I read this article about the digitization of the Dead Sea Scrolls with a great deal of interest. I would truly love to watch the process: first of all, to have the opportunity to view something of such historic importance to my faith and then to handle documents that are more than 2000 years old. Ok, maybe I wouldn’t be allowed to handle them, but just to watch the process would be enough for me.
According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, it will take approximately two years to digitally photograph and scan each piece of parchment and papyrus. Then the images will be posted on the internet for global viewing. This is what librarianship and document preservation are all about: free and open access to information.
I hope as they are digizing the Dead Sea Scrolls, that someone (which I’m sure they are) is documenting the entire process and planning to make it available for viewing. That would be very interesting viewing, especially for those of us with little to no experience in the handling of rare antiquities.
Thank you to Jill Hurst-Wahl for linking to a video on the digitization project. I haven’t had a chance to view it yet, but I wanted to mention it just in case someone else is interested in seeing the process too.