Dead Sea Scrolls go digital

Dec. 19, 2012 at 6:23 AM
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JERUSALEM, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The Israel Antiquities Authority and Google have launched an online digital library of the Dead Sea Scrolls to mark the 65th anniversary of their discovery.

The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library contains more than 1,000 images of scroll fragments, 3,500 scans of negatives from the 1950s, a database documenting about 900 manuscripts that are 2,000 years old and an interactive content page, the authority said in a statement Tuesday.

Some of the oldest texts displayed include a copy of the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the Ten Commandments, and part of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis. There are also a number of copies of Psalms scrolls, letters and documents hidden by refugees fleeing the Roman army during the Bar Kochva revolt and hundreds of 2,000-year-old texts.

"Only five conservators worldwide are authorized to handle the Dead Sea Scrolls," authority Director Shuka Dorfman said. "Now everyone can touch the scrolls on-screen around the globe and view them in spectacular quality."

The data will enable scholars and millions of users worldwide the opportunity to decipher details invisible to the naked eye, the authority said.

The library was assembled over two years in collaboration with Google using technology developed by NASA, the authority said. Google provides hosting services, Google Maps, image technology and YouTube. The Lone Levy Foundation, the Arcadia Fund and the Yad Hanadiv Foundation provided funding for the project.

The library can be viewed at

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