It took 2,000 years, but the Dead Sea Scrolls have finally entered the digital age. As of this fall, the scrolls are available online thanks to a partnership between Google and Israel’s national museum.
Five of the most important scrolls can be seen in high-resolution on the internet. Users can zoom in and out, translate passages to English and access supplemental material.
The scrolls were written from about 200 BC to 70 AD and according to Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at New York University, they offer an unrivaled look at the time after the biblical books were penned and before the Christian texts and documents of rabbinic Judaism were written.
The original scrolls are located in a specially designed vault in Jerusalem that requires multiple keys, a magnetic card and a secret code to open.