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Digital Mishnah

April 30th, 2012

Hayyim Lapin has begun work on a “Digital Mishnah.” The website of the project is here. From the project description on the website:

  • The Mishnah, a rabbinic legal text produced about 200 AD/CE, is a foundational document of Jewish life and study. Although widely studied, and published in many editions, there is no modern critical edition of the text. The Digital Mishnah project will provide a digital-born edition that will provide some of the functions of a traditional critical edition while providing dynamic tools that are only available in a digital edition.
  • While the current pilot project for MITH works with only a small sample of the larger text, it will draw on the full range of textual sources for the larger project: manuscripts of the Mishnah; texts of the Mishnah as written in manuscripts of the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmuds, fragmentary manuscripts (from the Cairo Genizah), citations from the Talmud, and citations from medieval and early modern scholars. Basic functionalities will include:
  • Ability to view a transcription of each witness discretely, in several output formats (“diplomatic,” normalized, print-ready)
  • Ability to view a synoptic edition of all or selected witnesses
  • Ability to produce collated detailed comparisons of all or selected witnesses, output as interlinear tables or as a critical apparatus. (Planned use of CollateX functionalities.)

As the project develops, additional functionalities will include:

  • Ability to pull specifically tagged items (personal names, geographical terms, loanwords) and perform detailed text comparisons (also valuable, for instance, for the history of orthography or phonology).
  • Statistical and modeling tools for stemmatics
  • Data mining.

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