collections were formed. Acknowledgments This article is ded icated to Professor Yaacov Choueka (Chief Computerization Scientist at the Friedberg Genizah Project (FGP) and Professor Emeritus at Bar Ilan University) with whom I had the privilege of working on the Cambridge devotion to detail and accuracy and his dedication to the task in hand is the inspiration behind the above historical investigation and reconstruction. It is also dedicated to the memory of Shulie Reif, a wonderful colleague, mentor, and honorary S af ta She is greatly missed.

PAGE 30

the minute scraps from T S AS 84 ( Image reproduced by kind permission of the S yndics of Cambridge University Library)

PAGE 31

Image reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

PAGE 32

F ig. 3: detail of Schechter at work (1898) ( Image reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library)

PAGE 33

References Primary sources CUL MS Add.6463(E).3416 CUL MS Add.6463(E).3453 CUL MS Add.7420/1897) Cambridge University Librar y Archives ULIB 1//2/4 Cambridge University Library Archives ULIB 6/6/1/2 Cambridge University Library Archives ULIB 6/7/6/51 Cambridge University Library Reports, including: ught from Cairo (8 June Cambridge University Reporter 14 June 1898, No. 1215, Vol. XXVIII, No. 39, pp. 968 969. Cambridge University Reporter June 23, 1903, N o. 1463, Vol. XXXIII, No. 48, pp. 1066 67. Cambridge University Reporter 2 June 1906, No. 1609, Vol. XXXVI, No. 40, pp. 1008 12. Cambridge University Reporter May 8, 1923, No. 2438, Vol. LIII, No. 38, p. 937. Taylor Schechter Genizah Research Unit Department Records Secondary sources 1. A brahams, P., 1974: The Jewish Historical Society of England. Transactions, sessions 1970 1973 vol. XXIV, pp. 1 23. 2. A llony, N., 1961: Areshet 3, pp. 395 425. [Hebr ew]. 3. Davies M. C. 1978: Hebrew Bible Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections Vol. I, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge. 4. Goitein, S. D., 1974: Religion in a Religious Age: proc eedings of regional conferences held at the University of California, Los Angeles and Brandeis University in April, 1973 (Association for Jewish Studies), Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1974, pp. 139 46. 5. Jefferson, R. J. W., 2004: (ed.), The Written Word Remains. The Archive and the Achievement: Articles in Honour of Professor Stefan C. Reif Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, pp. 9 27. 6. Jefferson, R. J. W., 2009: Journal of the History of Collections 21/1, 125 42.

PAGE 34

7. Outhwaite B., 2005: Genizah Fragments: the newslett er of Cambridge Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library Cambridge, No. 49. 8. Reif, S. C., 1979: A Guide to the Taylor Schechter Genizah Collection Cambridge University Library; Cambridge. 9. Reif, S. C., (ed .), 1981: Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library Cambridge, No. 1. 10. Reif, S. C., (ed.), 1981: Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library Cambridge, No. 1. 11. Reif, S. C., (ed.), 1982: Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge lor Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library Cambridge, No. 3. 12. Reif, S. C., 1997: Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Library: a description and introduction (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications; 52), Cambridge University Press; Cambridge. 13. Reif, S. C., 1999: 15 (1999), pp. 413 28. [Hebrew]. 14. Reif, S. C., 2000: A Jewish Archive from Old Cairo : the history of Cambridge Coll ection (Culture and Civilization in the Middle East), Curzon Press; Richmond. 15. Schechter, S., 1908: Studies in Judaism London. 16. Richler, B., 1994: Guide to Hebrew Manuscript Collections Jerusalem. 17. Sassoon, D. S. (ed.) 1932: Ohel Dawid: Descript ive catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London London, Oxford University Press, 2 vols.


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The Historical Significance of the

Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project


Pre-print of article submitted for publication in Nachum Dershowitz and Ephraim Nissan (eds), Language, Culture, Computation Essays Dedicated
to Yaacov Choueka (Lecture Notes in Computer Science), Springer-Verlag, Berlin [expected December 2010]




Rebecca J. W. Jefferson
3/31/2010






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


A complete inventory of the Cambridge Genizah Collections was compiled

between the years 2004 and 2006.1 It was undertaken by researchers in the Taylor-

Schechter Genizah Research Unit,2 under the auspices of the Friedberg Genizah

Project,3 in order to prepare the way for the eventual digitization of these manuscripts.

Yet when the project began, the exact number of Cairo Genizah manuscripts at

Cambridge, the largest of the worldwide Genizah collections, was still unknown and

at this stage thought to comprise "over 140,000 items (with perhaps four times that

number of folios)".4 Furthermore, as far as the classification scheme was concerned, it

was not possible to speak of a single, monolithic collection, let alone know whether

shelfmark 'X' consisted of just one fragment or many.

Most of the Cambridge Genizah manuscripts were purchased by the

Cambridge scholars Solomon Schechter and Charles Taylor, primarily from the Ben

Ezra synagogue in Old Cairo (some were purchased from other synagogues, local

dealers, or excavated from the nearby Jewish cemetery). The resulting collection,

shipped in eight large crates or 'tea chests',5 was donated to Cambridge University

Library in 1898. The Library's report for that year records that the Taylor-Schechter

(T-S) Collection being offered to the Library amounted to 'about twenty large boxes

of fragments'.6

Schechter did not know how many manuscripts he had brought back to

England; his 'policy' in the dark, dusty Genizah was, he had reported to the

University Librarian, to 'take as much as I can'.7 Back in Cambridge, however,

Schechter's first estimate was that his collection comprised 100,000 manuscripts.8


1 This article is dedicated to Professor Yaacov Choueka (Chief Computerization Scientist at the Friedberg Genizah
Project (FGP) and Professor Emeritus at Bar Ilan University) with whom I had the privilege of working on the
Cambridge Inventory Project. Professor Choueka's great devotion to detail and accuracy and his dedication to the
task in hand is the inspiration behind the following historical investigation and reconstruction.
2 The Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit (T-S Unit) at Cambridge University Library (CUL) was founded in
1974 under the directorship of Stefan C. Reif
3 The FGP is a Canadian based "non-profit international humanities venture established in 1999 by Mr. Albert
Friedberg" (see hli 1 ii w...li%>.i -._ c iii ..ii .! I. i i .. I -
4 See Reif, S. C. [12]: Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Library: a description and introduction
(University of Cambridge Oriental Publications; 52), Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, p. 30.
5 The number of crates is confirmed by Schechter in a letter to the University Librarian, Francis
Jenkinson (see CUL MS Add.6463(E).3453), and by Jenkinson who recorded in his diary (CUL MS
Add.7420/1897) that "Eight large boxes came from Cairo, for which I paid 19.5.3 carriage &c. to
Sutton & Co." (2 March 1897). Thank you to the Syndics of Cambridge University Library for
permission to cite and quote from the Library manuscripts and archives.
6 'Report of the Library Syndicate on the offer of a collection of manuscripts brought from Cairo (8 June 1898)',
Cambridge University Reporter, 14 June 1898, No. 1215, Vol. XXVIII, No. 39, pp. 968-969 [Hereafter the annual
reports of the Library Syndicate will be referred to as the Library's Annual Report].
7 See Schechter's letter dated 12 January 1897 in CUL MS Add.6463(E).3416
8 Schechter, S. [151: Studies in Judaism, London, p. 9.






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


The Old Series

The Library's Annual Report for 1902 recalls that after it arrived the T-S Collection

underwent a preliminary sorting:


The whole of the Collection, with the exception of a small portion in very bad condition, has
now been through the process of a first sorting. The Hebrew section has been divided into two
main portions by the separation of the more important fragments from those of less interest.
These latter have been stored in boxes, ready for further examination. The Arabic portion has
undergone the preliminary sorting, and is now gradually being dealt with in the same way as
the Hebrew section.9

This task had been undertaken by Schechter who 'went through practically the whole

mass.'10 The initial sorting process and the transfer of material into new boxes can be

seen in the iconic photograph taken of Schechter sitting in the 'Cairo Room' of the

old Library (see figs 2-3) in 1898. The manuscripts are strewn around the tables in

the room and boxes of various sizes are filled with papers.

