Michelle Chesner is the Norman E. Alexander for Jewish Studies at Columbia University, as well as Council Member-At-Large for the Association of Jewish Libraries.  She is a co-director for Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place (footprints.ccnmtl.columbia.edu), and edits a new column in Judaica Librarianship on Digital Humanities and Jewish Studies.  Her degrees (in Library Science and in Jewish Studies) are from Long Island University, New York University, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and include a certification in Rare Book and Manuscript Librarianship.

Other Publications

  • “Jewish Studies/Digital Humanities Resources: An Introduction,” Judaica Librarianship 20 (doi: https://doi.org/10.14263/2330-2976.1293)
  • Exhibition: “Yiddish at Columbia,” January 2018 (Chang Gallery, RBML)
  • “Old Texts and New Media: Jewish Books on the Move and a Case for Collaboration,” in Digital Humanities and Libraries: Altered Domains of Partnerships, Questions, and Tools (Chandos Elsevier, March 2018). With Marjorie Lehman, Adam Shear, and Joshua Teplitsky. (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-102023-4.00005-7)
  • Presentation: “Codex Conquest: Jewish Edition” (Association of Jewish Libraries Conference, New York, NY, June 2017)
  • Keynote Speaker, Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), April 26, 2017
  • Presentation: “In the Footprints of Giants: Taking the Digital Beyond Digitization” (Conference of Judaica Curators, National Library of Israel, Jerusalem), June 2016
  • Presentation: “Footprints: An Experiment in Digital Humanities,” (Association of Jewish Libraries Conference, Silver Spring, MD), Summer 2015
  • Convener: “Roundtable on Digital Humanities,” (Association of Jewish Libraries Conference, Los Vegas, NV), June 2014
  • Exhibition: “The People in the Books: Hebrew Manuscripts from Columbia University Libraries,” Columbia University, September 2012 – January 2013
  • Presentation: “Great Scholars, Great Collectors: The Building of Columbia’s Judaica Manuscript Collection,” (Association of Jewish Libraries Conference, Pasadena, CA), June 2012
  • Panel: “Reviving the Hebrew Bibliography Project,” at Cultivating and Curating Exchange (National Library of Israel, Jerusalem), June 2012
  • Lecture: “Staying on the Cutting Edge: Jewish Studies Research in a Digital World,” Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) New York Metro Association Division (NYMA) Reference Workshop, January 2011


Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place (footprints.ccnmtl.columbia.edu) attempts to track the movement of Jewish books from the inception of print through the end of the hand-press era.

Michelle Chesner

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