Michelle is the Norman E. Alexander Librarian for Jewish Studies at Columbia University, as well as the President of 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 column in Judaica Librarianship on Digital Humanities and Jewish Studies.


BA, History (Minor: Ancient Studies), Summa Cum Laude, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2006)

MA, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, New York University (2008)

MLIS (Concentration: Rare Books and Manuscripts), Long Island University (2008)

Other Publications

  • Michelle Margolis, Marjorie Lehman, Adam Shear, Joshua Teplitsky. “Footprints: A Digital Approach to Jewish Book History,” in European Journal of Jewish Studies, 17 (2023): 1–30. Available via Academic Commons (Columbia)

  • Blog (ongoing): Jewish Studies @ CUL

  • Guest co-editor (with Amalia Levi): Reviews in Digital Humanities, 2:11 (January 2021), “Special Issue: Jewish Digital Humanities.” General Editors: Jennifer Guiliano and Roopika Risam

  • Presentation: “Footprints Redux: Looking back, looking forward” (Association of Jewish Libraries Conference, Boston, MA, June 2018)

  • “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-June 2018 (Chang Gallery, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University)

  • “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)

  • “Codex Conquest: Jewish Edition” in “Roundtable Discussion: Teaching Printing History with Codex Conquest” in Printing History: The Journal of the American Printing History Association, New Series, Winter 2018, pp. 51-54.

  • “Association of Jewish Libraries,” in Encyclopedia of Jewish Print Cultures (Brill, forthcoming)

  • 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

  • Contributor: “Judaica” in “Guide to East European Resources in the New York Metropolitan Area,” Slavic & East European Information Resources (14: 2003, 283-398)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.ctl.columbia.edu) attempts to track the movement of Jewish books from the inception of print through the end of the hand-press era. (2014-Present)

  • Jewish Book Cultures in the Early Modern World: This scalar website project was created to support a course on the history of the Jews book. The class was remote due to the covid-19 pandemic, so we needed an alternative to seeing the books in situ. This site gathers images (both static and IIIF-based) to illustrate the history of the Jewish book in the early modern period. (2021)


Association of Jewish Libraries

Association of Jewish Studies

Michelle Margolis Chesner

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