Faculty of Theology Honours the Indexing of the Dead Sea Scrolls Using the Methods of Digital Humanities
Pnina Shor, the director of the Qumran Department of the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Jerusalem, shall receive an honorary doctorate from the Göttingen Faculty of Theology. With this award, the Faculty honours the Israeli scholar "for her outstanding achievement in the planning and realisation as well as the continuous development of the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library" (https://www.deadseascrolls.org.il), in which all the finds from the Dead Sea Scrolls are made available and indexed in the highest quality for purposes of research and teaching.
"Without her vision, her immense personal commitment, her perseverance and last but not least her willingness to take risks, the database which has put Qumran research and thus also Bible research on a new footing simply would not exist", said the Göttingen Old Testament scholar and Qumran researcher Prof. Dr. Reinhard Kratz. "The database forms the basis for follow-up projects all over the world", including the German-Israeli cooperative project "Scripta Qumranica Electronica (SQE)", a new digital edition of the Dead Sea texts. This project, funded by the German Research Foundation, is a cooperative undertaking with the Göttingen Qumran Lexicon Project which is directed by R. Kratz is involved.
The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library is an extensive image database containing multispectral images of all fragments of the texts found at the Dead Sea and is open to the public. The project was financed by a private foundation and technically realized in cooperation with Google Israel. The importance of the project is evident from the significance of the Dead Sea texts (Qumran and others), including the oldest biblical manuscripts as well as writings from the community of Qumran, a group within ancient Judaism which had been completely unknown until the time of the discovery.
Pnina Shor studied English literature and archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since 1977, she has worked in various capacities for the IAA, including 15 years as head of the department for the conservation of excavation finds and for the last 10 years as curator and head of the Dead Sea Scrolls Department. During this time, she was instrumental in the establishment of the "Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library".
She was officially awarded an honorary doctorate by the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Prof. Dr. Bernd Schröder, on May 6, 2020. Due to the Corona Pandemic, the ceremonial presentation had to be postponed for the time being. The ceremony in the auditorium of the university shall be held as soon as possible. In addition to the laudatio by Prof. Dr. Reinhard Kratz, Pnina Shor will speak on this occasion about the innovative potential of digitally indexing the scrolls from Qumran.