The T-S Collection was donated to Cambridge University Library on a

number of conditions, including the proviso that:
The University undertake to make such provision as is possible by binding, mounting,
or otherwise for the preservation of the MSS., and to have them sorted, and a list or
catalogue of them drawn up, within ten years from the acceptance of the collection.'11

During the next four years, before his departure to New York, Schechter was

employed by the Library to work on the Collection.12 He was assisted by the

Librarian, Francis Jenkinson, with the sorting and classification process;13 by a

bindery assistant, Andrew Baldrey, with sorting, cleaning and pressing the

fragments,14 and by Charles Taylor, Francis Crawford Burkitt, Agnes Smith Lewis



9 'Report of the Library Syndicate for the year ending December 31, 1902 (June 3, 1903)', Cambridge University
Reporter, June 23, 1903, No. 1463, Vol. XXXIII, No. 48, pp. 1066-67.
10 See 'Appendix II: Report on the Taylor-Schechter Collection' in 'Report of the Library Syndicate for the year
ended 31 December 1905 (University Library, May 2, 1906)', Cambridge University Reporter, 2 June 1906, No.
1609, Vol. XXXVI, No. 40, pp. 1008-12.
1 See the 'Report of the Library Syndicate on the offer of a collection of manuscripts brought from Cairo (8 June
1898)', Cambridge University Reporter, 14 June 1898, No. 1215, Vol. XXVIII, No. 39, pp. 968-9.
12 Ibid.
13 Schechter and Jenkinson began the sorting process before the Collection was officially accepted by the Library
(see Jenkinson's diaries (CUL MS 7420/1897); for example, his entry for 17 September 1897 reads: "3-5 with
Schechter, sorting 'select' fragments into the various drawers.").
14 Andrew Baldrey was placed in charge of conserving the Genizah fragments, a role he conducted with great
diligence until his retirement in 1926. Baldrey even took the time to visit other Genizah collections at the
Bodleian, the British Museum, and at Westminster College, Cambridge to observe their methods of treating the
fragments 'preparatory to binding' (Baldrey's handwritten report of 1900 is preserved in the T-S Unit
departmental records. Thank you to Dr Ben Outhwaite, Head of the Genizah Research Unit, for permission to
quote from these records). Over 40,000 manuscripts were treated by Baldrey (or by a 'lad' under his supervision)
and the history of how the Collection was first ordered can be reconstructed thanks to his careful reports and
handlists.






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


and Margaret Dunlop Gibson with the identification and description of certain select

pieces.15 Between the years 1900 and 1901, Herman Leonard Pass (a Jewish convert

to Christianity who later became an Anglican priest) was employed to sort and

catalogue the biblical material and other literary pieces, and between 1901 and 1902

Hartwig Hirschfeld (lecturer in Syriac and Arabic at Jews' College and University

College London) sorted through the Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic fragments and created

the T-S Arabic series,16 which is now known to comprise 10,165 fragments (14,385

folios).17

After Schechter left the Library in 1902, an ordinary Library assistant who had

proven a talented linguist assumed Schechter's role. A true autodidact, Ernest

Worman trained himself to decipher Judaeo-Arabic manuscripts by starting to read

the larger and more legible texts first before working through to the smaller and more

fragmentary pieces.18 Before his premature death in 1909, Worman had sorted

through and classified a fair amount of documentary material, including those

manuscripts placed in glass with the shelfmark 'Glass 8-32' (now known to comprise

1849 fragments; 1948 folios) and some of the bound volumes '10J, 13G, 13J, 18J'

(1595 fragments and folios).

Within the ten-year time frame allotted by the donors of the Collection, and

with the help of the aforementioned scholars and curators, approximately one quarter

of the collection was sorted and classified according to a newly created 'T-S' letter

(A-K = subject) and number scheme (6-32 = folio size). The fragments selected

were, on the whole, among the largest and most legible manuscripts in the Collection.

The official count in 1905 was 34,355 fragments: 1714 were preserved in glass; 1952

were bound in volumes, and the rest were placed between cartridge paper and placed

in 206 boxes. With this effort, the Library's Annual Report (1906) noted that:



15 Taylor (Master of St John's College and Schechter's co-donor) helped Schechter identify and sort through the
Ben Sira fragments and the Greek palimpsests in the Collection. Burkitt (later a Professor of Divinity at
Cambridge) helped discover and describe some fragments of Aquila, and the scholarly sisters Lewis and Gibson
helped with the elucidation and identification of thirty items in Syriac (see See Reif, S. C. [14]: A Jewish Archive
from Old Cairo, Richmond, pp. 237-38).
16 Ibid., p. 66.
17 The Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (2007) counted the number of manuscript pages assigned to each
shelfmark. The results were given in terms of the number of 'fragments' at each shelfmark and the number of
'folios'. The term 'fragment' refers to the number of physical items (e.g., a shelfmark comprising 1 single leaf
rectoo and verso) + 1 bifolium (2 leaves, recto and verso) would be counted as 2 fragments), whereas the term
'folio' refers to the number of leaves (e.g., a shelfmark comprising 1 single leaf rectoo and verso) + 1 bifolium (2
leaves, recto and verso) would be counted as 3 folios).
18 Worman's method is evident from the order in which he listed the fragments that he had classified, starting with
T-S 'Glass' 32 first and finishing with T-S 'Glass' 8. The numbers represent the size of the manuscript in inches.







Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)



By completing the hand-list and class-catalogue above mentioned, and by providing a
list of boxes in which all the more important parts of the collection have been
arranged with the fullest possible attention to subdivision, the conditions of the gift
will have been substantially fulfilled.


Not long after this report was compiled another sub-section of the Collection, the T-S

Miscellaneous Series, was created. A handlist of the T-S Misc. manuscripts (see table

1) shows how the fragments were selected from some of the unsorted boxes,

including Biblical material that had been designated '2nd Selection', 'Hebrew from

Wooden Box [1-3]', material from a so-called 'Liverpool box' and, curiously,

manuscripts that seem to have been stored in the Librarian's desk. A further addition

to the Misc. Series were 251 fragments taken on loan by Schechter when he left

Cambridge for New York in 1902.19 These 'Loan' fragments, when eventually

returned, were re-classified as T-S Misc.35-36 (unfortunately, they are still

sometimes referred to in the scholarly world as MSS 'Loan': a classification which

causes confusion). Handlists of both the T-S Arabic and T-S Misc. boxes represent the

first attempts at compiling inventories of sections of the Collection by including a

'fragment' count. The number of 'fragments', however, referred to the number of

'items' in a box; they did not indicate how many leaves each 'item' comprised.20



Table 1: T-S Misc. Series reproduced from a handlist appended to a catalogue from 1903 [now
held in T-S Unit Departmental Records]

No. of Box No. of Frags Miscellaneous Contents
1 133 Bible 2nd class vellum frags
2 115 Bible 2nd selection 1.
3 124 Bible 2nd selection 2.
4 6 Bible Unsorted
5 165 Bible Transl & Comm. Paper. 1
6 203 Bible Transl & Comm. Paper. 2
7 158 Bible Transl & Comm. Paper. 3
8 105 List of Names, History, Literature, Docs.
9 85 Hebrew from Wooden Box. 1
10 259 Hebrew from Wooden Box. 2
11 235 Hebrew from Wooden Box. 3
12 38 Inc. Identified
13 22 Inc. Not Identified
14 42 Printed 1
15 121 Printed 2
16 148 Printed 16th c.? 1
17 108 Printed 16th c.? 2
18 98 Printed Talmudic 1


19 The interesting saga of the 'Loan' Collection can be found in Reif, S. C. [13]: 'The Cambridge Genizah Story:
Some Unfamiliar Aspects', Te'uda 15, pp. 413-28 [in Hebrew].
20 But even this item count would prove to be inaccurate (e.g., the number of shelfmarks for T-S Misc. 14 is now
known to be 80).







Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)



19 121 Printed Talmudic 2
20 234 Examined by Dr Mann. Liverpool Box.
21 11 For Mr Elmslie.
22 312 Hebr. frags turned out of Ar. Colln by Dr Hirschfield
23 8 Pieces selected by Dr Davidson
24 187 Frags removed from Librarian's Desk 1
25 147 Frags removed from Librarian's Desk 2
26 64 Frags removed from Librarian's Desk 3
27 c. 50 Frags removed from a box in Librarian's Room
28 207 T-S frags.
29 30 T-S frags.
30 c. 99 T-S frags printed
31 48 T-S frags printed
32 55 T-S frags printed
33 6 T-S frags printed (Inc.)
34 2 T-S frags printed
35 208 Loan Collection 1
36 Loan Collection 2
36L Not included in this handlist (Library Collection Loan)
37 40 Worman's Indexes to T-S Collection


The residue

The Library's Annual Report (1906) also contained a list of the 'residue' of the

Collection: the parts that had been set aside in the sorting process and rejected as

'unimportant' or 'rubbish'. The residue list comprised eleven categories, eight of

which had been placed into boxes according to a rough description of contents (see

table 2).



Table 2: Residue list in the Library's Annual Report (1906); Section 6(B)

No. Description

1 A box of Hebrew fragments turned out of the Arabic and printed sections (to be examined again)
2 Bible, second selection, arranged by books, 10 boxes
3 Bible, second selection, cleaned and pressed, 1 box
4 Bible, unimportant, not arranged, 1 box
5 Bible scrolls, 1 box
6 Bible, leather fragments, 1 box
7 Talmud, unimportant, 1 box
8 Liturgy, unimportant, 1 box
9 Four boxes of fragments (chiefly small) put aside in course of sorting (to be examined again)
10 One box "not examined", mostly in very bad condition
11 Two boxes of rubbish


The 'residue' of the collection-an unknown quantity of manuscripts-was stored in

24 wooden boxes of unspecified dimensions. A twenty-fifth box labelled 'Library

Collection. Feb. 1902' was added later (see table 3); its contents were possibly those

enigmatically described in the Library's Annual Report (1906) under the heading

'Supplementary Library Collection' as:






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


a considerable quantity of fragments from the same source as the Taylor-Schechter
Collection ... purchased by the Library within the last few years. Only a small amount
of work has been done on these, and it is very desirable that steps should be taken for
their further examination.


By 1912, all twenty-five boxes had been removed from the Library's 'Cairo Room' to

a basement under the Map Room where they languished for at least another decade

(see table 3).

