Saturday, September 02, 2006

Vatican Launches Digital Papal Photo Archive

Research and Purchase On-line

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 1, 2006 ( The digital photo archive of L'Osservatore Romano is now on-line, replete with papal photos from as far back as 1930.

The large-scale initiative now gives both professionals and private individuals access to thousands of photographs of the Pope and the Holy See via the Internet.

"It has been an important endeavor of historical reconstruction which called for huge research commitment," Giuseppe Colombara, director of the photographic service of the Vatican paper, said in today's Italian edition of L'Osservatore Romano.

The project required L'Osservatore staff to digitalize thousands of photographs which up to now were on paper or in negatives, and also add captions to each image to facilitate on-line purchase and use.

The archive also includes the "Wojtyla Fund," some 1,000 images of Pope John Paul II from his childhood, youth and pastoral ministry prior to his election as Pope.

The majority of the archive's photographs were taken during John Paul II's Pontificate, and were taken mostly by the newspaper's two photographers, Arturo Mari and Francesco Sforza.

The Web page ( can be accessed in English and Italian.

On choosing the section dedicated to Benedict XVI, photographs of his pilgrimage today to the Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello could already be seen.


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