The culture of the very rich and very poor: Do museum digital collections tell us anything about Jewish culture?

Inna Kizhner, Melissa Terras, Julia Afanaseva, Diana Pusenkova, Maria Sherer, Daniil Skorinkin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Digital approaches to Jewish Studies allow collecting data from multiple sources. This enlarges the picture, makes our understanding of historical experiences more complete, and triggers further research questions. This chapter compares samples of artworks from digital online collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Russian State Catalogue of Museum Collections in the Russian Federation. We show that the difference in their temporal and geographical coverage of Jewish artworks/historical documents often results from tagging, naming and understanding of what is deemed Jewish. The collective decisions made in these datasets, by many individuals, and differing institutions about cataloguing, indexing, and returning searches on Jewish culture in a digital age inform what parts of Jewish culture are accessible. The technological and data-led decisions become a part of multiple layers of decisions that inform how primary sources are formed in a digital age.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJewish Studies in the Digital Age
EditorsGerben Zaagsma, Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra, Miriam Rürup, Michelle Margolis, Amalia S. Levi
PublisherDe Gruyter Oldenbourg
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783110744828
ISBN (Print)9783110744699
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2022
Event#DHJewish - Jewish Studies in the Digital Age - University of Luxembourg , Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Duration: 12 Jan 202113 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameStudies in Digital History and Hermeneutics
PublisherDe Gruyter Oldenbourg
ISSN (Print)2629-4540
ISSN (Electronic)2629-4559


Conference#DHJewish - Jewish Studies in the Digital Age
Abbreviated title#dhJewish
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • online museum collections
  • cultural heritage
  • indexing
  • cataloguing
  • bias
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Russian State Catalogue of Museum Collection


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