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Semantic MediaWiki and the Haskala Project:
Building a modern Jewish Republic of Letters in the 18th and 19th Century
using the Semantic Web


Thursday, 11.08.11, Jerusalem, 09:00 16:00


Music Center, Multipurpose hall Bella and Harry Wexner Libraries of Sound and Song    


Registration is open until 07.08.11 the seminar has a limited amount of participants please write to requesting to participate.

This seminar presents the current and future work regarding the publication of the Haskala Project Database as a Linked Open Data repository to allow re-usability by other researchers, using Semantic MediaWiki as facilitator for this conversion.

The original Haskala Research Project was centered on the building a modern Jewish Republic of Letters in the 18th and 19th Century, included the development of a comprehensive database concerning the books, authors, subscribers and other aspects related to substantial corpus of books and other documents from this period. This project was headed by Prof. Shmuel Feiner from the Department of Jewish History, University Bar Ilan and Prof. Zohar Shavit, the Unit for Research of the Culture, Tel Aviv University. 

The project established an SQL database with a visual basic built interface, which enables researchers to query according to dozens of preset queries or enter data relating to the different objects. The new Haskala project would like to improve the conditions of collaborative work and to publish substantial parts of the database on the Internet for the benefit of other researchers interested in the Jewish Enlightenment, by publishing it to Europeana and/or as a repository of Linked Open Data objects using RDF, and substituting parts of the database fields in existing Linked data (e.g. authors' name strings will be replaced by VIAF authority links).


This seminar is intended for (but not exclusive to) Humanities Researchers, Librarians and semantic web enthusiasts.

Please register for the event at

All lectures will be in English, perhaps excluding the Haskala Project Introduction.







Registration, coffee



Introduction to the Semantic Web

Yaron Koren


Introduction to the Haskala Project



Semantic MediaWiki and the Haskala Project

Yaron Koren


Light Lunch, NL Patio



Semantic MediaWiki hands on

Yaron Koren


Optional a tour of the NLI for seminar participants

Galia Richler, NL


About the lecturer:

Yaron Koren is the founder and CEO of WikiWorks, a MediaWiki consulting company. He has been involved in MediaWiki and Semantic MediaWiki development and consulting since 2006, and has run Referata, a MediaWiki-based "wiki farm", since 2008. Yaron grew up in Haifa, Israel and in Massachusetts, United States, and currently lives in New York City.

About the Judaica Europeana:

Judaica Europeana is one of the projects building Europeana, the European Digital Library. It is uploading 5 million digital documents and objects that express Jewish participation in urban life in Europe. Its work plan includes substantial efforts to have such documents used in a variety of contexts: genealogical research, education, virtual exhibitions, cultural tourism, university teaching and scholarly research. The Judaica Europeana is a joint effort by many institutions, one of which is the National Library of Israel.

More about Judaica Europeana and its Semantic Web initiatives: