Princeton Geniza Lab

A Princeton University Research Center

Welcome to the Princeton Geniza Lab

The Princeton Geniza Lab is a collaborative space housed in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, devoted to making the documentary texts of the Cairo Geniza accessible to scholars and the wider public. The Cairo Geniza is a cache of more than 330,000 folio pages preserved in a medieval Egyptian synagogue, now dispersed among libraries and private collectors.

A tiny fraction of Geniza manuscripts have been identified, and even fewer published. The Geniza Lab’s mission is to make the documentary texts of the Geniza—about 10% of the total—accessible in three ways:

(1) by bringing unpublished manuscripts to light and describing their contents in an online database;
(2) by putting transcriptions online in a text-searchable database;
(3) by making available the interim products of Geniza research, especially the unpublished research materials of S. D. Goitein (1900–85) and the scholars who entered the field in his wake.

Our database is the Princeton Geniza Project, whose current contents are 4,350 descriptions and transcriptions of Geniza texts, with new material being added regularly.

The Princeton Geniza Lab also hosts other research projects that aim to expand the available corpus of Geniza documents and of materials available to Geniza researchers. We are a space for collaborative teaching, learning and research. Undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, faculty and researchers are invited to visit, to pursue projects of their own and to help us with ours.