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Thursday, March 27, 2014


Vatican City, 27 March 2014 (VIS) – On Tuesday, 1 April, in Vatican Radio's Sala Marconi, there will be a presentation of “The Voice of the Popes”, Vatican Radio's digital archive which brings together the voices of the popes who have succeeded to the see of St. Peter since 1931, the year in which the pontifical broadcasting entity was founded, from Pius XI to Francis. The institutional tasks of Vatican Radio are to consult, preserve and manage the papal audio archive ensuring that, in the case of use by third parties, the pastoral character of the material is conserved and intellectual property rights are protected.

The digitisation of the archive, which will take place in conjunction with the canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on 27 April, will guarantee the conservation of the audio material, whose integrity may be endangered by wear and tear of archive supports, and will allow the archiving of audio material and text (metadata) in a far more efficient and rational way. The new digital support will also ensure easier use of content by information workers and scholars.

“The Vatican Radio technical directorate has completed the digitisation of the pontifical audio archive, reproducing the content of the 8000 tapes and original supports documenting the activities of popes, from Pius XI up to Francis, including Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, who will soon be canonised”.

Speakers at the press conference for the presentation of “The Voices of the Popes”, moderated by Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director general of Vatican Radio, were: Cardinal Giovan Battista Re, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops and president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Vatican specialist Gian Franco Svidercoschi, and Guido Gusso, Pope John XXIII's valet and Dean of the Hall of the Papal Antechamber under Pope John Paul II. The digitisation of the archive was undertaken with the contribution of the Banca Intesa Russia and with the support of Confartigianato Persone.

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