Library of Congress Materials Relating to the Qumran Community

These items were on display in the exhibit at the Library of Congress, May - August 1993. Images of these objects are not included in the online version of the exhibit, but these exhibit captions are included to provide some additional background on the scholarly work surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Qumran Community, and its Library.

Modern Phylactery Cases

Though larger, these phylacteries are modern versions of the Qumran phylacteries. Traditionally worn on the forehead and the left arm during weekday prayers, the head phylactery displayed here has been opened to show the compartments for the slips inscribed with biblical verses.

Phylacteries Tefillin . Early twentieth century. Hebraic section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress.

Phylactery Text

In this monograph on the phylacteries, noted archaeologist Yigael Yadin provided a detailed description of the methods used to fold the slips so that they could be inserted into their tiny compartments.

Yigael Yadin Tefillin from Qumran (Jerusalem, 1969) Printed book. Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress.

Solomon's Temple

Surrounded by explanatory text, the engraving at the center depicts the First Temple. The High Priest at the altar and the Ark of the Covenant are illustrated at the foot of the engraving.

This frontispiece from an edition of the works of Flavius Josephus was in the collection of Thomas Jefferson, acquired by the Library of Congress in 1815.

Flavius Josephus Antiquities of the Jews Frontispiece from The Genuine Works ... (London, 1737) Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Views of Jerusalem

At the opening of Book One of "The Jewish War" of this first American edition of Flavius Josephus is an engraving of Jerusalem during the Second Temple. The Temple is located at the center of the lower half of the illustration and the Roman legions are shown encamped outside the walls.

Flavius Josephus Jerusalem The Works of Flavius Josephus (New York, 1792) Printed book, engraving. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

The Dead Sea Looking Towards Moab

In 1838-1839, Scottish artist David Roberts (1796-1864) traveled through the Near East, bringing home 300 sketches of monuments and landscapes that he encountered on his journey. His drawings were reproduced in six volumes between 1842-1849.

Shown here is his rendering of "The Dead Sea Looking Towards Moab." In the foreground--carved into the rocky cliff--is the monastery of St. Saba.

David Roberts "The Dead Sea Looking Towards Moab" The Holy Land (London, 1842-1849) Lithograph with hand-coloring. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Views of Jerusalem

This map is the lower of two plates depicting Jerusalem. The Temple of Solomon, located at the top of the map, includes illustrations of the High Priest at the altar. The Ark of the Covenant is located in the Holy of Holies (the innermost chamber of the Temple), with God's spirit, the "Shekhinah," emanating from the ark and represented by the Tetragrammaton, the four- letter divine name.

Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg "Jerusalem" Civitates Orbis Terrarum (Cologne, 1612). Printed book, hand-colored etching. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Views of the Holy Land

This hand-colored map of the Holy Land (Terra Sancta) features an enlarged depiction of the Dead Sea. On the lower left of the map is a rendering of the story of Jonah and the whale.

Abraham Ortelius "Terra Sanctia" Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (London, 1606) Printed book. Geography and Map Divsion, Library of Congress.


Views of the Holy Land

Claudius Ptolemy (90-168 C.E.) was the preeminent geographer of the ancient world. Shown here is a hand-colored map of the Holy Land from a 1482 Ptolemaic atlas. The territories of the twelve tribes of Israel are clearly marked throughout.

Claudius Ptolemaeus Cosmographia (Ulm, 1486) Printed book, hand-colored woodcut. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Bird's-Eye View of the Holy Land

This aerial perspective of the Holy Land reflects a nineteenth- century trend in American mapmaking which featured "bird's-eye" views prepared for towns and cities across the nation. Published in New York, the rendering of the Holy Land indicates the intense American interest in this part of the world.

A.J. Marks Bird's Eye View of the Holy Land (New York, 1879). Chromolithograph, sectional map in 6 parts. Geography and Maps Division, Library of Congress.