Monday, September 26, 2011

The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Online

About a year ago I noted that Google is working with the Israel Museum to put the Dead Sea Scrolls online. This project is digitizing the scrolls so that anyone, anywhere can view the scrolls in a way that has previously only been available to a few scholars lucky enough to work with the real thing. The rest of us were forced to used photographs in very expensive books. Of course, this is still not like being in the room with the scrolls, but it is a huge step forward for making the scrolls more accessible.

At this point five scrolls are available for viewing: the Isaiah Scroll, the War Scroll, the Temple Scroll, the Community Rule Scroll, and the Commentary on Habakkuk Scroll. A tool bar at the bottom of the photo allows you to choose a column to look at and you can also zoom in.

Here is the homepage for the project. Below is an introductory video that gives an overview of the scrolls and the Google project.

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