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Presented By: Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies

EIHS Research Workshop: Hidden Choices and Silent Labor: Making Digital Manuscripts and Archives

Marina Rustow (Princeton University) + Bridget Whearty (Binghamton University)

RSVP for access to pre-circulated papers (available April 1):

This workshop initiates a conversation across geographies and temporalities around the concealed labor of scribes, librarians, bureaucrats, and scholars who make codices and curate archives to think about process and form. To focus on the labor involved in textual creations as we collect, select, copy, and create digital books and archives, we have invited two scholars, Marina Rustow (Princeton University) and Bridget Whearty (Binghamton University), to present their work on the hidden hands and invisible choices that go into the long durée of producing books and archives.

Marina Rustow is a social historian of the medieval Middle East who works on the Cairo Geniza, a cache of roughly 400,000 folio pages and fragments preserved in an Egyptian synagogue. Her The Lost Archive: Traces of a Caliphate in a Cario Synagogue draws on the Princeton Geniza Project to think about the making of archives and codices.

Bridget Whearty specializes in medieval English literature, digitization, and medieval texts. Her Digital Codicology: Medieval Books and Modern Labor highlights the hidden and erased labor behind digitalizing medieval manuscripts to explore modern labor and the long history of book production.


Catherine Brown (Associate Professor, Arts and Ideas in the Humanities, University of Michigan)

Helmut Puff (Elizabeth L. Eisenstein Collegiate Professor of History and Germanic Languages, University of Michigan)

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