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10 November 2022

News of the inauguration of DIGICARMEL

Starting on October 15th the digital project of “Digicarmel” has been open to the public ( we discover it with P. Angelo Lanfranchi, General house of the Order archivist.

Fr. Angelo, what is Digicarmel?

Digicarmel is much more than a simple web page: it’s an online database created to manage all of the actual and historic information of the entire Order.


Why was Digicarmel created?

Carmel has a long and rich history, with ecclesiastical expressions and spiritual dimensions, apostolic, cultural and artistic of an incredible complexity. To preserve and to share this history and our treasures of life and spirituality is a duty that the wide extension of the Carmelite family and the large number of events that happen year after year make it ever more difficult to handle.

Acknowledging this challenge, we have thought of a new way of work that allows us to make use of the new technological means to organize the information in an versatile, dynamic, unified and share friendly way.


What advantages are available in the use of Digicarmel?

Digicarmel is a flexible and solid platform, capable of registrations, joining and making immediately available information and material that have been already produced and treated commonly in each house and province of the Order, archives, magazines and Carmelite publishing houses, other organisms and research… Gathering all of this material in one place will multiply the efficiency and utility of the work undertaken of all in research of the information, avoiding useless dispersion of resources.


How is the complex information organized in Digicarmel?

The principal area, the “heart” of all the database, is a digital version of the work until now present in Conspectus, and Acta Ordinis and previous historical publications that had the goal of preserving and sharing the principal facts relative to the Order, its persons, houses, circumscriptions and other corelated realities and initiatives.

This section is the backbone of our database. In it are reunited the Digital Carmelite Library (BCD Bibliotheca Carmelitana Digitalis), a complete and proper Carmelite library that reunites in a digital format, freely researchable, many books and articles of Carmelite topics in many languages. Till this day 5 magazines in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese have been entirely incorporated in the BCD with more than 2,500 articles available, along with 80 monographies regarding the institutional history of the Order, among those are the nearly entire publication of the Istituto Storico Teresiano (HT). The library is in continuous growth thanks to the cooperation with Carmelite publishing houses and magazines.

The BCD allows you to find in just one platform material that to this day were difficult to access and to make research on them thru the OCR technology of a specific word within the text of all the documents available within our library.

The third section of Digicarmel, still as a work in progress, is the Archivum Carmelitanum Digitale (ACD), a true and proper digital archive of the Order were each carmelite archive would be able to share on line -if so desired- specific material. In the Generalate’s archive we have begun recently a rich project of digitalizing of a section of the mission’s archive, that in a few months shall enter as a part of the ACD and will allow to know much more original documents about our rich missionary history from the sixteenth century on forward. We hope that other Carmelite archives may soon use this instrument in the service of the Order, so as to better preserve and share the charisma made history.

Let’s remember that the software is capable of handling even the images archive: one of our next projects shall be to make a catalogue and publication of the rich photographic stock preserved in the Generalate’s archive, and a virtual museum, that in principle may embrace the entire artistic patrimony of the Order.

Digicarmel finds itself in a developing process and thus can’t be considered as a “closed” archive. Given the great amount of information, it isn’t a database “complete” of all the institutional history of the Order, but it is now sufficiently mature in order to make it available to Carmelite public in general, while we continue to enrich its diverse sections. We value the feedback of the users in order to make better this resource in the service of our Carmelite family.


Who can be interested in Digicarmel?

The people that maybe be interest are double: for those who grant information and for those who search for it. In this sense Digicarmel is of great interest for researchers, publication houses, magazines and Carmelite archives that wish to insert their own material in the database to better make known their own documentation, but it is also indispensable for all who want to know in a more deeper way Carmel in its history, charisma, persons and institutions.

For contact with those responsible of the project with whatever question o proposal of participation, you can write to the mail: