This Bible History Daily feature was originally published in December 2012. It has been updated.—Ed.
In December 2012, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), in collaboration with Google, launched The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, a website allowing visitors to view and search high-resolution images of the complete Dead Sea Scrolls archive online. In February 2014, the IAA launched a new update to the library, including “10,000 new photographs of unprecedented quality.”
The original launch of the project used advanced and innovative technologies available to image the entire collection of about 930 manuscripts, comprising thousands of Dead Sea Scroll fragments, in high resolution and multiple spectra.
According to an IAA news release, the updated site “also offers accompanying explanations pertaining to a variety of manuscripts, such as the book of Exodus written in paleo-Hebrew script, the books of Samuel, the Temple Scroll, Songs of Shabbat Sacrifice, and New Jerusalem” along with “10,000 new multispectral images, improved metadata, additional manuscript descriptions, content pages translated into Russian and German in addition to the current languages, a faster search engine, easy access from the site to the Facebook page and to Twitter and more.”
Through this process, thousands of images are now accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world over the web, with many thousands more on the way. Several hundred fragments are already viewable, and it is hoped that transcriptions and translations for many scrolls will soon be available as well. According to a statement by IAA General Director Shuka Dorfman on the project website, the “Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library represents a new milestone in the annals of the story of one of the greatest manuscript finds of all times.”
Visit the Dead Sea Scrolls study page in Bible History Daily for more on this priceless collection of ancient manuscripts.