Google Announces Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Project

Later this week, the Jewish High Holidays begin with Rosh Hashanah, which marks the beginning of the new year. It seems like good timing for Google’s announcement that the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls project is up and running.

Created by The Israel Museum in conjunction with Google, the project, first announced last year, offers the public the opportunity to read five of the scrolls in super high-definition.

As Google explains on its blog:

“The high resolution photographs, taken by Ardon Bar-Hama, are up to 1,200 megapixels, almost 200 times more than the average consumer camera, so viewers can see even the most minute details in the parchment. For example, zoom in on the Temple Scroll to get a feel for the animal skin it’s written on – only one-tenth of a millimeter thick.”

You can browse the various scrolls on the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls site. But you can also navigate by text search using Google itself.

Google assisted by “helping design the web experience and making it searchable and accessible to the world” and by hosting it on Google Storage and App Engine.The company has previously worked with the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum to digitize and share records of the Shoah.

For more information on the Scrolls and the process of digitizing them, read our coverage of the initial announcement last year.

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