Updated: 19th Anniversary of Website Today

I still marvel that 19 years have passed since
the site first went online in 1996 
— Barrie Schwortz

Barrie writes in the Late Breaking Website News! page:

Welcome to our 19th Anniversary Update! You may have noticed (if you entered through our Home Page), that we have replaced the black & white ventral Shroud photograph that has graced our front page for the past 19 years with a larger color photograph of the entire Shroud taken in 1978. We hope you like the new look.

This update includes some very important new materials. Not only have we included four more issues of Shroud Spectrum International (with only 2 remaining to complete the archive of 42 regular issues), but we have also included a new Author Index and Title Index to make researching the journal even easier for everyone. We have also included a new feature titled "From the Crispino Archives" that includes eight older Shroud articles going back to 1902 that Dorothy thought were important enough to have scanned by her friend Mark D. Williams, who created the indices, did the scanning and graciously shared them with us. This update also includes the latest (December 2014 #80) issue of the BSTS Newsletter and much more.

I still marvel that 19 years have passed since the site first went online in 1996. Each year I write this introduction to our anniversary update with the intention of saying something new and fresh, but every year I find myself coming back to the same theme: This website would not be possible were it not for the cooperation and participation of all of the researchers, historians, scientists and scholars in the world who have allowed us to publish their work over the years, our gracious donors whose contributions help fund our efforts and all of our loyal viewers (more than 940,000 of you in 2014) who visit the site regularly and read millions of our pages! You make our work truly satisfying and worthwhile. Thank You! – Barrie Schwortz, Editor

Here is the Update Table of Contents:

The above image, an inline thumbnail, is clickable.

New December 2014 update to Many St. Louis papers

imageThis latest update to is a big one, particularly because of the the new St. Louis Conference page which already includes 36 papers and presentations.

Let’s do the ten-thousand view first. Later, we can pick and pull on some specifics and maybe examine each and every paper one at a time.

The easiest thing for you to do is to access the Late Breaking Website News: Updated December 1, 2014. Then from the top read down the page until you arrive at the a headline dated November 6.  That’s it; everything below that is old news.

I noticed some things, in particular:

1) First of all there is the new St. Louis Conference page. I imagine this will be the focus for most of us.

2) There is the wonderful news about SEAM’s new home. See Status Update on the New Mexico Shroud of Turin Museum in this blog.

3) I noticed Barrie mentioning “a growing trend by some Shroud researchers to post their papers and articles on, a website that provides a forum for researchers to publish their own work online.”

There was this warning from Barrie: “Just remember that many of these have not withstood the scrutiny of peer review so any claims they make or conclusions they draw have probably not been verified scientifically.”

Fair enough. That is true. But given the state of what sometimes passes for peer review these days with the many new and sometimes predatory open access and vanity journals, I’m not sure it is a big deal.  See:

It also raises a big question; is a conference paper a peer reviewed paper? I think many people think so. I don’t. 

St. Louis Papers to be Archived at

imageBarrie Schwortz reports on the STERA Facebook page:

Great News! The organizers of the recent St. Louis Shroud Conference have decided that, rather than creating and maintaining a separate website, they will have all the papers and presentations permanently archived on We are asking all participants to submit their final papers to us by December 15th so we can include them on a new St. Louis Conference page as part of our 19th Anniversary update on January 21, 2015. Watch for our last major update of the year in early December.

Great news, indeed.  Individual conference archives are always at risk. Over the years, the conference organization drifts away and no one is left to maintain the conference website and pay for storage space and bandwidth (although storage space is now cheap and bandwidth costs have all but disappeared except for large-scale video files). The issue is loving care, time consuming maintenance.

Barrie is simply the best.

Important Update to

imageBarrie Schwortz is reporting this morning, October 5, 2014, in Late Breaking Website News at

This update started off somewhat smaller than usual, since we were running out of time and wanted to get it online before the upcoming St. Louis Shroud Conference, which starts on Thursday evening, October 9, 2014 and ends at noon on Sunday, October 12, 2014. (Of course, we will include a full report on the conference in our next regular update). But new materials and information kept coming in and the update kept growing. Although still smaller than usual, this update includes some very important information, most notably, the first five issues of Shroud Spectrum International that were published AFTER the radiocarbon dating results were formally released in 1988. We think you will find the articles in these issues particularly interesting. Also included in this update are two important textile papers that further support the observation of repairs or reweaving in the 1988 radiocarbon samples, an update on the 2015 Shroud Exposition, links to a number of recently published books, papers and articles, a report on the Bari Conference and more.

Here is the Update Table of Contents:

Here are links to our recent In Memoriam and Special updates:

Look for an update to maybe tomorrow

imageBarrie Schwortz writes on the STERA Facebook page:

Sorry for the long silence, but we are working hard to get as much as possible into the next website update, which will probably go online Sunday, October 5th, a few days before the upcoming St. Louis Conference. It will include 5 more issues of Shroud Spectrum International, conferences updates, more on the 2015 public exhibition, many new books, papers and articles and much more. See you then!

Searching, and other sites

imageA regular reader from Boston writes:

While doing research for a possible book on the history of the Shroud I’ve learned a few things about searching for Shroud related papers on the web. This seems to be the archive with the largest number of papers about  the Shroud.  Anyone may add papers for immediate public access and some of the best papers are to be found here along with some awful ones. Authors can organize their papers into folders. Users can track additions. supports Google Scholar. For Advanced Google searching, I suggest:

  • for site or domain: “”
  • for file type: DO NOT specify anything
  • for none of these words:  “documents in” 
    Consequently 1) all of these words, 2) this exact word or phrase, 3) any of these words work to return a list of PDF files that can be read online or downloaded. This seems to be the second largest archive of papers on the Shroud. Papers are selected and organized into lists by a webmaster. Inexplicably and unfortunately this site has decided to block search engines from its PDF files. Therefore Google Scholar ignores the site and papers suffer diminished credibility. You can only search titles, which is wholly inadequate. Even though results are disappointing, I suggest using:

  • for site or domain: “”
  • for file type: “Adobe PDF”

Just remember, if a word or phrase is not in the title you won’t find the paper with Google or any major search engine. This applies to conference papers and BSTS articles, as well. There is a partial work around provided by The title page at includes a search box for an elementary site level search engine. Alternatively, you can paste the following into your browser and replace the word “example” with a search word or phrase:

All other sites: There are many papers out there.  For Advanced Google, I suggest:

  • for site or domain: (Optional or blank)
  • for file type: Adobe PDF

Then 1) all of these words, 2) this exact word or phrase, 3) any of these words all work to return a list of PDF files that can be read online or downloaded.

I delayed posting the above email until I could confirm this information with Google. I was surprised to learn that Google and other search engines do not search through PDF files on Google provided this link as an explanation:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /pdfs/
Disallow: *.pdf
Disallow: /images/

This is regrettable because holds many of the most important papers on the shroud. They should be indexed by all major search engines.

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