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Dead Sea Scrolls online? the Open Scrolls project

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  • Peter Kirby
    Hello XTalkers, You may have heard of the Open Scrolls Project before, and you would know, then, that it hasn t done much to get off the ground. I believe
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 1, 2006
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      Hello XTalkers,

      You may have heard of "the Open Scrolls Project" before, and you would
      know, then, that it hasn't done much to get off the ground. I believe
      that this is because the model of volunteer contributions of translation
      time is not the most efficient, because it puts an extraordinary burden
      on a few individuals (those who are able to translate Aramaic, Greek,
      and Hebrew) without due compensation.

      I believe that a better model would be to establish a fund out of which
      the qualified translators can be paid for the service they render.
      Then, people would be able to contribute their money to this fund, with
      the expectation that even a little bit of money will result in some of
      the Dead Sea Scrolls being translated and transcribed--and available for
      free--that were not before.

      I would hope that individuals interested in the result would be
      contributors, but also corporations that sell Bible software packages
      that do not currently include the Dead Sea Scrolls, since they would be
      reaping the financial rewards of the result. I would definitely contact
      them for their sponsorship, in addition to the public.

      If you go to the website,

      http://www.openscrolls.org/

      You will see that I am currently looking for a few things to get off the
      ground:

      First, I need two other people to serve on the Board of Directors for
      Open Scrolls, Inc. I would prefer people who have academic credentials
      (to compensate for my lack of such), but also an enthusiasm for the
      project. The Board of Directors may or may not be paid for their time,
      but would at least be able to recoup any expenses incurred.

      Second, I need one to three people to serve as an editorial review for
      the work of translation. They would be responsible for quality
      control. They would be paid along with the translators. (Someone may
      serve on both the BoD and the editoral review, especially if they'd like
      to be paid. I myself won't be on the editorial review board.) The size
      of the editorial review board is a function of each person's available
      time; if we get one person with a lot of time, we may not need the other
      two.

      Third, I need contacts for people wanting to be paid for the work of
      transcription and translation working off the photocopies in the
      "Discoveries in the Judean Desert" series (DJD). I could potentially
      use up to a dozen such people, subdividing out the actual work of
      translation and transcription.

      Fourth, I could use the help of a web developer or web designer for the
      initial OpenScrolls.org website. This is not crucial; OpenScrolls.org
      will be a homebase for the distribution of the texts, but other channels
      will distribute the texts also. In a pinch I can do this work.

      Fifth, I need the comments of people like you on CrossTalk! What needs
      to be done so that this venture succeeds? You might know something I
      don't, so, enlighten me!

      In particular...

      What's the best license for the resulting transcription and
      translation? The main decision here is, should the result be fully
      public domain, or should the result by licensed under a "Creative
      Commons" or other open-type license? Please weigh in if you are
      familiar with the advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage (to
      me) of the latter, a license of some kind, is that you can control
      versioning (a modification has to be marked as a modification, etc.) and
      attribution (OpenScrolls.org and its translators must be credited).

      What's the best way to solicit contributions? Maybe you know something
      I don't about the world of getting funding for research or educational
      projects, such as this one basically is.

      thanks,
      Peter Kirby

      PS-- The Open Scrolls website is already ranking #14 or so for the term
      "Dead Sea Scrolls" in Google. I am certain that it will make it to the
      first page of the search results as soon as some serious content can be
      found there. It is, therefore, a very good spot to position the
      transcription and translation effort described above.
    • Lisbeth S. Fried
      Hi Peter, Do I get paid for the work I already did???? Who uses the site? There are plenty of translations of the DSS around. Liz Fried _____ From:
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 1, 2006
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        Hi Peter,

        Do I get paid for the work I already did????



        Who uses the site? There are plenty of translations of the DSS around.

        Liz Fried



        _____

        From: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Peter Kirby
        Sent: Friday, December 01, 2006 4:50 AM
        To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [XTalk] Dead Sea Scrolls online? the Open Scrolls project



        Hello XTalkers,

        You may have heard of "the Open Scrolls Project" before, and you would
        know, then, that it hasn't done much to get off the ground. I believe
        that this is because the model of volunteer contributions of translation
        time is not the most efficient, because it puts an extraordinary burden
        on a few individuals (those who are able to translate Aramaic, Greek,
        and Hebrew) without due compensation.

