The Open Scrolls Project 1

Peter Kirby posted this on the XTalk list. I am wondering what people think of this idea. I know that we (academics) often say how important it is to have information free and accessible, but the reality is our jobs (promotion, tenure) and the jobs of the supporting publication industries exist because of authored and controlled work. I would love to have, for myself and my students, free access to good translations and transcriptions of the Scrolls but…

What do you think?

(This will be posted in the forums as well.)

Dead Sea Scrolls Online–The Open Scrolls Project

The Open Scrolls Project aims to bring the Dead Sea Scrolls online, available for free.

Your help is needed to achieve this goal. At this stage, we are looking for:

* One or two distinguished individuals to act as directors along with Peter Kirby.
* Qualified translators of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic to do transcription and translation work, which will be paid.
* Qualified web designers and developers to design the website at low or no cost to Open Scrolls, Inc.
* Input from the providers of Bible software and other publishers on how to integrate Open Scrolls with their publications and distributions.
* General advice on how to fund the translators and how to license the transcription and translation, with the aim of being open and free.

In a future stage, we will be soliciting contributions to Open Scrolls, Inc.–a nonprofit organization incorporated in Nevada. Please plan your holiday budget with this in mind. 🙂

If you have questions, etc., send them to Peter Kirby at


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One thought on “The Open Scrolls Project

  • Peter Kirby

    I believe that this is the best of both the “open” and “controlled” worlds.

    It is “open” in that anyone with an Internet connection can access it for free. It could also be distributed by others, without a licensing fee, in other media, such as print or CD-ROM, giving it even larger reach. People leading a Bible study could print out copies for their groups, teachers for their students, and so on.

    It is also “controlled” in that the chief editor, and the individual editors and translators, will all be fully credited for their academic work. In theory this could support an application for tenure. (Another plus is that they should be compensated directly for the hours put into translation, transcription, and editing. This doesn’t happen when contributing articles and is often disproportionately in favor of publishers for books.)

    I believe that this will provide a sterling example of how a “grassroots” organization can put together a credible AND free academic work. What do others think?