Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars and conservators have been concerned with their conservation, preservation and documentation. For over 2,000 years, the Scrolls were preserved in a relatively stable environment: the caves of the Judean Desert. Removing the fragile Scrolls from their caves not only interrupted their environmental stability, but also subjected the Scrolls to damage through human handling. In the early decades, scholars mishandled the Scrolls unknowingly, causing irreversible damage as they attempted to piece together the complex manuscript puzzle of thousands of fragments. Today, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) adheres to a strict protocol of care to ensure the long-term preservation of the Scrolls. The current digitization project began as a conservation effort to develop a state-of-the-art monitoring system for the Scrolls. The exceptional technology of the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library will also enable scholars to study the fragments without physically handling them, safeguarding the texts for future generations.
READ MORE: The Dead Sea Scrolls – Conservation