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Vatican Radio presents digital archive of Popes' voices

(Vatican Radio) Entitled “The Voice of the Popes,” a digital archive containing over 8000 audio recordings featuring the voice of all the Popes from Pius XI through to Francis was unveiled at Vatican Radio on Tuesday. The presentation comes in the run-up to the canonization ceremony for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on April 27th. For the record the sound from this digital archive is available on request at the following address:

Listen to the report by Susy Hodges whose text is reproduced below: RealAudioMP3

"Vatican Radio’s sound archives date from 1931 when the radio was set up by Pope Pius the 11th and they include the voices of every Pope since then. The digital archive was compiled using audio sources that ranged from old 78 records, magnetic tape, to CDs and includes sound from over 23,000 different events.

Vatican Radio’s Director General Father Federico Lombardi says the digitalization was carried out in order to prevent damage from wear and tear and guarantee a better preservation of the material for posterity. He spoke of how Vatican Radio is the custodian of the voice of all the Popes, saying its mission is to preserve these recordings and ensure the radio’s intellectual property rights are protected when the sound material is used by third parties.

Among those present at the news conference on Tuesday was Guido Gusso, Pope John XXIII’s valet and Dean of the Hall of the Papal Antechamber under Pope John Paul II who shared anecdotes with those present about his memories of serving the two Popes. Gusso said he recalled Pope John XXIII’s disappointment when in the evening shortly after his election he looked out of the window and saw a deserted St. Peter’s Square."

(Report begins with the audio of the voices of the Popes: Pius XI, John XXIII, John Paul II and Francis)