In the 1920s, when an increasing lack of space became a pressing issue for the

University Library, the Arts School on Bene't Street was placed at the disposal of the

Library syndicate and at some point over the next few years (perhaps in 1921; see fn.

22) the Genizah residue was relocated there.21

Ten years after the Library had moved from its old location in the quadrangle of

buildings known as the 'Old Schools' to a new site on West Road, the T-S Collection

was re-assessed by the Librarian, A. F. Scholfield. Reporting on a section of the

residue, Scholfield wrote:


I have once or twice rummaged in the box (a large 'tea-chest'), and imagine that they are
the leavings after Dr Schechter had picked over the whole collection. They might from their
size and condition be fairly described as a dust-heap.22


But the boxes of residue were nevertheless brought over to the new Library building

and by 1949 they were stored on the seventh floor of the Library tower. It was

probably during this move that parts of the collection were transferred into smaller

crates. The total number of these containers, according to a handlist compiled that

year, was now thirty-two (see table 4).















21 The use of the Arts School for extra space is mentioned in the 'Report of the Library Syndicate for the year
ending September 30, 1922', Cambridge University Reporter, May 8, 1923, No. 2438, Vol. LIII, No. 38, p. 937,
and the Arts School is recorded as a storage facility for the Genizah material on the handlist from 1949 (see table
4).
22 Report on the 'Genizah Collection' dated 4 April 1944 (CUL ULIB 6/4/1/104).







Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


Table 3: The list of wooden boxes which were removed from the Library's Cairo Room to the basement under the Map Room in June 1912

Box No. Box contents description Corresponding Library Annual Report (1906) No.
1 Bible, No. 2: Genesis 2. Bible, second selection, arranged by books
2 Bible, No. 2: Exodus
3 Bible, No. 2: Leviticus
4 Bible, No. 2: Numbers
5 Bible, No. 2: Deuteronomy
6 Bible, No. 2: Joshua-Kings
7 Bible, No. 2: Isaiah, 5 scrolls
8 Bible, No. 2: Job, Proverbs, Psalter
9 Bible, No. 2: Jeremiah, Minor Prophets
10 Bible, No. 2: Chron., Ezra, Nehemiah, Ezekiel
11 Bible scrolls 5. Bible scrolls
12 Leather fragments 6. Bible, leather fragments
13 Talmudic (unimportant) 7. Talmud, unimportant
14 Liturgy (unimportant) 8. Liturgy, unimportant
15 Bible (unimportant) 4. Bible, unimportant
16 Printed (not cleaned) 1. Arabic and printed sections
17 To be examined again 9. Four boxes of fragments, chiefly small, to be examined again
18 To be examined again (by 1912 in five wooden boxes?)
19 To be examined again
20 To be examined again
21 To be examined again
22 Rubbish 11. Two boxes of rubbish (by 1912 in large tea-chest?)
23 From Liverpool (not examined) 10. Not examined, bad condition (by 1912 in two original boxes
24 From Liverpool (not examined) shipped from Liverpool?)
25 Library Collection. Feb. 1902 'Supplementary Library Collection'?







Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)



Table 4: Residue crates list: reproduced from a handlist signed by Don Crane (Oriental
Librarian) 17 November 1949

Crate No. Crate contents description Former wooden box no.
1 ? 15?
2 ? 15?
3 Talmudic unimportant. Mostly Maimonides Mishneh 13
4 Library Collection. Not T/S. Feb. 1902 25
5 Genizah Library Collection 25
6 Liturgy unimportant (Report, no. 8) 14
7 This box contains only 'rubbish'. To be examined again. 22
8 ? ?
9 ? ?
10 ? ?
11 ? ?
12 To be examined again (Report, no. 9) 17
13 From Liverpool. Not examined. Not T/S 23
14 From Liverpool. Examined 24
15 To be examined again (Report, no. 9?) 18
16 ? ?
17 Bible No. 2. Leviticus (Report, no. 2) 3
18 Bible No. 2. Chron. Ezra. Neh. Ezek. 10
19 Bible No. 2. Exodus 2
20 Bible, leather frags. (Report, no. 6) 12
21 Bible No. 2. Joshua-kings (Report no. 2) 6
22 Bible No. 2. Numbers. 4
23 To be examined again (Report, no. 9) 19
24 Bible scrolls (Report, no. 5) 11
25 Bible No. 2. Psalms, Proverbs, Job (Report, No. 2) 8
26 To be examined again. (Report, No. 9?) 20
27 Bible No. 2. Isaiah, 5 scrolls. (Report, No. 2) 7
28 Bible No. 2. Jeremiah, Minor Prophets (Report, No. 2) 9
29 Bible No. 2. Printed uncleanedd). Rejected by Worman 16
30 Bible No. 2. Genesis. (Report, no. 2?) 1
31 Bible No. 2. Deuteronomy 5
[32] 1 box unnumbered ?



Twenty-five of the 1949 crate numbers and descriptions correspond to the twenty-five

wooden boxes of the 1912 list, but an additional seven crates appear that were left un-

classified (see table 4). One of these, crate 10, had the following label placed inside of

it:



These Hebrew MSS. are part of [my emphasis] a collection bought from Messrs

Henriques and Henriques of Cairo and Manchester. Six sacks were bought 23 Feb.

1899. Three bags were bought 19 Jan. 1902. [12 Jan, 1921. C. S.] 23



Mr Reginald Q. Henriques had befriended Schechter in Cairo where he worked as a

businessman. In the year after Schechter's departure, Henriques discovered the Count



23 The label was written in 1921, perhaps as a result of the collection being re-organized for a move to the Arts
School (see fn. 20).






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


d'Hulst excavating Genizah material on behalf of the Bodleian Library, and he took it

upon himself to hinder the Count's efforts and to acquire as much of the leftover

Genizah material as possible for Schechter.24 According to the aforementioned label,

Henriques sent two shipments of Genizah fragments to Cambridge University

Library: six sacks full in 1899 and three bags in 1902. The arrival of the six sacks can

be corroborated by Library records, but there does not seem to be any record of the

1902 shipment apart from the description in 1921.25

It is not clear where the six sacks were placed when they reached the Library in

1899, but it seems possible that, if it arrived, the 1902 material was placed in wooden

box no. 25, a box which the 1912 handlist clearly describes as 'Library Collection.

Feb. 1902'. The term 'Library Collection', however, was also used to describe the

material purchased in 1898-99 from Wertheimer and Raffalovich (see the section

entitled 'The Library Genizah Collections' below), and it may be that the date 'Feb.

1902' refers to when these manuscripts (now classified as Or.1080-1081) were

transferred into boxes. But certainly by 1949 we can see that parts of Henriques'

collection had been transferred into crate number 10 (as attested by the 1921 label),

and perhaps also into crate number 13, described as 'From Liverpool. Not examined.

Not T/S'.

By comparing these old lists, we can see how the unsorted parts of the residue were

transferred from boxes to the crates from which a T-S New Series would subsequently

be selected. For example, it seems that the two boxes labelled 'rubbish' in category 11

of the Library's Annual Report (1906) were transferred into one huge box (probably,

given later testimony, one of the original shipping crates or 'tea-chests'). This box

was labelled as 'no. 22' on the 1912 list, and it seems to have become crate no. 7 in

the 1949 list (see table 3). Over the next two decades, most of the contents of crate no.

7 would find themselves rejected as 'rubbish' for a second time.





24 Henriques' curious connection to Schechter and the Genizah can be reconstructed from his letter to Schechter in
the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS, Schechter Papers, Correspondence, Box 4/11) and his letters to Schechter
and Jenkinson in Cambridge University Library (CUL ULIB 6/6/1/2). Thank you to Jacqueline Cox, Deputy
Keeper of the University Archives, for her kind help in locating the letters held in Cambridge University Library.
More information on the Count d'Hulst can be found in Jefferson, R. J. W. [6]: 'A Genizah Secret: the Count
d'Hulst and letters revealing the race to recover the lost leaves of the original Ecclesiasticus', Journal of the
History of Collections, 21/1, 125-42.
25 Henriques' letters (CUL ULIB 6/6/1/2) show that his collection was purchased in March 1899, and the Library
Syndicate Minutes for 26 April 1899 record that 'through the kindness of a gentleman living in Cairo the Library
has acquired six sacks from the Genizah at the cost of 16.6.6 including carriage' (CUL ULIB 1//2/4).






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


The New Series
In 1955, the budding social historian, Shelomo Dov Goitein was spending time in

Cambridge researching the documentary material in the T-S Old Series. He was also

helping the Library to classify a section of Genizah material that had been purchased

both prior to and after Schechter had donated his hoard. This section is known as the

Or.1080 and Or.1081 Series (for more on these, see 'The Library Genizah

Collections', below). Impressed with Goitein's diligence, the University Librarian, H.

