The Lieberman Institute's Sol and Evelyn Henkind Talmud Text Databank has been launched on the internet! http://www.lieberman-institute.com/
During the last 27 years the Seminary's Lieberman Institute has produced a digitized text version of all primary witnesses to the Babylonian Talmud: first printed editions, full and fragmentary manuscripts (more than half of the known genizah fragments of the Talmud, and a large number of European binding fragments have been input). Through a long series of operations from assembling photographs, deciphering and transcribing the text, and proofreading to building a database capable of efficient and sophisticated searches, the Institute produced a first edition of the Talmud manuscript corpus, which has been distributed over the last several years by CD ROM. Today we mark a new era by launching this powerful tool as a website.
At the same time the website updates of the last database by including transcriptions of hundreds of additional genizah fragments. Furthermore, the website now enables updating on a continuous basis, as our work progresses. In addition to transcribed text, the website, like the CD, contains hundreds of manuscript images, including all JTS genizah Talmud fragments, and European binding fragments.
This resource can open a new era of Talmud study, by facilitating access to the precision and variegated tradition of the received text before the invention of printing. The added power of the search engine allows the student and scholar to perform tasks previously impossible even over an entire lifetime.
Establishing this internet site has been made possible through the cooperation of CDI Systems. The database is distributed by subscription to individuals and institutions, an arrangement which will allow tens of thousands to use the site via subscriptions held by the institutions with which they are affiliated. Such subscriptions have recently been acquired by universities and libraries in Israel and the USA which will incorporate the Lieberman Institute site in their list of research sites serving each institution's community. The Lieberman Institute's share of revenues from these subscriptions will, hopefully, finally enable our work to proceed in an uninterrupted fashion without dependence on contributions, a welcomed opportunity to complete transcription and third proofreading where required, and introduce some long-planned improvements.
Please advise your institution of higher education of the importance of our database, and ask the responsible officer to acquire a subscription. Encourage others – colleagues, students and friends – to do the same. This will enhance the study of the Talmudic corpus, allow the Institute to forward its work, and benefit all involved. Individuals can also receive a free introductory period of use.
The databank's previous version (#5 on disc) still can be ordered through this site for $300. This version of the databank contains c. 250 manuscript and first editions units and more than 750 Geniza fragments from the Seminary Library, Oxford, and Cambridge. Added in this version are more than 1,700 digital photographs of Mishnah and Talmud fragments from the Adler Geniza collection in New York (JTS) and early European fragments from libraries and archives in Italy, discovered and restored thanks to the indefatigable work of Prof. Mauro Perani.
The Index of References Dealing with Talmudic Literature provides bibliographical references to discussions on rabbinic literature and related fields and has been updated to include close to 1000 works. These works comprise modern Talmud scholarship and related fields, parallel references within the Talmudic-Midrashic literature and medieval Talmudic commentaries. The bibliography of Talmud scholarship and related fields spans various disciplines including but not limited to: ancient history, women in the Talmud, the relationship of Qumran texts to Talmudic literature and more. The database also includes classics of Talmud scholarship such as Saul Lieberman's Tosefta ki-feshuta and Y.N. Epstein's Mavo le-Nusach ha-Mishna. This update includes an input function for authors to add the passage indexes to rabbinic literature from their works. A benefit to all of scholarship, this function will allow for new works to be available on an ongoing basis. Any book with a passage index to rabbinic literature will be readily available to subscribers of the Index. The database is availble on the internet. The address of the site is: http://lieberman-index.org.
The cost of an annual subscription to the Index is between $500 - $1000 according to the size of the institution. To order a subscription or for more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.