May 23, 2022

Vast Database of Italian Church’s Art and Artefacts Goes Live, Info About Nearly 3.5 Million Objects Available

From The Art Newspaper:

The Vatican has published a vast online catalogue of the Italian Catholic Church’s artistic heritage. The project, which began 16 years ago, is ongoing but in the meantime the Church hopes the database will help in the recovery of works if they are stolen.

The website contains almost 3.5m objects, from paintings and sculptures to ornaments, crucifixes, altarpieces and other items belonging to some of Italy’s 63,773 churches in 216 dioceses. The database will be subject regularly updated. Thousands of works held in the churches of certain dioceses, such as those of Florence and Naples, are still to be catalogued.


The database will eventually be expanded to include the Church’s architectural heritage and literary archives.

Users can search by artist, subject matter, object, diocese and date range and the search results can be filtered further if needed, but experts have pointed out a number of flaws in the system that suggest more work is needed.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.