R. Creswick, took him together with Susan Skilliter (Assistant Under-Librarian in the

Oriental Department) to see the crates in the tower. Goitein's account of this

momentous visit suggests that he saw box 22; crate 7, for he wrote:


there I saw a crate of dimensions I have never seen in my life. In huge letters the address
Alexandria-Liverpool was written on it, but also, in another script, of course, the word:
Rubbish. Some smaller crates were also around.'26


Goitein convinced Creswick of the potential of the material in these residue

boxes, and pressure was brought to bear on the Library to sort through the residue and

to make it accessible for checking.27 As the sorting began, the material already

arranged in thirty-two numbered crates was subdivided into further crates making a

total of sixty crates or boxes.28 The contents of the enormous crate of rubbish that had

so impressed Goitein (box 22; crate 7) were divided into seven smaller crates. Parts of

the original four containers of small fragments awaiting re-examination (described as

No. 9 of the Library's Annual Report, 1906) appear to have been transferred into at

least another fifteen crates. Some were placed into crate no. 12 (out of which Goitein

created sixteen divisions of the T-S New Series), other parts were placed into crates

labelled 12 (1-5), and others into crates numbered 15, 23 and 26 (which were

subdivided into a total of nine crates) (see table 5).






26 Goitein, S. D. [4]: 'Involvement in Geniza Research' in S. D. Goitein (ed.), Religion in a Religious Age:
Proceedings of Regional Conferences held at the University of California, Los Angeles and Brandeis University in
April, 1973 (Association for Jewish Studies), Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp. 139-46 (p. 145-6).
27 Further details about Goitein's role in shaping the Genizah collection will be found in the book 'Sacred Trash'
by Peter Cole and Adina Hoffman (to be published by Schocken/Nextbook in 2011). I would like to thank Peter
and Adina again for so generously sharing their archival discoveries with me and for their insightful questions and
suggestions regarding the history of the Collection.
28 A number of these crates are still being used as a temporary storage facility for other Library archives in the
Library manuscript storeroom. One of the crates has the following notation on its box lid: T-S Crate 12(5) Exam
by Goitein 10.x.55; 18.1.60 Spiegel.







Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


Table 5. List of the New Series boxes and the crates from which they were selected (reproduced from an undated, typed handlist in the T-S Unit departmental
records, presumably compiled after Goitein had examined some of the boxes in 1955).


Crate No. New Series No. Description
1 49-57 Unlabelled
2 31-38 Unlabelled [? Genizah Lib. Coll. Not T/S.]
3 (1-2) Talmudic unimportant. Mostly Maimonides. Mishneh Torah & the code of Isaac al-Fasi (Rep. 7)
4 (1-2) Library collection. Not T/S. Feb. 1902
5 Genizah Library Collection
6 (1-5) Liturgy: unimportant (Rep. 8)
7 (1-7) 'Rubbish'. To be examined again
8
9
10(1-2)
11
12 79-95 ... Examined by Goitein. 10.X.55. (Rep. 9)
12 (1-5) Some also in move boxes
13 (1-3) From Liverpool. Not examined. Not T/S
14 (1-4) From Liverpool. Examined
15 (1-5) To be examined again. (Rep. 9?)
16
17 11-15 Leviticus. (Rep. 2)
18 16-17 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Ezekiel (Rep. 2)
19 7-10 Exodus(Rep.2)
20 (1) Bible; leather fragments. (Rep. 6)
21 43 1 Samuel. (Rep. 2)
22 18-24 Numbers (Rep. 2)
23 (1) To be examined again. (Rep. 9)
24 1-6 Bible scrolls. (Rep. 5)
25 39-40 Psalms. (Rep. 2)
26 (1-3) To be examined again. (Rep. 9)
27 Isaiah, 5 Scrolls. (Rep. 2)
28 58-63 Jeremiah, Minor Prophets. (Rep. 2?)
29 25-30 Printed, uncleaned, rejected by Worman
30 72-78 Genesis. (Rep. 2)
31 64-68 Deuteronomy. (Rep. 2)
32? 69-71 One unnumbered unlabelled box






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Over sixty years had passed before some order was brought to bear on a major section

of the Library's Genizah collection. A T-S 'New Series' (NS), comprising 342 boxes,

was put together over the next decade with final parts being organized in the 1970s.

Unpublished handlists from the period reveal how boxes 1-284 (with some

exceptions) were selected from the crates. In the case of those crates that had been

roughly categorized as 'Bible', 'Liturgy' or 'Talmud' in the 'residue list' of the

original Annual Report (1906), the transfer was straightforward. Thus, for example,

manuscripts taken from crate no. 17 (formerly wooden box no. 3 'Leviticus' and
'residue' list category no. 2) became NS boxes 11-15 'Leviticus'. Similarly, the

manuscripts in T-S NS boxes 107-165 all appear to have been taken from crate no. 6

(formerly wooden box no. 14; 'residue' list category no. 8: 'Liturgy, unimportant').

In the case of NS boxes T-S NS 172-211, however, their contents were

selected by the Israeli scholar, Haim Schirmann from four different crates numbered

7, 10, 13 and 26 (see table 6). These crates were formerly described as either

'Rubbish' (crate 7); 'From Liverpool. Not examined. Not T/S.' (crate 13), or 'To be

examined again (Rep. 9)' (crate no. 26). Crate 10, as we have seen, was later

described as 'part of a collection bought from Messrs Henriques and Henriques' (see

fn. 22). It is not known from which crates the boxes in New Series 285-342 were

taken as the scholars who sorted NS material after Schirmann did not record this

information.


Table 6: reproduced from a handlist (probably in Schirmann's handwriting) entitled 'New
Boxes in the Taylor-Schechter Collection of Genizah Fragments' and dated 12 August 1959
[T-S Unit Departmental Records]

T-S NS Box No. Contents and crate origin
172 Henriques Collection (from Crate 10)
173-174 Bible (from Crates 7 and 10)
175-182 Hebrew (from Crates 7, 10 and 26)
183-190 Arabic (from Crates 7, 10 and 26)
191-192 Printed (from Crates 7, 10 and 26)
193-194 Poetry Selection of Dr. Schirmann
195-198 Common Prayers (from Crates 7, 10, 13, 26)
199-209 Poetry (from Crates 7, 10, 13, 26)
210-211 Hebrew-general (from Crate 26)


The removal of fragments from wooden boxes into crates and from thence

randomly into the New Series boxes, meant that the manuscripts purchased from the






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


aforementioned Henriques were subsumed into the Taylor-Schechter Collection and

their origins barely acknowledged. Having made his selections from crate 10,

Schirmann recorded next to his list of NS boxes that T-S NS 172 (now known to

comprise 189 fragments; 237 folios) was from the 'Henriques Collection'. Yet, for

some reason, he did not mark any other box in that way. Thus, in spite of having

clearly supplied more than 189 fragments to the Library, T-S NS 172 was the only

folder in the T-S New Series that was ever attributed to Mr Henriques.29

Thus, the New Series, now known to comprise 44,435 fragments; 56,433

folios (the exact number of minute scraps is still unknown), was formed in a

somewhat haphazard way.30 Its initial numbers NS 1-78 (apart from NS 38a) were

created from boxes that were already labelled. Subsequent boxes were formed due to

the brilliant but uncoordinated efforts of a number of scholars, including Shelomo

Dov Goitein (who examined and sorted boxes T-S NS 79-95, of which T-S NS 94-95

eventually became the NS J series), Haim Schirmann (NS 38a, 96-165, 172-264),

Shalom Spiegel (NS 265-284), Nehemiah Allony (NS 285-307) and Shraga

Abramson (NS 308-320).31 These scholars created the New Series between 1955 and

1961 by selecting material that interested them, primarily from the crates numbered

1-16, 23 and 26.

In 1961, the Israeli scholar, Nehemiah Allony published a description of the

contents of the T-S Collection.32 He described the work undertaken to sort the New

Series and he enumerated the boxes and their contents. Basing himself on Schechter's

rough estimate of 100,000 fragments for the size of the T-S Collection, Allony

calculated that the Old Series amounted to 25,000 fragments; the New Series: 30,000,

and the remainder: 45,000. Allony also lamented the unsystematic classification of the

New Series, the absence of good guides to the Collection, and the lack of attention

given to the remaining crates.


29 Henriques' letters imply that his sole motivation for collecting the Genizah manuscripts was to help Schechter. It
therefore seems unlikely that he expected any sort of official recognition or separate status for his manuscripts.
30 This criticism was first levelled at the New Series by Nehemiah Allony, one of the scholars involved in the
sorting process, see Allony, N. [2]: 'Genizah and Hebrew manuscripts in the Libraries of Cambridge', Areshet 3,
p. 413 [Hebrew].
31 A handlist of the NS collection held in the T-S Unit Departmental Records provides the name of the scholar
sorting the NS Boxes together with the date and a brief content description; so for example, T-S NS 108 reads
'Poetry. (selection of Dr Schirmann). Sorted by Schirmann, 15.viii.58'. The boxes listed under NS 108 have 'ditto
marks' written alongside.
32 See fn. 29. The description is part of an article dealing with the other collections of Hebraica held in Cambridge.
Allony was the Director of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts in Jerusalem and had during the
previous decade set out to obtain microfilm copies of all the major Hebrew manuscripts collections in Europe (see
hill' '" 11 j! i l h ,im .il d .indmi./#history).






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Once news of this newly created T-S Series spread abroad, scholarly demand

to work on the Genizah fragments greatly increased. But the material selected for

each box badly needed conservation treatment, and the Library personnel available to

answer queries was limited.33 Pressure was thus brought to bear on the Library to

create a Library post with sole responsibility for the Genizah Collections. Following

many discussions on this issue, Henry Knopf, who was employed to work on the

Library's Hebrew printed books, was redeployed in 1964 as the first full-time

librarian in charge of the Genizah material.34 In addition to answering the growing

number of queries, and starting to produce catalogues of the Biblical material (later

incorporated into the volume produced by M. C. Davies),35 Knopf oversaw the

creation of further boxes in the New Series, bringing the number of boxes up to 331.36

These additional boxes were selected from the crates by Alexander Scheiber (NS

325), Norman Golb (NS 321-328) and Jacob Teicher (NS 166-171, NS 330-331).

