Fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls go online

Google teams up with the Israel Antiquities Authority to upload 5,000 images of the famed Qumran manuscripts.

Spectral image of Psalms scroll, revealing some of the letters for the first time. (Photo: Yair Medina and Shai Halevi, courtesy of the IAA)

Spectral image of Psalms scroll, revealing some of the letters for the first time. (Photo: Yair Medina and Shai Halevi, courtesy of the IAA)

To mark the 65th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Israel Antiquities Authority and Google teamed up to put 5,000 images of the Dead Sea Scrolls online in full color and high resolution. Anyone with an internet connection can go to the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library and experience, view, examine, and explore these famed manuscripts.

“Only five conservators worldwide are authorized to handle the Dead Sea Scrolls. Now, everyone can ‘touch’ the scrolls on-screen around the globe, and view them in spectacular quality, equivalent to the original,” said Shuka Dorfman, Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The new site offers detailed views of five of the most complete scrolls, which were found at Qumran nearly 2,000 years ago.

“The IAA, in collaboration with Google, presents the scrolls online, using the most advanced imaging technology. Thus, this most important national treasure is available to the general public, preserving it for future generations,” said Dorfman.

The five Dead Sea Scrolls that have been digitized include the Great Isaiah Scroll, the Community Rule Scroll, the Commentary on Habakkuk Scroll, the Temple Scroll, and the War Scroll. Web surfers can magnify and examine texts in exacting detail.

“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.

The library was assembled over the course of two years using advanced technology first developed by NASA.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. She has jumped out of a plane, ducked rockets and been attacked by a baboon all in the name of a good story. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.