Last year, Google published five digitized and high-res manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, as part of a collaboration with the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Now, the company is taking its historical initiative even further, with the launch of the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library.
Launched in partnership with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the new library includes about 5,000 images of scroll fragments, including one of the oldest known copies of the Ten Commandments, as well as a centuries-old copy of the first chapter in the Book of Genesis, which describes the first three days of the world's creation. These and hundreds of other documents are on display in both infrared and color images, which have been digitized at a stunning 1215 dpi resolution. The site also includes a database of information on more than 900 of the manuscripts, along with interactive features that allow users to zoom in on fine details.
Written more than 2,000 years ago on pieces of papyrus and parchment, the Dead Sea Scrolls were originally discovered 65 years ago in the Caves of Qumran, where a dry desert climate and protection from the sun helped preserve them for centuries. Google's efforts to preserve them are just the latest in a series of culturally-driven initiatives, including the Google Art Project and the World Wonders project.