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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Archaeological Archive of Israel is Scanned and Going Online (mostly English)

A HERITAGE PROGRAM JOINTLY INITIATED BY THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
AND THE ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY:
The Archaeological Archive of Israel is Scanned and Going Online
http://www.iaa-archives.org.il

The archaeological archive of Israel, which is administered by the Israel
Antiquities Authority
http://www.antiquities.org.il/home_eng.asp
and amasses data on all of the activity of the archeological entities in the
country, is computerized and will go online in the coming days. This is
being underwritten with joint funding provided by the “Landmarks” heritage
program in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The scientific archive has its beginnings in the British Mandatory
Department of Antiquities. It was continued by the Israel Department of
Antiquities and is managed today by the Israel Antiquities Authority, which
invests considerable thought and resources in its operation.

The first stage, containing tens of thousands of documents, photographs,
maps and plans from the years 1919–1948 from Akko and Jerusalem, is already
available for viewing online at
http://www.iaa-archives.org.il
Most of this material was written in English.

Uploading the old and valuable material to the website required special
preparations. In order to scan the material, the Israel Antiquities
Authority engaged the services of ImageStore Systems Ltd. This is because
the archival material is especially delicate and sensitive and cannot be
scanned with industrial equipment; rather it can only be done individually
and manually. The documents in the archive include texts photographs, maps,
and plans etc. on many different kinds of paper.

According to Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser and Reuven Pinsky, director of the
heritage project in the Prime Minister’s Office: “The Mandatory archive
constitutes the principal foundation of archaeological research of the past
one hundred years. This program, as part of the Israel Archives Network
project for scanning and digitalization of the material on file in the
archives, will make it possible for the public in general and particularly
scholars in Israel and abroad to access these resources of knowledge."

According to Dr. Uzi Dahari, Deputy Director of the Israel Antiquities
Authority, “The scientific importance of the archive is invaluable, and it
is the only one of its kind in Israel and in the world. In Israel there are
approximately 30,000 known and declared antiquities sites that constitute
our cultural heritage – the largest and most important asset of the State of
Israel. The Israel Antiquities Authority declares, treats, surveys, and
researches the antiquities sites in the country. One of the many activities
of the Israel Antiquities Authority is the management and running of the
scientific archive. The Israel Antiquities Authority decided to transfer the
archive to the digitalized media, in order to disseminate the information
throughout the world”. To this end, all of the information was scanned and
it was indexed according to rules that are suitable for research needs”.

According to Ephraim Reich, director general of ImageStore Systems Ltd., “We
are proud to have been given the opportunity by the Israel Antiquities
Authority to take a significant part in preserving this important
information for the public. The utilization of advanced technology for the
purpose of accessing enormous amounts of information that were stored until
recently in libraries and archives not sufficiently accessible to the
average user is a matter of utmost importance to ImageStore Systems Ltd. We
are confident that this work will help preserve this important archival
material for our benefit and that of future generations”.

For further details, kindly contact Israel Antiquities Authority
Spokesperson Yoli Shwartz at 052-5991888 or
dovrut@israntique.org.il.

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