Content FAQ

Brett Lockspeiser edited this page Dec 17, 2015 · 18 revisions

Do you have the text I'm looking for?

Maybe! Take a look here.

Where do you get all the text?

Many places. You can find out more by clicking on the "about text" button at the bottom of the screen to find out more about any text and where it came from. In general we have three methods of acquiring text:

  1. We scan public domain books and then use OCR software to obtain the actual text. Unfortunately OCR software is notoriously inaccurate, so we have a small team of people whose job it is to run the software, correct errors, and format the text properly for importing into our system. It is a time consuming process, but we hope that by digitizing many of these wonderful books now, and releasing them without usage restrictions, we will be bringing them into the modern age and no one will ever have to repeat this work again.

  2. We also import already digitized texts from other online sources which allow to copying and reuse such as wikisource and OYW.

  3. Many times people donate or sell their work to us. We work with publishers, authors, and translators to acquire the rights to published and unpublished works so we can add them to the Sefaria database.

What books have you OCRed and imported to date?

The current list of what Sefaria has digitized is here.

I am an author, or the descendant of one, and I own the rights to a book I would like to contribute to Sefaria. Are you interested?

We would love to talk to you - we've had several people donate books and translations and we would love to have more. When you contribute to Sefaria, you're not really contributing to Sefaria, you're donating the work to the public domain for everyone to use. Sefaria will simply digitize the work (if necessary), host it, and make it accessible for the world to see. For more details, please email hello@sefaria.org.

Can you add _____ text to the library?

We appreciate all of your suggestions — they help us prioritize which texts to work on acquiring next. Our goal is to make all Jewish texts available in Sefaria’s library, however it does take time. We have more than doubled our library in the last 12 months and we will continue to grow. If you have ideas, please email us at hello@sefaria.org.

Can you add more translations to the library?

We agree — the more translations, the better! As part of our commitment to making Jewish texts accessible to everyone, we provide content in both Hebrew and translation (English, for now). We have imported public domain translations and allowed users to create crowd-sourced translations, but that’s not the only avenue we’ve been pursuing. We are also actively working with authors and publishers to release texts from copyright restrictions, making them free for use and reuse via Sefaria. Read about our recent deal with Urim Publications to release the translation Mikraot Gedolot Hachut Hameshulash by Eliyahu Munk.

Where are the vowels?

Getting the vowels for every text we have is no small task if they need to be inserted manually. We’re currently researching methods for automated vocalization, which we hope can give us a head start. If there are particular texts for which you think vowels are especially important, let us know so we can prioritize them.

Why are the commentaries difficult to navigate?

Our current interface was designed at a time when we were lucky to have 20 sources for each chapter of Tanakh. Now, most chapters have more than 1,000 sources! We’re aware that what worked in the beginning won’t work going forward. We’re in the midst of a large redesign project to address this and any related issues.

How can I report a mistake in the text?

Click here to learn what information is most helpful in reporting corrections: How to Report a Mistake.