The manuscripts in every library or collection are numbered. The shelf number is the serial number of the manuscript in the library or collection. This number is the sign used to identify the manuscript and through it you can find the particular manuscript you are searching for. Sometimes there is a running number for manuscripts and sometimes there are a few different groups of manuscripts (sub-collections) that are numbered separately (for example, if they arrived in the library from various sources or are arranged by subject).
Some libraries or collections have a catalog of their manuscript holdings. The catalog contains descriptions of all or a portion of the manuscripts. Important information is given about each manuscript, such as its content, physical state, place and date of origin, and more. Manuscripts in the catalog are numbered, and this number is the catalog number of the manuscript. This number is different from the shelf number (see above). Some collections or libraries do not have a catalog of their manuscript holdings, and others have more than one catalog.
Each folio has two sides which are the pages. Sometimes, the two pages of each folio are numbered (as are the pages in a printed book today), and sometimes the pages are numbered on only one side. In order to distinguish between both sides of the numbered page, letters (either in Hebrew or English) are used: side a or side b (or for example, 65א or 65ב, or abbreviations of the Latin words, recto [r] and verso [v], as in 34r or 34v).
Ktiv is a Hebrew word – that translates approximately to "the written word". It has assorted connotations relating to hand-writing and hand-written – that are at the core of the project.The goal of the Ktiv project is to enable open global access to the public of all the known Hebrew manuscripts – around the world. These are hand-written text, in Hebrew letters. These manuscripts document, explain and express the cultural, religious, social, and scientific world of the Jews around the world through the ages. As such we have established partnerships around the world with institutions that hold Hebrew manuscripts in their collections. We do not aim to "own" the manuscripts, but rather to facilitate the digitization process that will allow for global open access.
Ktiv is the only initiative in the world that presents all known Hebrew manuscripts in one place, and which will enable searching and researching this global collection centrally and easily. At this stage of the Ktiv website we are focusing mainly on search and navigation of the enormous collection and clarity and versatility in terms of viewing the manuscripts, including a search tool, which will allow users to easily and efficiently find manuscripts from different (current and historical) collections, based on their shelf marks, cultural context and style.The second tool is a viewer, which identifies each manuscript's current owner, and enables the viewer to browse a full manuscript in different ways, and to perform different actions (such as share, download and print) single pages, in accordance with the usage terms defined by each partner collection.In the future we will be adding tools for processing and analyzing text and images, such as tagging functions and transcription tools. This will contribute to the scope of textual, historical and graphic research possibilities.
Long term means very long term – and ideally without limitation – such that it can be used throughout the ages. Such is our commitment as the National Library of Israel and the Jewish people. In order to ensure this long-term preservation, we use a combination of materials, programs and policies. The Rosetta software system is used for digital preservation processes. Rosetta is a product of Ex-Libris (part of ProQuest). The software system is installed on a seven Dell servers environment, using Oracle as its database. Our current data exceeds one hundreds of teras.