The goal of the project was to locate all the medieval codices written in the Hebrew script, which contained explicit production dates or at least scribe names; to study and document all their visual and measurable material features and scribal practices in situ, i.e. in the libraries in which they were kept; and classify these features and practices in order to expose a historical typology of the hand-produced Hebrew book and provide users of Hebrew manuscripts with a tool for identifying the production region and assessing the period of the studied manuscripts. Indeed, since the initiation of the project, almost all the dated manuscripts that were located have been studied and documented in some two hundred and fifty libraries and private collections.
The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts is a resource that aggregates catalog entries and images of Hebrew manuscripts from repositories around the world. The project currently has entries for over 400,000 manuscripts of all types and genres from 123 collections; manuscripts in the collections comprise a wide range of medieval dates, from the 9th century to the 16th century. Data and images are pulled from the holding institution’s catalog. Thus, image and data quality varies among institutions. Entries are searchable by a number of qualities, including author, date, type of text, language, and many others. Links to the document’s holding institution are frequently present.
Holding institutions retain the copyright on data and images in the database and users must follow their guidelines for use. The Collection often provides links to holding institutions for copyright information.