From The Forward:
After years of work by a small team of linguists, computer programmers, and volunteer editors, visitors to the Yiddish Book Center’s website can now search millions of pages of digitized Yiddish books with the aid of a newly launched computer program.
The program, Jochre, allows users to search for a specific word or phrase and instantly find every mention of it in more than 10,000 Yiddish books. Previously the books, which have been available online in PDF form for a decade, were only searchable by title and author name. It’s no exaggeration, note Yiddish scholars, to say that the software will revolutionize their field.
More than anyone, the person responsible for the Yiddish Book Center’s new searchability feature is the linguist and computer programmer Assaf Urieli. A multilingual South-African-born Israeli who lives in France, Urieli runs a software company whose clients include CNES, the French equivalent of NASA. Urieli discovered the Yiddish Book Center’s online collection shortly after it went live in 2009 and decided to create a computer program that would allow him to find words within the collection’s scanned books.