        I believe that a better model would be to establish a fund out of which
        the qualified translators can be paid for the service they render.
        Then, people would be able to contribute their money to this fund, with
        the expectation that even a little bit of money will result in some of
        the Dead Sea Scrolls being translated and transcribed--and available for
        free--that were not before.

        I would hope that individuals interested in the result would be
        contributors, but also corporations that sell Bible software packages
        that do not currently include the Dead Sea Scrolls, since they would be
        reaping the financial rewards of the result. I would definitely contact
        them for their sponsorship, in addition to the public.

        If you go to the website,

        http://www.openscro <http://www.openscrolls.org/> lls.org/

        You will see that I am currently looking for a few things to get off the
        ground:

        First, I need two other people to serve on the Board of Directors for
        Open Scrolls, Inc. I would prefer people who have academic credentials
        (to compensate for my lack of such), but also an enthusiasm for the
        project. The Board of Directors may or may not be paid for their time,
        but would at least be able to recoup any expenses incurred.

        Second, I need one to three people to serve as an editorial review for
        the work of translation. They would be responsible for quality
        control. They would be paid along with the translators. (Someone may
        serve on both the BoD and the editoral review, especially if they'd like
        to be paid. I myself won't be on the editorial review board.) The size
        of the editorial review board is a function of each person's available
        time; if we get one person with a lot of time, we may not need the other
        two.

        Third, I need contacts for people wanting to be paid for the work of
        transcription and translation working off the photocopies in the
        "Discoveries in the Judean Desert" series (DJD). I could potentially
        use up to a dozen such people, subdividing out the actual work of
        translation and transcription.

        Fourth, I could use the help of a web developer or web designer for the
        initial OpenScrolls.org website. This is not crucial; OpenScrolls.org
        will be a homebase for the distribution of the texts, but other channels
        will distribute the texts also. In a pinch I can do this work.

        Fifth, I need the comments of people like you on CrossTalk! What needs
        to be done so that this venture succeeds? You might know something I
        don't, so, enlighten me!

        In particular...

        What's the best license for the resulting transcription and
        translation? The main decision here is, should the result be fully
        public domain, or should the result by licensed under a "Creative
        Commons" or other open-type license? Please weigh in if you are
        familiar with the advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage (to
        me) of the latter, a license of some kind, is that you can control
        versioning (a modification has to be marked as a modification, etc.) and
        attribution (OpenScrolls.org and its translators must be credited).

        What's the best way to solicit contributions? Maybe you know something
        I don't about the world of getting funding for research or educational
        projects, such as this one basically is.

        thanks,
        Peter Kirby

        PS-- The Open Scrolls website is already ranking #14 or so for the term
        "Dead Sea Scrolls" in Google. I am certain that it will make it to the
        first page of the search results as soon as some serious content can be
        found there. It is, therefore, a very good spot to position the
        transcription and translation effort described above.





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Peter Kirby
        ... I don t see why not, if you are willing to become one of the translators / transcribers when the Open Scrolls project officially launches. Just resubmit
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 1, 2006
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          Lisbeth S. Fried wrote:
          > Hi Peter,
          >
          > Do I get paid for the work I already did????
          >
          I don't see why not, if you are willing to become one of the translators
          / transcribers when the Open Scrolls project officially launches. Just
          resubmit the translation work you had done at that time.
          > Who uses the site? There are plenty of translations of the DSS around.
          >
          > Liz Fried
          The Accordance software's translation, transcription, and index costs $120.

          The Logos software's transcription costs $80.

          The hardcopy books edited by Florentino García Martínez cost about $100
          and cannot be searched.

          There are other costs associated with getting Accordance or Logos up and
          running, usually some several hundred dollars. Many people do not have
          several hundred dollars to spend on getting the Dead Sea Scrolls
          searchable and available in the original language.

          The advantages of the Open Scrolls project are that the result would:

          * Be free.
          * Include a transcription (critical text).
          * Include a translation (not even this is on the Internet at present).
          * Searchable at OpenScrolls.org or at any other site choosing to host it.
          * Integrated with popular free and low-cost Bible software packages (the
          free "Sword" softwares, and the various ones you see on the shelf for
          $50 or less)

          I think that this more than justifies the project.

          regards,
          Peter Kirby
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