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Development of a Database for the Hebrew Novel from 1853 to the Present

What is the project about?

The Hebrew Novel Project (Roman Mafteach) is dedicated to collecting data for the entire corpus of the Hebrew novel (1853-today). The data is collected from two sources: NLI catalogue, as well as readers’ questionnaires. 

Who leads the project?

Yael Dekel - Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Itay Marienberg-Milikowsky - Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Who is part of the team?

Carsten Milling - Potsdam University

Alison Joseph - Posen Digital Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization

 Gilad Jacobson - Shalem College of Liberal Arts, Jerusalem


What is the practical use of your research tool for jewish studies? / What can researchers of jewish studies learn/achieve from your project?

Our tool is designed for the general public (including researchers of Jewish Studies). From our (future) database they can learn about the Hebrew novel, Jewish society as well as Jewish history, and make connections between different aspects related broadly to Jewish/Hebrew culture. 

Relying on crowdsource enables us to approach the entire Hebrew novel copus from a perspective unusual for research; we celebrate the subjective aspect of interpretation. 

Which technical methods and tools are used for developing your project and what tools and/or methods do you use for reaching your goal?

First, to collect the questionnaires we use google forms. Then, for cleaning the data, we use Openrefine (with the help of Yael). Then, for creating the prototype we use React and Typescript, and Matlab for preliminary analysis.

What can you learn from this project for your own personal research interests

Questions of structuring data are not unique to a single project, therefore working on this project can connect to each of our individual interests. 

What do you expect to achieve in the Hackathon?

Conceptualizing the data model, cleaning the data, creating a prototype of the Hebrew novel database,realizing what cleaning the material still requires.