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Document Imaging Gives History a Prayer!

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The National Library of Israel is digitizing rare manuscripts using document imaging technology.

The National Library of Israel’s million-dollar global initiative, together with British Library in London, is digitizing tens of thousands of rare Hebrew manuscripts currently dispersed between hundreds of collections worldwide, using document imaging technology. One of the oldest surviving Hebrew manuscripts, a Bible dating back more than 1,000 years, will soon be available online in as part of the joint project.

Aviad Stollman, the library’s chief of collections, said the Gaster Bible would go online soon, a major step in the process to digitize all the 3,200 rare Hebrew manuscripts at the British Library. The digitized and catalogued images from the project will be available online within a few years through the British Library’s website and the National Library of Israel’s International Digital Library of Hebrew manuscripts.

The process of digitizing ancient and rare manuscripts through document imaging is complicated and involves many steps and preparations. Manuscripts where the paper is damaged or fragile requires very gentle handling, and may not be able to be scanned through traditional means. Documents that include three-dimensional objects (e.g., medals, seals, ribbons) or loose, flaking or friable media such as crayon, charcoal, chalk, or soft pencil are difficult to scan or photograph in detail.

But preservation of these documents via document imaging is important, for now and for the future. “Researchers, students and other curious members of the public will be able to study these important manuscripts and enjoy their rich content,” said Oren Weinberg, the director of the National Library of Israel.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 at 6:42 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.