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E-MUSEUMES – THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS DIGITIZED – IS THIS THE BOOK OF THE FUTURE?

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THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS DIGITIZED

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has launched the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, a free online digitized virtual library of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Hundreds of manuscripts made up of thousands of fragments, discovered between 1947 and the early 1960’s in the Judean Desert along the western shore of the Dead Sea, are now available to the public online. The high resolution images are extremely detailed and can be accessed through various search options on the site.

As stated by Shuka Dorfman , IAA General Director,

The launch of the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library comes some 11 years after the completion of the publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls, initiated and sponsored by the IAA, and 65 years after the first scrolls were unearthed in the Caves of Qumran. This digital library is another example of the IAA’s vision and mission, to make these ancient texts freely available and accessible to people around the world. 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.

Shuka Dorfman also states,

With the generous lead support of the Leon Levy Foundation and additional generous support of the Arcadia Fund, the Israel Antiquities Authority and Google joined forces to develop the most advanced imaging and web technologies to bring to the web hundreds of Dead Sea Scrolls images as well as specially developed supporting resources in a user-friendly platform intended for the public, students and scholars alike.

HOW IT’S DONE

Among the oldest known copies of Genesis, the fragment of the Scroll shown here contains the description of the first three days of the creation of the world.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep; And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” — Genesis 1:1–2

THE SIGNIFICANCE – THE BOOK OF GENESIS AND THE BOOK OF THE FUTURE

The digitization of the Dead Sea Scrolls by the IAA and Google emphasizes the gulf between e-book publishers and e-museums.  It is clear that e-museums, in partnership with companies such as Google are light years ahead of the e-book publishers in forging a paradigm change in the book industry. Further, the publishers, whether e or p are noticeably absent from this change. As more people access the internet directly from tablets and smartphones, the necessity of downloading a static electronic “book” will disappear. Thus, even now,  e-book publishers are being left behind by technology that is rapidly overtaking them.

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