Research and Publication of the Scrolls
The identification of the scrolls commenced immediately upon their
discovery. Research has shown that the thousands of fragments found
in the caves of Qumran belong to some 900 manuscripts, which have
been divided into three categories: biblical scrolls; apocryphal
scrolls (some from previously unknown works); and sectarian scrolls.
The first seven scrolls had already been published already in the
early 1950s, and since 1955, the Oxford University series Discoveries
in the Judaean Desert has produced scientific editions of hundreds
of scrolls, with introductions, commentary, and textual variants.
Recently, the completion of this ambitious 38-volume publication
project has been announced. In addition to the publication of the
texts themselves, books and articles devoted to the content of the
scrolls and their implications for the fields of religion, language,
history, and so forth are continually coming out.
At the same time, much progress has been made in the area of the
conservation of the scrolls. Work in this field has been conducted
in a number of laboratories, most recently in the laboratories of
the Israel Antiquities Authority.