MA Texts and Contexts Week 1

Tuesday the twenty-seventh’s Irish Examiner had an article headed ‘2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls available to view online’. These scrolls are a collection of texts from the Hebrew Bible and were originally found in a desert cave in the mid 1900s. The national museum of Israel and Google have collaborated to make the scrolls available online. This is a further example of the work that has been ongoing in the last number of years to make such documents available electronically. It is a great addition to resources such as The British Library’s Turning the Pages™ system and UCLA’s Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts. Websites such as these offer students a chance to see sensitive manuscripts up close and in detail, and they also act as a means of preservation for these documents. Being able to see these texts in their original form offers a much more realistic and almost tangible form of learning. It brings the manuscript to life, and thus offers valuable experience to the modern scholar. Being able to see texts in their original layout also provides useful information on the development of the English language, a topic we touched on briefly in this weeks Old English seminar in relation to Caedmon’s Hymn.

References: “2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls Available to View Online.” Irish Examiner [Cork] 27 Oct. 2011. Print.

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