I read on CNN’s website today that nearly 900 manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls have been digitized and are now available to view online (click here to read the article). I find this incredibly exciting, because this means that anyone with a computer and internet access can examine these texts. This is the democratization of information at its best.
Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to visit a traveling exhibit of the scrolls. We drove 2 1/2 hours each way and it was well worth the effort. While I am not a biblical scholar and I do not read Hebrew or Aramaic, just being in the presence of these ancient manuscripts was an experience that I will never forget. The fact that physical text written 2,000 years ago survives today is nothing short of amazing.
The article includes a link to the digital library, so I visited the site and looked at some of the fragments. The site is excellent and when you view individual fragments, there is a tool in the upper right corner that allows you to zoom. You can actually hone in on the text to the point where you can see the structure of the letters. Click here to access the digital library.
I see huge potential for digitized texts. There are so many rare texts that until recently have only been available to individuals in academia. Now these texts are available to everyone. I encourage you to explore sites like Project Gutenberg and Archive.org to see what you can find. Have fun!