Another Israeli scholar, Jacob Sussmann, removed material from boxes that had

already been sorted and classified into the New Series by Schirmann in order to create

a new sub-division, T-S NS 329.1-1024 described as 'Mishnah, Talmud, Alfasi,

Maimonides'. Sussman had 190 items re-numbered and notices can be found

throughout the NS Collection indicating that manuscript T-S NS X has now been

renumbered as manuscript T-S NS 329.Y.37

Knopf produced a short guide to the T-S Collection in which he gave a brief

history of the Old Series and described the conservation work about to begin on the

New Series.38 He detailed a couple of the handlists (classified as El-3, E5 and E8)

that were available to scholars, and he listed the filing order for the various sub-

sections of the T-S Collection which began with the bound volumes, followed by the

boxes A-K, the Arabic boxes, and the Misc. boxes, and boxes NS 1-331. Knopf's

guide also mentions the NS J Series that had been formed out of Goitein's NS 94 and


33 The state of the fragments in the NS boxes is recalled in an Oriental Department Report (1965-66) in which 215
boxes are described as 'without covers' and lying 'directly one on top of the other' [T-S Unit Departmental
Records]. A copy of a letter dated 18 March 1970 attached to an undated Syndicate Report (Paper LS 69) in the T-
S Unit Departmental Records states that the fragments 'lie loose and untouched in 335 large cardboard boxes and
32 large wooden crates, and the fact that these have not been relaxed, mounted or handlisted is a serious rebuke to
the Library.' The pressure on the Library staff brought about by the increased interest in the T-S Collection is
described by Reif [14] in A Jewish Archive, pp.247-8.
34 Ibid., p. 250.
35Davies, M. C. [3]: Hebrew Bible Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections, Vol. I, Cambridge
University Library, Cambridge.
36 Ibid.
37 Although useful in terms of keeping subject matter together, the practice of relocating entire boxes of fragments
was not continued, probably because of the confusion created over the numbering system.
38 Typed copies of this unpublished guide are held in the T-S Unit departmental records.






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95. The NS J manuscripts were divided into six boxes: four of the boxes contained

manuscripts NS J1-450 (identified by Goitein); two boxes contained "NS J

Unidentified" fragments and "NS J Unnumbered" fragments (eventually NS J451-

629).

In 1968, Elazar Hurvitz, a scholar in rabbinics from the Yeshiva University in

New York, became enthused with the notion of transforming the New Series and the

material left in the crates into a collection that could be easily accessed and utilized.39

As a result of his intervention, the Library entered into negotiations with the Yeshiva

University and in 1969 a six-year legal agreement was drawn up to repair and

microfilm this material at the cost of $25,000. While work on this project progressed,

Knopf continued his discussions with various institutions and companies into the use

of inert polyester sleeves to house and preserve the fragments.40 It soon became

apparent, however, that the funds were not sufficient to cover all the work needed on

this huge amount of material.41



The Additional Series

After the 331 boxes of the New Series had been selected, the thirty-two crates still

containing the rejected 105,090 fragments; 110,176 folios (+ minute scraps) were

removed from


Table 7: A table of the crates moved to the 'Sidgwick Avenue Upper Basement' reproduced
and expanded from an unpublished typed list on University Library Cambridge headed
paper [T-S Unit Departmental Records]
Crates moved to Sidgwick Site Description of contents (1949)
3 (1-2) Talmudic unimportant. Mostly Maimonides Mishneh Torah
4(1-2) Library Collection. Not T/S. Feb. 1902
6 (2) Liturgy unimportant (Report. No. 8)
7(1-5) This box contains only 'rubbish'. To be examined again
10 [Part of the Henrique Collection]
12 (1-5) To be examined again (Report. No. 9)
13 (1-3) From Liverpool. Not examined. Not T/S
14 (1-4) From Liverpool. Examined
15 (1-5) To be examined again (Report no. 9?)
20 Bible, leather frags. (Report no. 6)
23 To be examined again (Report no. 9)
26 (1-2) To be examined again (Report no. 9)



39 As a result of their having met and discussed the T-S Collection, Hurvitz wrote a letter to Knopf on 27 May
1968 requesting an estimate of time and cost for a 'reparation' project [T-S Unit Departmental Records].
40 Knopf s letters and reports concerning the best way to preserve the fragments are held in the T-S Unit
Departmental Records.
41 In fact, the material would take eight years to conserve at the cost of around 300,000 (see Reif, S. C. (ed.) [9]:
'Eight years of progress', Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge University Library's Taylor-Schechter
Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library 1, p. 1).






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the Library and temporarily housed nearby on the University's recently constructed
Sidgwick Site (see table 7). As repairing the New Series was the first focus of the
Yeshiva University Project, the leftover crates were not brought back over to the
Library until 16 March 1972. That same year, Knopf reported he felt that "the

possibility of fulfilling the six-year clause of the legal agreement is remote. Almost 3
years have elapsed and probably less than 1/5 of the fragments have been treated."42
Knopf resigned later that year for a post at Bar Ilan University.
The following year, the Collections' new curator, Stefan C. Reif set about

creating a dramatic fund-raising programme to deal with the conservation of the New
Series and the remaining crates. Reif's project would also enable all of the fragments
in the Library's Genizah Collections to be encapsulated within melinex pockets and
for all the remaining boxes to be replaced with special preservation binders. This vital

preservation process would lay the foundation for important cataloguing work to take
place.43
The classification of a T-S 'Additional Series' (T-S AS) began in July 1974

and was first carried out by the Israeli scholar, Ezra Fleischer. Fleischer reported that
the number of manuscripts in each of the crates varied: some were full; others half
empty. Their physical state he described as "poor": they were, he wrote, "scraps of

pages, small or even tiny, on which the writing very occasionally amounts to a few
lines"; the importance of their contents he summarized as "very limited".44
The fragments were sorted according to rough subject matter along similar
lines to the New Series, but the biblical manuscripts were not divided into separate

biblical books. Their poor physical condition forced Fleischer to sort some of the
pieces according to "conjecture" which meant that the number placed in the wrong
box were more than he would have liked.45
Another Israeli scholar, Israel Yeivin, assisted Fleischer with the sorting in

July and he continued to work on the fragments for another three months after
Fleischer left in August. By October 1974, at the end of this four-month process,
Yeivin reported that the material in the newly created T-S AS was divided into 26

42 This quote is taken from an undated report in the T-S Unit Departmental Records, entitled: 'Oriental Department
(Taylor-Schechter Collection) Report of Dr H. Knopf.
43 For more on the exciting developments following Reifs appointment, see Jefferson, R. J. W. [5]: 'Thirty years
of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit' in S. D. Reif (ed.), The Written Word Remains. The Archive and
the Achievement: Articles in Honour of Professor Stefan C. Reif, Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, pp.
9-27.
44 A copy of Fleischer's translated report dated 11 September 1974 is held in the CUL archives ULIB 6/7/6/51.
45 TIbid.






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subject areas and filled 225 boxes, each holding between 100-300 fragments.46
According to Yeivin's own estimate, this new sub-collection amounted to a total of
50,000 fragments. Comparing the contents of the Additional Series to those in the
New Series, Yeivin concluded that although the latter was more voluminous, the
former contained fragments that were more important. Nevertheless, these poor,
neglected AS scraps were significant because they complemented "every area of
Jewish studies represented in the Genizah".47
At the same time that the thirty-two crates were finally being emptied, Yeivin
also noted that Stefan Reif (now the Director of the Library's newly founded Taylor-
Schechter Genizah Research Unit) had discovered some small fragments stored in
"pamphlet boxes as an appendix to the NS". Their contents, Yeivin noted, were
"similar in character to that of the AS".48 These 11 boxes were added to the 331 boxes

of the New Series and numbered NS 332-342.


The Library Genizah Collections
The Library holds its own collection of 1670 Genizah manuscripts (3134
folios) in addition to the major collection donated by Taylor and Schechter.49 But
their purchase at various times and from numerous dealers means that they do not
form a distinct entity; indeed, 132 of them are dispersed throughout the Library's
Oriental Collection.
The Library's first Genizah acquisition may have been in the 1880s. The
provenance of the manuscript (CUL MS Add.2586) is unknown, but it is a 13th
century deed of sale from Egypt typical of the Genziah. Another nine Library Genizah
manuscripts are similarly of unknown provenance (CUL MS Add.863.2, Add.3339(a-
c), Add.3356, and Add.4320a-d). One Genizah manuscript is recorded as purchased
from an Ephraim Cohen of Jerusalem (CUL MS Or.3430); one was bought in 1892
from a George Ellis (CUL MS Or. 1034), another apparently belonged to the collector
Elkan Nathan Adler whose name appears on the envelope in which it is still housed;
the manuscript was re-discovered in the Library in 1904 by Jenkinson who noted 'I do



46A translated copy of Yeivin's report to the Israel National Academy of Sciences and Humanities on his work in
Cambridge dated October 1974 is appended to the copy of Fleischer's report (see fn. 43).
47 Ibid.
48 Ibid.
49 These numbers have been adjusted to take into account those manuscripts missed from the inventory as well as
one that has been counted by mistake (see fn. 67).






