Google to Put Dead Sea Scrolls Online

Published: October 19th 2010
in News » Israel

Psalms portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Google Israel Ltd. and the Israel Antiquities Authority will create an online version of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest known relics of Hebrew Biblical and extra-Biblical text.


The scrolls were discovered between 1946 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in the West Bank.


The project will upload all of the digitized Scrolls images, along with additional data that will allow users to perform searches in several languages and formats. This will result in unparalleled scholarly and popular access to the Scrolls, and should thus lead to further insights into the world of the historical texts.


The Antiquities Authority will use innovative high resolution technologies to image the entire collection of 900 Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts in 30,000 fragments to make the digitized images accessible to anyone anywhere in the world.


The texts will include transcriptions, translations and a bibliography. According to Globes (Israel’s Business Arena) this is the first time that the Scrolls will be photographed in their entirety since the 1950s.


The technology will also use infra-red light and longer wavelengths to revive writings that have vanished over the years, breathing new life into them, and facilitating new possibilities in Dead Sea Scrolls research.


The Leon Levy Foundation, with additional funding from the Arcadia Foundation and the Yad Hanadiv Foundation will finance the project, to be called The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library.


According to Shuka Dorfman, Antiquities Authority director, “We are establishing a milestone connection between progress and the past to preserve this unique heritage for future generations.


"At the end of a comprehensive and profound examination we have succeeded in recruiting the best minds and technological means to preserve this unrivalled cultural heritage treasure which belongs to all of us, so that the public with a click of the mouse will be able to freely access history in its fullest glamour.


"We are proud to be embarking on a project that will provide unlimited access to one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th Century, crucial to Biblical studies and the history of Judaism and early Christianity."

Related articles: (google, dead sea scrolls, psalms, Khirbet Qumran )
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