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Digitization of the Dead Sea Scrolls

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6 Comments

  1. Unknown User (sfh2)

    This reminds me of the discussion we had in class about the lack of digital images of the manuscript of Walden. There's a sense of ownership for the museum that holds that manuscript like there is a sense of ownership for the government that holds the Dead Sea Scrolls, for good reason - they own it. I can understand the idea that digital access cheapens the manuscript, but not that it cheapens the text. I'm sure that scholarly study of the Scrolls will be much more meaningful when in the presence of them, but the idea of public access is something that should be desired in the global community that we live in - but does is it right to extend that to scholarship? Maybe, maybe not. I think there are too many opinions on that by real scholars that make it difficult to weigh in on.

  2. Unknown User (slt13)

    Digitizing the Dead Sea Scrolls, though maybe a good idea for easy access, it is detrimental to their integrity if translations are off, and there are mistakes in it. Also, because it is a religious text, it is that much more important and should be respected. In response to the Google issue, it would make much more sense to have scholars of that field to translate accurately before immediately digitizing it. It takes a long time to figure out how to format and translate texts and then encode it to put it online, as we've learned in class. Maybe waiting and carefully working on the text will change people's minds if the end result shows a great deal of effort.

    You're story discusses opinions of scholars and the public about the digitization of the scrolls, what do you think of it? 

  3. Unknown User (sel10)

    Hi, I thought your storify was really interesting to see how it goes. Many people now have an access to get information through Google and I agree that Google needs to be careful at any implication of the text they provide since I believe that Google is a universal access. Information should be provided in accuracy with scholarly knowledge. Especially when it come to religion, people will learn and unconsciously adopt the notion of the religion through web sources because they are not familiar with different religion and internet is the one of the most common way to access to learn and look for it. After internet got widely spread out. Sometimes people value the information as most updated news not about the quality and that lead to wrong concept and misleading information because providers are in urgent to post their new knowledge to be the first poster. Maybe you could add some of this aspect of providers. 

  4. Unknown User (agl3)

    Hmm, the really interesting opposition here-for me at least-seems to be the between the Israeli government as backers of the I.A.A. and Google behind the Israeli Museum. It's as if a behemoth American corporation is actually facing down an Israeli government agency, and might well be the favored contender, depending on who you ask. This is certainly dense with implications: we see the crossroads of the ancient with the modern, the conflicts of international commerce (Google is, of course a business, and you've already mentioned that the I.A.A. stands to earn from loaning the scrolls), the trials of defining "ownership," and so on. I think any of these general DigiHum topics would help to expand your project a bit, and provide an interesting backdrop to the religion debate.

  5. Unknown User (res9)

    We are in a big shift right now. Not everyone is comfortable with digitizing works that may be difficult to access. But for those who want access, especially scholars, you are right, this is something to celebrate. Why do you think people fear Google so much, when it has the capability of providing world-wide access to the world's most notable texts? After having discussions about this in class, I've transitioned to being on the other side of the spectrum. I've realized that so much more scholarship can be gained. What do we need to do to make others realize this? You make a point through a quote that you have to have specialized knowledge to read things like the Dead Sea Scrolls. Maybe there are people out there who have specialized knowledge however don't the the financial means to travel to see the original copy. Digitizing the Dead Sea Scrolls could provide that person with access to the script, and new scholarly knowledge could be acquired. So much intellect could be achieved if we allowed Google to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls, however we have to settle on the economics in order move forward.

  6. Oliver - you've helpfully compiled a lot of information about this topic, information representing a range of issues, any one of which would be interesting and beneficial to explore in greater depth. Adam and Becca have pointed out at least two of these: How much/what kind of trust should we be willing to put in public-good initiatives carried out by for-profit entities? And what role does politics play in debates over access to culture? It would be great to see you pick one of these issues (or another one that's similarly narrow in focus) and make it the center of your attention, rather than trying to cover everything.