The Malta Independent 2 April 2020, Thursday

Archdiocese launches digital archive

Malta Independent Wednesday, 7 November 2012, 12:13 Last update: about 7 years ago

Numerous diocesan and parish manuscripts dating back to the 15th century are now freely available online after the Malta Archdiocese of the Catholic Church launched its digital archive today.

The digital archive is the culmination of work which began in 1973, when archival collections started to be microfilmed.

The laborious process to transfer all microfilms to digital media started at the beginning of the year, and the digital archive was set up in collaboration with Exigy. The Curia bid for EU funds to help fund this project, but this bid proved to be unsuccessful.

Access to the archives, which are hosted on http://archives.maltadiocese.org/, is free of charge, although registration is required. Downloading pages for printing, however costs €0.50 per page.

The archdiocese’s IT coordinator, Fr VicGeorge Vassallo, explained that the manuscripts available online do not comprise the archdiocese’s entire archive, adding that the digitising of archives was an ongoing process. Researchers, however, can still visit the Archbishop’s Curia in Floriana – or the relevant parishes – to carry out their research.

Data protection considerations also apply, with Fr Vassallo emphasising that the Curia took care to ensure that the information made public did not fall foul of the Data Protection Act.

The publications that have been made available include marriage, baptism and funeral records, pastoral visits, church inventories, property registers and various other publications and records collected by the Catholic Church in Malta over centuries.

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