The Dead Sea Scrolls Inventory Project

Stephen A. Reed for the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center in Claremont (CA)

In 1988, the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center in Claremont initiated the Dead Sea Scrolls Inventory project to make a complete inventory of the Dead Sea Scroll documents, photographs, and museum inventory numbers. Stephen A. Reed produced 14 fascicles for the project, of which some are available here.

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Fascicle 8

Fascicle number nine of the Dead Sea Scrolls Inventory Project is called “Qumran Cave 4 (4Q 521-575) Starcky”.

Fascicle 7

Fascicle number nine of the Dead Sea Scrolls Inventory Project is called “Qumran Cave 4 (4Q 1-127)”.

Fascicle 1

Fascicle number nine of the Dead Sea Scrolls Inventory Project is called “Qumran Cave 1”.

Fascicle 10

Abbreviations ABMC–Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center col(s).–column(s) DJD–Discoveries in the Judaean Desert frg(s)–fragment(s) IAA–Israel Antiquities Authority–set of photographs taken   after 1967 by the Israel authorities JWS–Photographs shot for John Strugnell of some

Museum Plates

List of museum plates and contents compiled by Stephen A. Reed for the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center.

Fascicle 9

Fascicle number nine of the Dead Sea Scrolls Inventory Project is called “Qumran Cave 4 (4Q364-4Q481) Strugnell”.

A note from Reed: When I was engaged in updating the three lists of photographs, museum plates and documents from Elisha Qimron with updates by John Strugnell, I was under the direction of John Strugnell, at that time, international editor of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as James Sanders of the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center. I began my work at Claremont in March 1989 and finished in March 1992. I was in Jerusalem from the Fall of 1989 to the Fall of 1990.

Strugnell was helpful in my research and provided much guidance when I wrote my article about the Rockefeller Museum. Reed, Stephen A. “Survey of the Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments and Photographs at the Rockefeller Museum.” Biblical Archaeology 54 (1991): 44–51. While Strugnell would later be removed as a general editor at the end of 1990, and Emanuel Tov, Eugene Ulrich, and Emile Puech would work together as editors, most of my work was largely influenced by John Strugnell and other editors that I consulted at the time. I did not try to change any names or designations for texts. Instead, I attempted to transmit what editors at that time were saying about the texts they were to edit. Sometimes I may have translated French terms into English, but I often retained the French names. 

When Emanuel Tov became the general editor, we shared out lists with him then, but he did not provide a lot of new information for us. He would produce a list of unidentified texts in 1992, but most of my lists were already complete but were constantly being revised. We made a series of 14 instalments at the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center in Claremont, which contained much of our preliminary work. These lists were all completed before March 1992, when I left to become a senior lecturer at Africa University in Zimbabwe. 

We intended to make information available to scholars and others interested in the scrolls as soon as possible. To do that, we decided to release individual fascicles for collections by site and cave and by editor in Cave 4. I began producing fascicles of the published material and then moved to the unpublished material. Each fascicle included an introduction, a list of sigla for documents used in the card catalogue, a list of documents, a list of photographs which contained these documents and a list of museum plates which included the material. If any of the material had been published, this was also noted as well as current known editors for unpublished materials. The intent was that each fascicle would be self-contained and include everything scholars need when studying particular texts within one of those groups. 

  • Fascicle 1: Qumran Cave 1
  • Fascicle 2: Qumran Minor Caves
  • Fascicle 3: Murabba’at
  • Fascicle 4: Qumran Cave 4 (4Q128-186) DJD 5, DJD 6
  • Fascicle 5: Qumran Cave 4 (4Q482-520) DJD 7
  • Fascicle 6: Qumran Cave 11
  • Fascicle 7: Qumran Cave 4 (4Q 1-127)
  • Fascicle 8: Qumran Cave 4 (4Q 521-575) Starcky
  • Fascicle 9: Qumran Cave 4 (4Q364-481) Strugnell
  • Fascicle 10: Qumran Cave 4 (4Q 196-363) Milik
  • Fascicle 11: Khirbet Mird
  • Fascicle 12: Wadi ed-Daliyeh
  • Fascicle 13: Wadi Seiyal Nahal Hever, etc.
  • Fascicle 14: Masada

At the end of this work, I also produced a complete PAM list of all the photographs and a full list of museum plates. There was also a list of the sigla used in the card catalogue. There were other miscellaneous lists of material, such as lists of papyrus documents. Again they were all completed by March 1992. 

