Computerizing the Work of Uri Zvi Grinberg
Uri Zvi Grinberg is one of the most important poets in the corpus of modern Jewish verse. The broad scope of his work, which includes some 3,000 poems and hundreds of journalistic essays, has only become evident in the last few decades in the wake of a project led by Prof. Dan Miron to publish his collected writings. The publisher, Mossad Bialik, is planning a 25-volume series.
A project to computerize Uri Zvi Grinberg’s poetic and journalistic writings began in 2005 at the initiative of Dr. Tamar Wolf-Monson of the Department of the Literature of the Jewish People and Prof. Zohar Livnat of the Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at Bar Ilan University in collaboration with Bar Ilan University’s Responsa Project. This online scientific edition, a supplement to the Mossad Bialik publication project, has attracted the interest of eminent scholars in Israel and overseas, and application possibilities have been discussed at international conferences.
The project has two stages, each one with a separate aim:
Stage 1: The establishment of a computerized database of all Uri Zvi Grinberg’s poetic and journalistic writing.
This database allows a scientific version of the text to be studied in normal poetry format (column layout) while enabling computerized searches for words and expressions based on Hebrew roots, rhyme and meter, onomatopoeia, and more (using software for reproducing vocalized text specially developed by the Responsa Project for this purpose). The creation of this kind of database is of supreme national and cultural importance. It will serve as a first-rate tool for studying the poetry and language of Uri Zvi Grinberg and provide the basis for foundational research that could develop into a concordance or dictionary of the poet’s work.
Stage 2: Mapping out the internal collocations in Grinberg’s poetic and journalistic work as the basis for an encyclopedia that will focus on his collocations, the context in which they are used and where they come from. When complete, the encyclopedia will provide scholars with a highly valuable linguistic and poetic tool for gaining insight into the work of Uri Zvi Grinberg.