The Israel Antiquities Authority recently embarked upon an ambitious project to document the entire collection of the Dead Sea Scrolls and make them available on the internet. We plan to use the most advanced and innovative technologies available to image the entire collection of 900 manuscripts comprising nearly 30,000 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments in hi-resolution and multi spectra and make the digitized images freely available and accessible to anyone anywhere in the world on the internet. This is the first time that the collection of Dead Sea Scrolls will be photographed in its entirety since the 1950's.
We are collaborating with Google Israel in this milestone project to upload not only all of the digitized Scrolls images but also additional data online that will allow users to perform meaningful searches across a broad range of data in a number of languages and formats. These steps will result in unprecedented scholarly and popular access to the Scrolls and related research and scholarship and should lead to new insights into the world of the Scrolls.
The innovative imaging technology used in the project has been developed by MegaVision, a U.S. based company, and is being installed in our laboratories in Jerusalem. The MegaVision system will enable the digital imaging of every Scroll fragment in various wavelengths in the highest resolution possible and allow long term monitoring for preservation purposes in a non-invasive and precise manner. The images will be equal in quality to the actual physical viewing of the Scrolls, thus eliminating the need for re-exposure of the Scrolls and allowing their preservation for future generations. The technology will also help rediscover writing and letters that have "vanished" over the years; with the help of infra-red light and wavelengths beyond, these writings will be brought "back to life", facilitating new possibilities in Dead Sea Scrolls research. Uploading the images to the internet will be achieved with the assistance of Google Israel and will be accompanied by meta-data including transcriptions, translations and bibliography.
The site is now available to view at this address: http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/