The Dead Sea Scrolls Now Online

The Dead Sea Scrolls Now Online

Sep 26

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RELATED LINKS:

The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Website
Wikipedia on the Dead Sea Scrolls
Pulse on Jesus 

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THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS ENTER THE DIGITAL AGE
By Michael Santo
Tech Buzz Examiner
September 26, 2011

Original Link

The Dead Sea Scrolls are being digitized, into what some are (snarkily) calling the “Dead E-Scrolls.” The project is a partnership between Google and Israeli antiquities authorities at the Israel Museum, and launched Monday.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are so fragile that direct light cannot be shined on them. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts found between 1947 and 1956 at Khirbet Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, which is how they were named. They are estimated to have been written about two thousand years ago.

Sections of the scrolls are displayed at the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the book; they are rotated every three to four months to minimize their exposure. Only a facsimile of the Great Isaiah Scroll, which is one of the most complete, is displayed.

Eight scrolls have housed at Israel Museum since 1965, and five have been digitalized. Among the digitized version is the Great Isaiah Scroll, the Temple Scroll and the War Scroll. Those scrolls which have been digitized can accessed online, and users can search the scrolls for specific passages and see them translates into English.

For example, entering the word “wolf” into the search field will bring up two results; clicking on the first will bring up the image of the Great Isaiah Scroll, with the text highlighted in red and the English translation:

“And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”

Google is continuing to work with Israel with the intent to create the first comprehensive and searchable database of the broader collection of Dead Sea Scrolls.

The project can be viewed here.

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ABOUT THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS DIGITAL PROJECT

Original Link

The Israel Museum welcomes you to the Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project, allowing users to examine and explore these most ancient manuscripts from Second Temple times at a level of detail never before possible. Developed in partnership with Google, the new website gives users access to searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence, offer critical insight into Jewish society in the Land of Israel during the Second Temple Period, the time of the birth of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. Five complete scrolls from the Israel Museum have been digitized for the project at this stage and are now accessible online.

“We are privileged to house in the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book the best preserved and most complete Dead Sea Scrolls ever discovered,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “They are of paramount importance among the touchstones of monotheistic world heritage, and they represent unique highlights of our Museum’s encyclopedic holdings. Now, through our partnership with Google, we are able to bring these treasures to the broadest possible public.”

The five Dead Sea Scrolls that have been digitized thus far include the Great Isaiah Scroll, the Community Rule Scroll, the Commentary on Habakkuk Scroll, the Temple Scroll, and the War Scroll, with search queries on Google.com sending users directly to the online scrolls. All five scrolls can be magnified so that users may examine texts in exacting detail. Details invisible to the naked eye are made visible through ultra-high resolution digital photography by photographer Ardon Bar-Hama — at 1,200 mega pixels each, these images are almost two hundred times higher in resolution than those produced by a standard camera. Each picture utilized UV-protected flash tubes with an exposure of 1/4000th of a second to minimize damage to the fragile manuscripts. In addition, the Great Isaiah Scroll may be searched by column, chapter, and verse, and is accompanied by an English translation tool and by an option for users to submit translations of verses in their own languages.

“The Dead Sea Scrolls Project with the Israel Museum enriches and preserves an important part of world heritage by making it accessible to all on the internet,” said Professor Yossi Matias, Managing Director of Google’s R&D Center in Israel. “Having been involved in similar projects in the past, including the Google Art Project, Yad Vashem Holocaust Collection, and the Prado Museum in Madrid, we have seen how people around the world can enhance their knowledge and understanding of key historical events by accessing documents and collections online. We hope one day to make all existing knowledge in historical archives and collections available to all, including putting additional Dead Sea Scroll documents online.”

The Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project is funded by George Blumenthal and the Center for Online Judaic Studies, which first envisioned the project in order to make these manuscripts widely accessible and to create an innovative resource for scholars and the public alike. Dr. Adolfo D. Roitman, Lizbeth and George Krupp Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Head of the Shrine of the Book, and Dr. Susan Hazan, Curator of New Media and Head of the Museum’s Internet Office, directed the project for the Israel Museum, working in collaboration with Eyal Fink, Technical Lead, and Eyal Miller, New Business Development Manager, at Google’s R&D Center in Israel

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