WASHINGTON (September 28, 2006)—Origins, the widely respected documentation service on the church today, can now be researched online
A product of Catholic News Service, the 36-year-old Origins includes papal encyclicals, key bishops' documents, and speeches of clergy and laity recounting major Church events worldwide since 1971. It is a vital source for everyone from university researchers and opinion writers to education leaders and parish catechists.
Aided by a 2006 grant from the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) to digitize past issues, Origins now has 63 percent of its volumes online. That represents an estimated 5,000 complete texts. The entire digitization project is expected to be complete in early 2007.
To accommodate people who want to receive information only online, Origins has launched an online.only service, which allows subscribers to read Origins online each week and to undertake full.text searching as well. For foreign subscribers especially (Canada, England, Australia), the online.only subscription allows the bypassing of high postage fees that subscribers there pay.
Full.text searching is an important notion in research in and of itself. But, full.text searching in 5,000 (and ultimately more the 9,000) texts on the life of the contemporary church is an incredible development. It means that:
Parish catechists preparing parents for their child's baptism can search for needed background materials, such as the pope's 2006 catechesis on baptism. The same is true for catechists covering other topics.
Adult.education leaders can educate themselves on such issues as the Catholic voter; stem.cell research; the church and Islam; the church and the Iraq war; the bishops' marriage initiative; capital punishment; abortion, indeed, almost any topic that would arise for them.
Pastors can search in the Origins online archives when preparing homilies.
College professors and high school teachers can assist students in finding materials for term papers on a wide variety of topics.
Journalists can find background papers and other factual materials on topics they cover.
Parish staffs can locate essential information they need quickly for their meetings and planning.
There are three basic ways to subscribe to Origins today:
1. Receive print copies by mail.
2. Receive print copies plus online access, through a service called Origins Plus.
3. Receive Origins online only.
People can subscribe by mail (Origins, 3211 4th St., NE, Washington, DC20017-1194), phone (202-541-3290), and online at http://www.originsonline.com.
Rates for individuals and institutions vary.
The rates for individuals follow:
$109 a year for print copies, with reduced rates for two ($189) and three years ($269).
$99 for an individual's online-only subscription.
$139 for an individual's Origins-Plus subscription, with reduced rates for two ($239) and three years ($339).
There is a group rate for Origins-Plus for parishes, by which an entire parish staff, regardless of size, can receive one print copy of Origins weekly and permit online searching access for each staff member. Other group rates are available for such institutions as colleges, high schools, religious houses, and offices.