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not remember about this'.50 Thirty-three items were presented to the Library in 1891

by the Oxford collector Revd. Greville John Chester, and sixty-two items were

purchased in the 1890s (mostly in 1896) from the Jerusalem-based scholar Rabbi

Solomon Aaron Wertheimer. These ninety-five items each have individual shelfmarks

under the Library's Oriental 'Add.' classification scheme.

Later acquisitions include Mrs Agnes Smith Lewis' bequest to the Library in

1926 of the precious Ben Sira fragment that had led Schechter to Cairo (this fragment

is now labelled CUL MS Or.1102). In the 1960s, the Israel Abrahams Collection (21

items; 23 folios) was given to the Library by the Oriental Faculty; they are part of the

Library's Or.2116 series.51 Three Genizah manuscripts were acquired by the Library

from the David Solomon Sassoon Collection in 1981: CUL MS Or.2243 (Ohel

Dawid, No. 227: Karaite liturgy), Or.2245 (OhelDawid, No. 218: liturgical fragments

for Special Sabbaths and Passovers) and Or.2246 (Ohel Dawid, No. 225: Karaite

liturgy for the Day of Atonement).

Lastly, some fragments from the Genizah were recently rediscovered among

the manuscripts in a collection donated to the Library by the Egyptologist Sir Herbert

Thompson in 1939. Classified as Or. 1700.1-19, they comprise twenty-one folios and

eleven unnumbered 'small fragments'.53

A large proportion of the Library's own Genizah manuscripts-those marked

as Or.1080 and Or.1081-were kept unsorted in 17 boxes until the 1950s when

Goitein was asked to classify them.54 Goitein saw that little work had been done on

this sub-collection, apart from its having been used by a few scholars such as Jacob

50 The provenance of these disparate items is detailed in Reif [12], Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge.
51 It is not clear how Israel Abrahams (the Reader in Rabbinics at the University of Cambridge after Schechter)
acquired his Genizah collection. But a cache of letters from Abrahams to his wife (published by his daughter after
their deaths) show that Abrahams was in Egypt in March 1898 during which time he paid a visit to the Genizah.
He had also met the manuscripts dealer, W. S. Raffalovich on board the ship for Egypt (see Abrahams, P. [1]: 'The
letters of Israel Abrahams from Egypt and Palestine in 1898', The Jewish Historical Society of England.
Transactions, sessions 1970-1973, vol. XXIV, pp. 1-23.
52 These three manuscripts were part of a collection of 25 Hebrew manuscripts that were given to the British
Government by the executors of Sassoon's widow in lieu of estate duty and which were then allocated to
Cambridge University Library (see Reif, S. C. (ed.) [11]: 'Sassoon Treasures', Genizah Fragments: the newsletter
of Cambridge University Library's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library 3,
1. Sassoon himself revealed that his Genizah manuscrips were acquired "On my journey from Damascus to India
via Egypt" in 1902 (Sassoon, D. S. (ed.) [17]: Ohel Dawid: Descriptive catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan
manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London, London, Oxford University Press, vol. I, p. x).
53 The fragments were re-discovered by Dr Ben Outhwaite in 2005. See, Outhwaite, B. [7]: 'Library yields surprise
find', Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge University Library's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research
Unit at Cambridge University Library 49, 2. It is unclear whether they were truly part of Thompson's Collection
of Coptic MSS (particularly as no mention is made of them in the acquisition report), or whether they were placed
in the same box in error (certainly, another manuscript in the box, a Bohairic MS, is accompanied by the label 'Not
Sir H. Thompson (Found in Cab. B, Nov. 1955)). These manuscripts, being both uncatalogued and stored as part
of another Collection, were omitted from the Cambridge Inventory Project (2007).
54 Goitein [4], 'Involvement in Geniza Research', pp. 145-6.






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Mann, so he requested permission to create a further subdivision: Or.1080/1081 J for
all of the documentary papers.55
Unfortunately, the provenance of some of the manuscripts in the Or. 1080/81
series does not seem to have been recorded. Most of the material appears to have
derived from at least two different sources. The first was W. S. Raffalovich who
presented material to the Library, through Schechter, in 1898. The Library purchased
around 1,000 of Raffalovich's manuscripts (most of his offerings being described by
the Librarian as a rubbishyy lot').56 A second source was probably the aforementioned
Wertheimer. Letters from Wertheimer offering manuscripts for sale are bound up with
the manuscripts in Or. 1080 2 and in Or. 1080 13. A list of items sent by Wertheimer in
1894 is also retained there and a comparison between its contents and the
manuscripts' contents may reveal which pieces are actually Wertheimer's.
Furthermore, one of the scholars' notes in the folder identifies Or.1080 13.68 as
'Wertheimer fragments May 1895'; this manuscript has been bound as a volume and
relocated to the shelfmark Or. 1080 1.91.
Unlike the Library's other non T-S material, the Or.1080/1081 manuscripts,
perhaps because they were left unbound, were housed in the same way as the T-S
Collection and stored in the same shelving area.


A guide to the principle shelfmarks
In 1973, Reif published A Guide to the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection to
coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Library's official acceptance of the
Collection in 1898. In order to incorporate more up-to-date information about the
New Series and the Additional Series, the Guide was revised and reprinted in 1979.57
The Guide provided a complete list of the various sub-sections in the Collection
together with a brief subject description and the number of boxes in each section. The
Library's 'Oriental boxes' were also included, but the Library's other Genizah
collections were not. The filing order for these sub-sections were altered slightly with
the boxes A-K being placed before the bound volumes. A total for the number of
shelfmarks was not supplied in the 1973 edition, but nevertheless Reif noted that the


5 Ibid.
56 Raffalovich sold items to the Library in October 1897 and in January 1899 (see the letters sent from Raffalovich
and his partner [Lipshitz?] which were sent to the Librarian from March 1898 to January 1899 (CUL MSS
Add.6463)) as well as the Librarian's diaries (MS Add.7420-7422 (1897-1899)).
57 Reif, S. C. [81: A Guide to the Taylor-Schechter Collection, Cambridge, Cambridge University Library.






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Collection was in excess of Schechter's original estimate of 100,000 pieces. In the
preface to the 1979 reprint, after the T-S Collection had been conserved with
shelfmark labels, the size of the T-S Collection was estimated at 140,000 fragments.


The Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project
In order to identify the contents of the Cambridge Genizah Collections and to make
them more accessible, Reif initiated a Library Genizah Series which would include
the publication of catalogues and a Bibliography. However, a grand plan to digitize
the worldwide Genizah collections launched by the FGP in 1999 meant that even
more accurate data concerning the physical make-up of the various Genizah
Collections would be required. Under this plan, the first major Collection to have its
manuscripts counted and digitized was the second largest Genizah Collection (now
known to comprise 31,784 fragments) held at the Jewish Theological Seminary in
New York.
Five years later, in 2004, the FGP engaged Mrs Shulie Reif (Editorial
Assistant in the T-S Unit) to go through the Cambridge Collections and note down the
first and last shelfmark of every book and binder. It was hoped that once this
information had been recorded it might be possible to arrive at a rough estimate for
the time, labour, and cost of the Cambridge Digitization Project. A database was
compiled from Shulie's work and, for the first time in the history of the Collection,
the principle shelfmarks of the Cambridge Genizah Collections were officially
recorded.
Yet it quickly became apparent that the database of principle shelfmarks did
not provide enough information on which to cost the Cambridge Digitization Project.
A more detailed inventory of the exact number of shelfmarks and leaves was a must,
but it was unclear how much manpower and how much time it would take to provide
a precise inventory of a collection of manuscripts believed to be anywhere between
several hundred thousand and half a million folios or leaves. Furthermore, the project
had to be conducted by skilled researchers familiar with the Library's Genizah
Collections in general and Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts in particular. But at the
outset it was not clear how many of them could be spared from their own time and
budget-bound projects and what the expense would be. Such questions could only be
answered if some sort of preliminary investigation, a small pilot project, was carried
out on a portion of the T-S Collection.






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


Having recently finished her latest work sub-editing and indexing the

fourteenth catalogue in the Genizah Series, Shulie Reif was free to conduct the pilot

project on behalf of FGP and the T-S Unit. She was also the ideal candidate due to her

well-earned reputation for great precision and attention to detail and as a result of her

many years of experience dealing with the Cambridge Collections and editing the

Unit's catalogues and Bibliography.58

The pilot project was based on folders from the T-S C section of the Old

Series (A-K). The FGP provided Shulie with a spreadsheet containing the list of

primary shelfmarks along with any additional shelfmarks appended to the primary

shelfmarks that had been gleaned from the Unit's catalogues. Going through the

folders, it quickly became apparent that it would not be a simple matter of recording

the number of manuscripts: one could note, for example, that MS T-S C1.18

comprises one item, but for the purposes of digitization it might be necessary to report

that the verso of this leaf is blank.59 In the case of C1.49, one could record that there

are 11 manuscripts under this shelfmark; yet that may not have been enough

information for costing the project given that these 11 manuscripts actually comprise

10 single leaves and one bifolium which, depending on its size, might have to be

photographed as two separate leaves.60 Once it was decided to differentiate between

single leaves and bifolia, it then became important to distinguish between leaves with

stubs that had writing on them (clearly a bifolium) and leaves with blank stubs

(counted as a single leaf). The danger of mistakenly identifying a manuscript with two

unclear columns as a bifolium also arose and necessitated the need to record when a

manuscript was actually part of a scroll.

Other information would need recording too, like the case of T-S C6.28: 10

fragments now renumbered as C6.151-160, or T-S C6.87 which is now a part of T-S

C6.98, or C5.1 which splits into T-S C5.1a and T-S C5.1b. In some cases, tiny pieces

of manuscript were conserved together with a folio in the same melinex pocket

(sometimes from the same manuscript; sometimes not). One researcher might count

58 Shulie Reif worked in the T-S Unit as a member of the research team from 1976 until her retirement in 2006,
during which time she assisted with the editing and indexing of most of the major volumes in the Library's
Genizah Series.
59 Initially it was thought that the blank leaves would not be photographed: the need to get the project done as
quickly and as inexpensively as possible meant that only pages with writing on would be included. It was soon
decided, however, that this would not convey complete information about the manuscript. Furthermore, it
is not always possible to detect with the naked eye if a manuscript is truly blank.
60 It was still unclear whether bifolia would be photographed as one item, or whether each leaf would be shot
separately. Similarly, the method of photographing large scale manuscripts (bible scrolls, for example) was, at this
early stage, undetermined.






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


this as one folio; another might count it as two. As additional questions arose, it was
apparent that a column was needed in which to record this extra information. Such
notes could help guide the photographer when it came to digitising problematic
fragments.
At the same time, decisions had to be made about what to leave out given the
restricted length of the project. Thus notes about material and size were not
included.61 Other problems that arose, such as wrong shelfmark assignation, could be
corrected right away. Thus, from this preliminary research, a model spreadsheet was
created (see table 8). The FGP provided the spreadsheet with embedded formulae to
automatically calculate the total number of images based on the numbers of folios
inputted and running totals at the end of each column (see table 9).
In addition to counting the contents of the T-S C folders, Shulie noted how
long it was taking her to record this information. Working at a steady pace, she
realized that she could count and record the data at an average rate of 100 manuscripts
an hour. This calculation enabled the project managers to fix the time span and allot
the necessary manpower for the project.62 Six months was proposed as the ideal time-
span for the Cambridge Inventory Project and an additional three researchers (two
part-time, one full-time) would be required.
























61 A separate project to estimate the number of fragments over A4 size was conducted under the direction of the
new Head of the Genizah Research Unit, Dr Ben Outhwaite, after the Inventory Project was completed in 2007.
62 The project was administrated by the Director of the T-S Unit, Stefan C. Reif and by the manager of the FGP,
Rabbi Reuven Rubelow.







Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


Table 8: Cambridge Inventory Project model spreadsheet

images Bifolia images Blank total number of images extra information
1 Verso blank 1
2 2
5 10 10
2 4 4 very large, stored separately


Table 9: Cambridge Inventory Project spreadsheet with embedded formulae

Shelfmark single images Bifolia images Blank total number of images extra information
T-S C7.173 1 2 2
T-S C7.174 1 2 2
Total 546 1081 576 1151 2224


single
1
1


Shelfmark
T-S C7.1
T-S C7.2
T-S C7.3
T-S C7.4






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


The team of researchers began compiling the inventory data in November
2005.63 Some parts of the collection were counted at a very quick pace. The
Additional Series, for example, with its large quantities of small single folios, was
fairly straightforward. Unusual items included the multiple minute fragments at the
end of each binder: miniature pieces that were each housed in a single, tiny pocket on
a sheet of melinex which was assigned one shelfmark. In this case, the researcher
counted every minute manuscript as one item and entered this number into the single
folios column. The number of images, however, was given as two (the recto and verso
of the entire sheet), even though it was not yet clear how they might be photographed
(they might be scanned in sections, as individual pieces, or shot as one entire sheet).
In the case of the NS folders the scraps from each NS box were housed together in
melinex pockets without any shelfmark at the back of the folder. These 'minutiae'
were impossible to count as one could not always clearly see how many each
envelope contained. Another problem concerning precision arose with MS T-S NS
329.655 a quire of pages that are stuck together so that it is impossible to tell how

many pages it comprises.64 In this case, the inventory recorded the manuscript as
having five visible folios between the outer leaves, but only the two outer leaves
would be digitized.
Parts of the Arabic, Misc. and Or. folders were more problematic with
multiple folios, bifolia, columns and blank sides, as well as missing or renumbered
items. An example is MS Or.1081 2.75 which consists of thirty-six folios all from
different manuscripts. This problem was resolved by renumbering them Or.1081
2.75.1-36.
The A-K section contains manuscripts that posed similar difficulties: MSS T-S
A2.5 & T-S A2.6, for example, comprise two separate manuscripts with different sets
of handwriting, but parts of T-S A2.5 had been incorrectly labelled as T-S A2.6 and
vice versa. Once again, the manuscripts needed to be re-labelled.
The old 'Glass' series, T-S 8-32, contained a number of renumbered and
relocated items and, as a result, it was sometimes hard to keep track of which
manuscript had been joined to which (for example, three separate manuscripts, MSS

63 Shulie Reif continued to work on the A-K section of the Collection; Leigh Chipman began counting the Arabic
folders; Mila Ginsburskaya worked on the Misc. folders, the bound volumes 6F-18K, and the AS folders; Rebecca
Jefferson counted folders (Glass) 8-32, the Or./Add series, and the AS folders, and, due to the awkward size of the
folders, Chipman, Ginsburskaya and Jefferson all worked together to count the New Series.
64 This manuscript is currently being examined by the University Library Conservation Department to see if it can
be dismantled without damaging its contents.






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


T-S 8.167, T-S 8.179 and T-S 8.117, had been joined together and relabelled as T-S
12.814). The process of checking and typing in these relocations served to slow down
the counting process.
The mechanical process of compiling an inventory was relieved by occasional
interesting oddities like MSS T-S A8.8 & T-S A8.11. The second manuscript, MS T-S
A8.11, consists of two different manuscripts under the one shelfmark while the first,
MS T-S A8.8, is recorded as missing. Obviously one of the manuscripts now labelled
T-S A8.11 was originally classified as T-S A8.8. Given the impossibility of knowing
which one, the manuscripts were not relabelled and the inventory had to record zero
for the number of folios at T-S A8.8. This phenomenon occurs in other parts of the
Cambridge Collections too and shows that many of the items that were deemed
'missing' were probably not missing at all. The compilers also came across other

unexpected items, including odd shelfmarks like Or.1080 Dl.l: the only number in
that series; Misc 29.1-30 which was preceded by Misc.29.1a-62a, and unexpected
shelfmarks such as 'T-S AS 34 book cover'.
The spreadsheet results began to highlight the disparity between the number of
shelfmarks and the number of leaves in any given folder (enabling one to see, for
example, how manuscripts in the Old Series tend to have greater numbers of folios
per shelfmark). Such differences were also a major factor in the previous
underestimation of the size of the T-S Collection.
At the end of 2005, the FGP employed Professor Yaacov Choueka as its Chief
Computerization Scientist to design, implement and supervise the technical aspects of
the project, and to establish the computerization unit of FGP based in Jerusalem now
known as 'Genazim'.65 Choueka soon established rules for the Cambridge Genizah
Inventory Project about the citation of shelfmarks to create one formal, unique
shelfmark for each manuscript and to bring order to what has been termed the 'loosely
controlled chaos' of Library classification schemes.66
The inventory was completed sooner than expected, enabling the Genizah
fragments at Westminster College, Cambridge (the Lewis and Gibson Collection) to
be included in the Project. The Westminster fragments were straightforward in terms
of number, housing and shelfmark order with only two items that had been


65 For more information, see the FGP website: liifip I, I .I .d!i ..i- i ii.-History.htm
66 See hlii,,p I, l. .,i I- .,..,'iii-SoA-Computerization.htm#comp






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


renumbered and relocated. The manuscripts themselves, however, were in a poor state
of conservation, which slightly impeded progress. In addition to which, it became
apparent that digitization could not proceed without some preliminary conservation
work. The Cambridge Inventory Project, including Westminster College, was finished
in April 2006.
Processing the data brought a number of inconsistencies and errors to light. Some of
these involved questions of the 'control' language. Discussions were held between the
two teams in Jerusalem and Cambridge to determine which of the variant terms
(leaves, folios, sides or pages; bifolio and bifolios or bifolium and bifolia) to use.
Agreement was soon reached with the understanding that consistency and adherence
to bibliographical norms was vital to the construction of the database and to the
metadata that would accompany the digital image.
A measure of confusion also arose over the use in the 'additional information
column' of the terms 'renumbered as', 'removed to' and 'now part of. What did the
use of these different terms signify? Did the fact that the item had been renumbered
also mean that it had been relocated? Similar problems occurred with the terms
'missing item' and 'no fragment at this shelfmark'. Did the compiler use different
terms to mean different things? The answer from Cambridge was that the compilers
had directly copied the 'historical' wording on the labels and were not aware that this
could be misconstrued. As a result of these discussions, the computerization team
invented code letters to signify the various conditions. The letter 'M' was used to
signify a 'missing' fragment and the letter 'R' a fragment that had been removed and
relocated.
Another important issue was the way in which the compilers had recorded the
number of blank leaves. Some had used words such as 'blank versos' or versoss
blank' while others had recorded a numerical value. Again, the two teams agreed that
the database should be mostly numerical and that words or code letters should be
retained for certain explanatory notes only.
At the end of this process, a complete table of results was produced. The
results from the work of the inventory compilers and the database scientists (2007) are
shown below (table 10). Curiously the figure of 140,000 was very close to the end
result for the number of shelfmarks. The total number of fragments (193,654) and the
total number of folios (225,141) was, however, entirely new information.







Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


Table 10: Cambridge Inventory Project 2007 results


Series Collection_name No of shelfmarks No of folios No of bifolios Total fragments Total folios
Old T-S Boxes 10374 8836 6752 15588 22340


New


Additional
Library


T-S Bound
T-S Ar.
T-S Misc.
T-S Glass
T-SNS
T-S NS J
T-S AS
CUL Or.
CUL Add.


SUM


3466
8030
4543
1854
39605
689
67883
1557
111


138112


5042
5945
5431
1750
32437
625
100004
1599
498

162167


4
4220
2229
99
11998
68
5086
939
92

31487


5046
10165
7660
1849


5050
14385
9889
1948
56433
761
110176
3477
682

225141


44435
693
105090
2538
590

193654






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


The Cambridge Digitization Project got underway in Cambridge University

Library on 17 August 2009. For the purposes of assigning file names to the images for

storing them, it has been necessary to add labels (PI, P2 etc.) to those fragments that

have one shelfmark and multiple leaves. This process of labelling the fragments has

revealed some errors in the Cambridge Inventory Project which will have to

readjusted (it is expected that due to these errors there will be a 0.3% margin of

error).67

Another problematic aspect with the final count will arise due to the

digitization of the minute fragments currently clumped together in melinex pockets at

the back of the T-S NS and some of the T-S AS folders. These fragments are being

released from the pockets and photographed together in one shot (see fig. 1). But if

each tiny fragment is counted as a single leaf, this will mean that the total will be

much higher and perhaps closer to a total of 230,000 folios.68

































67 Such errors include the three Sassoon manuscripts which were overlooked in 2007 amounting to a total of 32
folios, and the Herbert Thompson manuscripts (Or. 1700) which comprise 21 folios and 11 minute fragments.
68 This total, however, would not reflect the true size of the Genizah; a figure that could only be reached by
digitally restoring each scrap and leaf to its original state.







Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


Fig. 1: bringing 'chaos' under control-the minute scraps from T-S AS 84
(image reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library)






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


Thus, only at the end of the Digitization Project will the final numbers be realized and the

'loosely controlled chaos' brought under control.69

Yet, for the first time in the history of the Cambridge Genizah Collections, the

Cambridge Inventory Project (2007) was able to provide the most up-to-date information

regarding their classification and size. The results of this project have already been used

in attempts to calculate the total number of manuscripts originally held in the Cairo

Genizah, with a first estimate of 298,003 fragments (comprising perhaps as many as

350,000 folios) and with subsequent estimates being placed higher.70 The Cambridge

Inventory Project is the first important step in facilitating the 'virtual' reunification of

these manuscripts (and with others around the world). By the same token, the inventory

results can be used to break the Cambridge Genizah Collections down into their various

components in order to facilitate estimates about their contents (the amount of biblical

material, for example) or about their physical make-up (e.g., the number of scrolls or the

number of books). The inventory helps the T-S Unit to deal more accurately with the

many various queries about the Collections (for instance, it can explain missing items in

the microfilms), and it provides the necessary data for the T-S Unit to devise collection

management and development policies (by supplying the size of an uncatalogued section

of fragments, for example). Finally, as we have seen, the Cambridge Inventory Project is

significant not only as the first official record of the Library's Genizah holdings but also

in enabling an historical reconstruction of how these collections were formed.


Rebecca J. W. Jefferson

1. Research Associate, Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit
Cambridge University Library
2. Head of the Isser and Rae Price Library ofJudaica
George A. Smathers Libraries
University of Florida



69 If it is eventually decided that even blank scraps of Genizah paper should be counted and digitized, then account will
also have to be taken of the crate of scraps left over from the 'residue' and retained by the Library for display purposes.
70 In 2007, the number of fragments (that is, 'items' not 'single leaves') known or estimated to be held worldwide were:
193,654 fragments (CUL) + 2,565 fragments (Westminster) + 31,784 fragments (Jewish Theological Seminary) + c.
8,000 fragments (The Jacques Mosseri Genizah Collection) + c. 13,000 fragments (Bodleian) + c. 14,000 fragments
(John Rylands, Manchester) + c. 35,000 fragments (other world collections) = c. 298,003 fragments (the estimate for
the 'other world collections' is based loosely on the figures supplied in Richler, B. [16]: Guide to Hebrew Manuscript
Collections, Jerusalem). Current figures may obtained from the FGP who maintain the most up-to-date and accurate
data regarding the world collections.







Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


Fig. 2: Solomon Schechter sorting through the 'Cairo Collection', separating items of interest from secondary material and 'rubbish' (1898).
Image reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library







Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)


Fig. 3: detail of Schechter at work (1898)
(image reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library)






Rebecca J W Jefferson The Historical Significance of the Cambridge Genizah Inventory Project (pre-print version 03/31/2010)



References


Primary sources
CUL MS Add.6463(E).3416
CUL MS Add.6463(E).3453
CUL MS Add.7420/1897)
Cambridge University Library Archives ULIB 1//2/4
Cambridge University Library Archives ULIB 6/6/1/2
Cambridge University Library Archives ULIB 6/7/6/51
Cambridge University Library Reports, including:
'Report of the Library Syndicate on the offer of a collection of manuscripts brought from Cairo (8 June
1898)', Cambridge University Reporter, 14 June 1898, No. 1215, Vol. XXVIII, No. 39, pp. 968-969.
'Report of the Library Syndicate for the year ending December 31, 1902 (June 3, 1903)', Cambridge
University Reporter, June 23, 1903, No. 1463, Vol. XXXIII, No. 48, pp. 1066-67.
'Report of the Library Syndicate for the year ended 31 December 1905 (University Library, May 2, 1906)',
Cambridge University Reporter, 2 June 1906, No. 1609, Vol. XXXVI, No. 40, pp. 1008-12.
'Report of the Library Syndicate for the year ending September 30, 1922', Cambridge University Reporter,
May 8, 1923, No. 2438, Vol. LIII, No. 38, p. 937.
Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit Department Records


Secondary sources
1. Abrahams, P., 1974: 'The letters of Israel Abrahams from Egypt and Palestine in 1898', The Jewish
Historical Society of England. Transactions, sessions 1970-1973, vol. XXIV, pp. 1-23.
2. Allony, N., 1961: 'Genizah and Hebrew manuscripts in the Libraries of Cambridge', Areshet 3, pp. 395-
425. [Hebrew].
3. Davies M. C., 1978: Hebrew Bible Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections, Vol. I,
Cambridge University Library, Cambridge.
4. Goitein, S. D., 1974: 'Involvement in Geniza Research' in S. D. Goitein (ed.), Religion in a Religious
Age: proceedings of regional conferences held at the University of California, Los Angeles and Brandeis
University in April, 1973 (Association for Jewish Studies), Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1974, pp. 139-46.
5. Jefferson, R. J. W., 2004: 'Thirty years of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit' in S. D. Reif
(ed.), The Written Word Remains. The Archive and the Achievement: Articles in Honour of Professor Stefan
C. Reif Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, pp. 9-27.
6. Jefferson, R. J. W., 2009: 'A Genizah Secret: the Count d'Hulst and letters revealing the race to recover
the lost leaves of the original Ecclesiasticus', Journal of the History of Collections, 21/1, 125-42.







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7. Outhwaite B., 2005: 'Library yields surprise find', Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge
University's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, No.
49.
8. Reif, S. C., 1979: A Guide to the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection, Cambridge University Library;
Cambridge.
9. Reif, S. C., (ed.), 1981: 'Eight years of progress ...', Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge
University's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, No. 1.
10. Reif, S. C., (ed.), 1981: 'Fragments in the Library', Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge
University's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, No. 1.
11. Reif, S. C., (ed.), 1982: 'Sassoon Treasures', Genizah Fragments: the newsletter of Cambridge
University's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, No. 3.
12. Reif, S. C., 1997: Hebrew Manuscripts at Cambridge University Library: a description and
introduction (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications; 52), Cambridge University Press; Cambridge.
13. Reif, S. C., 1999: 'The Cambridge Genizah Story: Some Unfamiliar Aspects', Te 'uda 15 (1999), pp.
413-28. [Hebrew].
14. Reif, S. C., 2000: A Jewish Archive from Old Cairo: the history of Cambridge University's Genizah
Collection (Culture and Civilization in the Middle East), Curzon Press; Richmond.
15. Schechter, S., 1908: Studies in Judaism, London.
16. Richler, B., 1994: Guide to Hebrew Manuscript Collections, Jerusalem.
17. Sassoon, D. S. (ed.) 1932: Ohel Dawid: Descriptive catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan
manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London, London, Oxford University Press, 2 vols.