DigiCarmel, a new digital tool at the service of the Carmelite world

Father Angelo Lanfranchi with some Carmelite sisters
Photo: www.carmelitane.com

It is called “Digicarmel” and is a digital project to make the reality of the Carmelite world more accessible. Not just a simple archive or a simple site but a real database as he explains Father Angelo Lanfranchi, General Archivist of the Order.

Carmel has a long and rich history, with ecclesial expressions and spiritual, apostolic, cultural and artistic dimensions of incredible complexity. Preserving and sharing this history and our treasures of life and spirituality is a duty that the extension of the Carmelite Family and the numerous events that take place year after year make it increasingly difficult to manage.

Aware of this challenge, we have thought of a new way of working that allows us to use new technological means to organize information in an interoperable, dynamic, more unified and shareable way.

“Digicarmel is a flexible and solid platform, able to record, connect and make immediately available the information and materials that are already produced and processed daily by houses and provinces of the Order, Carmelite archives, magazines and publishing houses, other organizations and researchers … Concentrating all this material in one place will multiply the effectiveness and usefulness of the work done by everyone in gathering information, avoiding the useless waste of resources.

The main area, the ‘heart’ of the entire database, is a digital version of the work so far present in the Conspectus, in the Acta Ordinis and in previous historical publications which had as their purpose the conservation and sharing of the main facts relating to the Order, its people, houses, districts and other related realities and initiatives.

This section is the ‘backbone’ of our database. It is connected to theto Bibliotheca Carmelitana Digitalis (BCD), a veritable Carmelite library that houses in digital format, freely available, many monographs and articles from the Carmelite area in different languages. Currently 6 Italian, Spanish and Portuguese language magazines have entered the BCD in full with more than 2500 articles available, together with over 80 monographs relating to the institutional history of the Order, including almost all the publications of the Teresian Historical Institute (IHT). The library is constantly growing thanks to the collaboration with Carmelite publishing houses and magazines.

The BCD makes it possible to find in a single platform materials that were previously difficult to find and to search through the OCR technology of a specific word within the text of all the documents existing in our library “.

What are the advantages of using Digicarmel? How they are all organized this complex information in Digicarmel?

“The interest is twofold: for those who provide information and for those who seek it. In this sense Digicarmel is of great interest to Carmelite researchers, publishers, journals and archives who want to insert their material in the database to make the its own documentation, but it is also indispensable for all those who want to know Carmel in greater depth in its history, charism, people and institutions “.

DigiCarmel, a new digital tool at the service of the Carmelite world