By ERIC PFANNER, New York Times, Published: November 20, 2011
“This is taking the material to an amazing range of audiences,” said James S. Snyder, the museum’s director. “There’s no way we would have had the technical capability to do this on our own.”
The digitization of the scrolls was done by Google under a new initiative aimed at demonstrating that the Internet giant’s understanding of culture extends beyond the corporate kind. The Google Cultural Institute plans to make artifacts like the scrolls — from museums, archives, universities and other collections around the world — accessible to any Internet user.
“We’re building services and tools that help people get culture online, help people preserve it online, promote it online and eventually even create it online,” said Steve Crossan, director of the institute, which is based in Paris.
The plans for the Cultural Institute grew out of the Dead Sea Scrolls initiative and another pilot project for Google in Israel, in which it helped bring the photos and documents of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial onto the Web.
Previous Google cultural programs have also been incorporated into the center, including the Google Art Project, a digital repository of pictures from museums like the National Gallery in London, the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Now the institute is building up its activities in Paris, where it will be one of the anchors of a sprawling new Google headquarters for Southern and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which is set to open next year.
Read the full report at the New York Times.