Google Digitizes Dead Sea Scrolls
September 26, 2011

Google Digitizes Dead Sea Scrolls


Google Inc. has digitized the Dead Sea Scrolls in a new project alongside the Israel Museum to help offer high-resolution images of the biblical texts.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest known biblical manuscripts and were written around the time of the birth of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.

The authors who wrote the scrolls hid them in caves along the shore of the Dead Sea around 70 A.D.  They were discovered between 1947 and 1956.

The manuscripts will feature fast-loading images of five complete Israeli scrolls of the Second Temple Period, the time of the birth of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.

The scrolls will be accompanied by explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history.

"They are of paramount importance among the touchstones of monotheistic world culture, and they represent unique highlights of our Museum's encyclopedic holdings,” James S Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum, said in a press release.

The pictures of the scrolls were taken at 1,200 megapixels per image, which is almost two hundred times higher in resolution than those produced by a standard digital camera.

An English translation is also provided and text from the scrolls show up in Google searches.

“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,” Professor Yossi Matias, Managing Director of Google´s R&D Center in Israel, said in a statement.


On the Net: