Israel puts 5,000 fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls online

Custodians of the scrolls had been criticized for restricting access to them in the past.

JERUSALEM — Israeli authorities say they have put 5,000 fragments of the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls online in a partnership with Google.

The digital library launched Tuesday with important texts like the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the Ten Commandments, and a portion of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis dated to the first century B.C.

It is part of a broader attempt by the custodians of the celebrated manuscripts — who were once criticized for allowing them to be monopolized by small circles of scholars — to make them widely available.

Last year, Google also partnered with the Israel Museum to put five scrolls online.

RELATED: Google launches Dead Sea Scrolls online library

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