Midsummer Update

10 Jul 2012

In addition to getting the demo ready to go live–it’s ready to go!–this summer’s agenda has been to add texts and add reference material.

We now have two sets of reference data ready to implement. The heavy lifting for this was done by Atara Siegel, an undergraduate at Stern College, who worked for me for several weeks this summer. Atara prepared the lists, and, for the newly expanded sample text (tractates Bava Qamma, Bava Metsi’a and Bava Batra) also linked the relevant words in the reference text to the names list.

  • Personal Names. This list is based on the list of Tannaim in the Mishnah in Albeck, Mavo la-mishnah, cross-referenced with the relevant names from Stemberger-Strack, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash.
  • Place Names. This list is based on three sources: B-Z Segal, Ha-geografya ba-mishnah, conveniently digitized here, cross-referenced with Tsafrir, et al., Tabula Imperii Romani: Iudaea-Palaestina, and G. Reeg, Die Ortsnamen Israels nach der rabbinischen Literatur. (Note: Map references are given according to the Survey of Israel coordinates; we will have to find alternatives for non-Palestine sites.)

In addition, we continue to add to the corpus of texts. The last of the planned witnesses for Bava Metsi’a Chapter 2 (my initial sample text) will be done by the end of the Summer, thanks to Bruce Roth, a graduate student at the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University, and transcribers students at Catholic University are preparing Genizah fragments.Working with the Lieberman Institute in Israel, I am preparing to have a number of witnesses to all three Bavot. We are starting with the Maimonides autograph and the Paris MS (Bibliothèqe nationale de France, Heb 328-329).

I keep holding out hope that the state of the Naples first edition is good enough that one should be able to OCR the text, but my experiments thus far have been disappointing.

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