When I left for Zimbabwe, Marilyn N. Lundberg and Michael Phelps kept updating the material. At that point, they did update the lists according to Emanuel Tov’s list of unpublished materials from Cave 4. I have not compared in detail the early Inventory lists and the published lists in the Dead Sea Scrolls Catalogue. I do not think there were significant changes. 

Reed, Stephen A. The Dead Sea Scrolls Catalogue: Documents, Photographs and Museum Inventory Numbers. Revised and edited by Marilyn N. Lundberg with Michael Phelps. Scholars Press, 1994.

So what might be the value of these earlier lists? The data in these fascicles is mainly outdated, and the later lists are better to consult. Much of the Cave 4 material remained unpublished at that time. The material was distributed to new editors who might rename documents and fragments of documents. The photographs and museum plates remained the same, but the particular details needed to be changed as more and more were published. If one is only interested in the data of the final publication, then these early lists might not be of much value. 

One of the values of these early lists is that they help one realize how unpublished material was distributed to early scholars such as Cross, Strugnell, Milik, Starcky and Skehan. When I was compiling these fascicles, there was still the expectation that particular DJD volumes would be devoted to a sequence of texts linked to these editors. Puech had taken over the Starcky material. Puech would later publish three volumes of the old Starcky material. The Biblical texts were being reassigned to students of Cross, and Eugene Ulrich was dealing with the Skehan material. The DJD volumes of Biblical texts were published following a canonical order. 

However, Strugnell and Milik’s materials were redistributed to many scholars and were published somewhat randomly. Here the fascicles preserve lists that were linked initially to Strugnell and Milik. While some later publications credit Strugnell and Milik’s early work, others do not. These fascicles help show the materials Strugnell and Milik were editing and how they were organized in the list of documents. Because of the more random publication of these materials, the organization of these materials was much more challenging to comprehend. 

An example here might be sapiential texts that Strugnell grouped.  4Q408 through 4Q426 were largely related to sapiential texts. 4Q414 as a baptismal liturgy was on the back of a 4Q415, a sapiential text. In DJD 34, 4Q415-4Q418 were published, but the other texts are scattered in different volumes. Even 4Q414 is found in a different volume, so one might not notice it is on the back of a sapiential text. One might wonder why 4Q409 was in this group. While separate publications of each text make sense and perhaps were simply a pragmatic issue of who was finished first, one may wonder if the organizational structure of Strugnell has been lost in the process. The earlier lists help one to notice some of these issues more clearly. 

The value of these older lists is essential to understand how texts were understood then. They record a time at the end of the editorial work of John Strugnell before Emanuel Tov became the general editor. They help provide information about the history of scholarly work on the fragments. Since most photographs had been taken under the direction of these early editors, it is necessary to see how they sorted and organized fragments into identifiable texts. The new editors will work mainly with these photographs in their editorial work, which reflect a set of fragments organized in a particular way to show a particular understanding of the work. While some editors handed on insights and transcriptions to the news editors, there was no transmission of information in some cases. 

Download the Fascicles

The red links below let you download the available fascicles in PDF format

Qumran Cave 1

Qumran Minor Caves


Qumran Cave 4 (4Q128-186) DJD 5, DJD 6

Qumran Cave 4 (4Q482-520) DJD 7

Qumran Cave 11

Qumran Cave 4 (4Q 1-127)

Qumran Cave 4 (4Q 521-575) Starcky

Qumran Cave 4 (4Q364-481) Strugnell

Qumran Cave 4 (4Q 196-363) Milik

Khirbet Mird

Wadi ed-Daliyeh

Wadi Seiyal Nahal Hever, etc.

List of museum plates and contents