Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit
The Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit (TSGRU) is a research department at the Cambridge University Library that is responsible for the care and study of the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection. The Genizah Collection is a vast repository of over 190,000 medieval Jewish manuscripts, including fragments of the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, and other religious texts, as well as legal documents, letters, and other personal items.
The Genizah Collection was discovered in the late 19th century by Solomon Schechter, a Cambridge scholar who was visiting Cairo, Egypt. Schechter was granted permission to remove the manuscripts from the genizah, a storage room in the Ben Ezra Synagogue where worn-out and discarded texts were placed. Schechter brought the manuscripts back to Cambridge, where they have been housed ever since.
The TSGRU is a world-renowned center for the study of medieval Jewish civilization. The unit's scholars work to conserve, catalog, and study the Genizah Collection. They also publish research on the manuscripts and host visiting scholars from around the world.
The TSGRU's work has made a significant contribution to our understanding of medieval Jewish life and culture. The Genizah Collection has provided scholars with insights into a wide range of topics, including Jewish law, theology, literature, and everyday life.
Here are some examples of the types of research that have been done using the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection:
- Scholars have used the manuscripts to study the history of Jewish education.
- Scholars have used the manuscripts to study the development of Jewish law.
- Scholars have used the manuscripts to study the social and economic life of Jewish communities.
- Scholars have used the manuscripts to study the literary and poetic traditions of Jewish culture.
The Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit is an important resource for scholars of medieval Jewish civilization. The Genizah Collection provides insights into a wide range of topics, and the TSGRU's work helps to make the manuscripts accessible to a wide audience.