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Bibliotheca Carmelitana Nova

Head of Project: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gert Melville - Research Member: Dr. Coralie Zermatten

You can now reach the database under the following link:

In 1752 the Bibliotheca Carmelitana by Cosma de Villiers was published in two volumes. This work listed the literary output of all Carmelite monks and nuns (of the Order of the Ancient Observance and the Discalced Order). More than 2000 names are registered here. In his Bibliotheca Carmelitana Cosma de Villiers created a piece of cultural history, summarising and listing Carmelite intellectual achievements from the middle to the eighteenth century and displaying its fundamental elements: the construction of sanctity, the dispute about the orders’ history but also many obituaries for Carmelites. Since August 2010 the Carmelite order, the "General Curia of the Carmelite Order", through the Institutum Carmelitanum, is supporting a digital replacement of this important publication, a project which is located at the Research Centre for Comparative History of Religious Orders (FOVOG). This consists of the creation of a database where Carmelite writers and their works are identified and made accessible to scholars as well as the general public. The Bibliotheca Carmelitana Nova will provide an instrument to convey new stimuli to the study of religious orders.

The essential advantage of a database is its ability to store and sort large quantities of information. In addition there is the possibility to expand and update the data. The Bibliotheca Carmelitana Nova has the potential to grow exponentially.

In order to maximise the potential of electronic data collection, a model was designed which contains all relevant and recursive parameters. Although author- and person-related research stand at the centre, the database has the potential to include other categories, like biographical data, iconography, an inventory of the respective manuscript tradition as well as secondary literature. For instance, the redactions of a text can be recorded and called up quickly. It is also possible to link information concerning manuscripts or persons.

The basic structure of the database will consist of a number of categories. They include the identification of every Carmelite with his various names and information as to the origin. This is especially important because many brothers bore the same religious name. Information on offices and functions within the order will allow to assess the degree of institutionalisation. Special attention will be given to the ‘manuscripts’ category, because the authorship of every writing given by Cosma de Villiers will be checked and revised if necessary. In a next step all redactions and their respective locations will be recorded. The category ‘iconography’ aims at being the first step towards an image database of the Carmelites with the objective to register the order’s artistic heritage.

The Carmelite order intends to make its history available to the wider public through the Bibliotheca Carmelitana Nova. To meet this objective the database shall be available on the internet in future.


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gert Melville:
    Tel: +49 (0) 351 4793 4181
    Email: gert.melville(at)

Dr. Coralie Zermatten:
    Tel: +49 (0) 351 4793 4183
    Email: coralie.zermatten(at)

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gert Melville

Academic Manager and Research Coordinator:
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Cristina Andenna

Technische Universität
D - 01062 Dresden
Email: fovog-dresden(at)

Tel: +49 (0) 351 4793 4180
Fax: +49 (0) 351 4793 4189

The FOVOG is a centrally incorporated institute of the Technical University of Dresden
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