In a conference held at the University of Notre Dame on April 25 through 27, the complete set of Dead Sea Scrolls photographs was released in microfiche form.
Dr. F. H. Pruijt, president of E. J. Brill Publishers of Leiden, Holland, presented the first copy of The Dead Sea Scrolls on Microfiche on the evening of April 26 to Emanuel Tov, editor-in-chief of the official team of scroll editors. Flashbulbs popped and minicams from Dutch and German television whirred as Tov accepted the book of microfiches with its two companion index volumes.
The edition had been planned since November 1991, when, under the pressure of competing unofficial editions, the Israel Antiquities Authority agreed to make a complete collection of photos available.
Despite the official air of the proceedings, the Brill edition, it was later learned, is not in fact ready for general circulation. Only 92 of the planned 130 or so microfiches containing 6,400 photographs were actually in the book handed to Tov. It is still not clear when the Dutch publisher will have the entire set ready.
The ceremony was the high point of a conference called “The Dead Sea Scrolls: State of the Question.” All of the speakers at the conference were members of the international team officially responsible for publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls.