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ACOLIT / Associazione Bibliotecari Ecclesiastici Italiani = Autori cattolici e opere liturgiche [Association of Italian Ecclesiastical Librarians = Catholic Authors and Liturgical Works]. Milano: Editrice Bibliografica. 25 cm. [02-1-004]

Vol. 2. Ordini religiosi [Catholic Religious Orders]. Ed. Silvana Chistè. 2000. lxv, 1,093 p. ISBN 88-7075-534-7: EUR 113.62

The first volume of this set was reviewed thoroughly in RREA 5:23. Where that volume dealt with the books of the Bible, institutions of the Catholic Church, the Roman curia, the church-state, and the Vatican, as well as names of popes and counter-popes, this second volume goes on to index Catholic orders and congregations. This covers a broad terrain, as can be seen by volume size alone—three times the length of its predecessor.

Lesser-known female congregations make up the bulk of the work; main entries beginning with “Suore...” alone take up 120 pages. Countering the belief that an official name form is easy to find—simply by looking in the Annuario pontificio— name forms in the latter are not at all consistent, varying from one volume to the next. (The Franciscans, for instance, have given up any attempt to keep onomastic track of their countless filiations.) Thus, it is helpful that the editors have collected varying name forms, constructing uniform titles by use of pragmatic rules for each main entry. Another estimable accomplishment is the data consolidation from numerous sources of locales, dates, name changes, etc. Acronym and place-name indexes are available, the latter only for female orders and congregations.

User friendliness is hindered by the fact that only “ACOLIT” stands on the left side of the running title and “ORDINI RELIGIOSI” on the right, instead of the name of the first order found on the corresponding page. This and other factors make one wish for a digitally searchable form (CD or, even better, Internet database). The impression in the print format is that of wandering in a jungle, albeit an alphabetically ordered one. [sh/rdh]

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Last update: March 6, 2006 [BG]
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