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16/03/2015

It’s a year old – and Dehondocs continues to grow

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Exactly one year ago, it was March 14, 2014, we launched the homepage www.dehondocs.it: the online archive of the writings of Fr. Dehon. After years of developing its content, we were able to gradually publish the texts of Fr. Dehon, often accompanied by the image of the original manuscript.

The list of published works on www.dehondocs.it is long: they include most of the books which were already published in the time of Dehon, but also numerous unpublished documents. Among them you will find classical works such as The Social Catechism, as well as the diary of Dehon, all his articles from the various periodicals of his time, but also, for example, the letter of appointment as consultant to the Vatican Congregation of the Index.

It is difficult to give precise data about the use of the website. The internet tool Google Analytics gives us a global figure of the number of users and their profiles. In its first year more than 33.000 pages of the website were visited; 2.900 visitors remained on the site for an average of seven minutes. This may indicate that many choose to read the documents after they have downloaded them as a PDF document.

Many of the visits at this time still originate in Bologna and Rome, where the website is produced, maintained and developed. Following these two, the places where www.dehondocs.it is most frequently accessed are Brazil, Portugal and Argentina. Curiously, although Madagascar registers only a few visits, Malagasy users record the longest visits to the website (an average of more than 30 minutes) and consult a greater number of pages (on average more than 13 pages).

The quality of the website has received favorable feedback. Most of it came from confreres, but also the academic world weighed in with: “unusually innovative – for a church-related product” and “very informative and well-structured.”

centro studiIt will take several more years before all the materials of the Dehon Archive will have been published. Lacking on the website, for example, is the complete correspondence of the more than 4.500 letters from and to Dehon. Some confreres have expressed their frustration of finding only texts in French. Of course, whoever wishes to know Dehon well cannot do without some knowledge of French. However, the next project of the Centro Studi Dehoniani and the Data Service Center is already waiting in the wings: soon DehonDocs International will offer the already existing translations of the works of Dehon.