The edition is mainly intended for college students, researchers, and teachers in the field of Jewish history, but it also wants to provide insight into the subject to the interested public and high school students. Online publications in particular are faced with a challenge that also represents an opportunity: each user picks topics of interest to them and uses digital content according to an arbitrary, often random logic that cannot be compared to reading a book one has picked up. Thus users who might not be reached by a traditional, printed source edition might be randomly directed to the online version by a search engine. It is impossible to predict where a user will begin reading an online edition. While one can assume that the reader of a printed edition will begin by looking at the table of contents or the index, an online edition must be accessible to the reader in all possible ways: traditionally by starting with the home page or the index as well as by following a direct link to a source. We do not expect a focused reading of this online edition from an assumed “beginning” to an assumed “end.” Therefore this edition seeks to provide information to random visitors just as thoroughly as to those who visit it for a specific purpose. The index, a key element of the printed edition, is also included in the online version.
By providing bilingual, digital versions of the edited sources accompanied by introductions written by well-known scholars in the field online, we hope to reach German- and English-speaking junior scholars in particular.
Since online projects provide the opportunity to expand the (potential) audience of users beyond a local and regional target audience, all material is also made available in English. Among other things, this is an expression of the IGdJ’s growing international contacts, which have been further expanded in recent years, and of its networking with international scholars. Moreover, it reflects the history of Jewish sourcesscattered widely beyond the city of Hamburg and allows the descendants of Jewish former Hamburg citizens to connect with the urban history of their ancestors.