Cataloging

It All Adds Up: Chronograms in Hebrew Books

Description: 

Chronograms are often used as a dating method for classical Hebrew books. They are constructed from a phrase or biblical verse which yields a numerical value when the letters are added up. They are meant to yield a year, but often, also give another message. They often reveal the author’s name, messianic hope, or a quotation from the Bible that is relevant to the topic of the book. The mathematics are not always so easy to compute: sometimes the cataloger has to count only certain letters, and sometimes s/he has to know which ones to subtract. We come across these every day in our cataloging, in both rare books and in recent publications. This paper will discuss the way in which chronograms are presented and how they can be useful to catalogers.

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Metadata Granularity, Historical Anachronism: Towards a Digital Reconstruction of Catalan Jewry

Description: 

This presentation is of two digital humanities projects aimed at reconstructing aspects of Catalano-Aragonese Jewish literature. The first one deals with the relation teacher-student among Catalan rabbis and the visualization of clusters and schools of thought. The second one
aims at reconstructing the Majorcan and Catalan nusach through digital reunification of manuscripts and prints of prayer books. Both cases serve as a reflection on metadata granularity, including the inconvenience of grouping historical nations under anachronistic modern labels such as “Medieval Spain.” Special attention will be paid to the use and edition of Wikidata as authority corpus.

Cataloging Scrolls and Posters

Description: 

Over the years, Sheryl had been letting the library’s collection of Esther scrolls and posters sit around in the hopes that they would catalog themselves or that she would wake up one day with the ability to identify the provenance of each piece in these collections. Eventually she decided that it was better to catalog them poorly, than to have them on a shelf uncataloged. Sheryl will go over the minimal requirements for cataloging scrolls and her adventures in describing the posters.

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