The Malta Independent 18 October 2021, Monday

National Archives of Malta announce completion of the digitisation of the magnia curia castellaniae

Wednesday, 5 August 2015, 12:18 Last update: about 7 years ago

The National Archives of Malta are proud to announce the completion of the digitisation project of the Acta Originalia of the Magna Curia Castellaniæ records by the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library and The Malta Study Centre. This project, following an agreement signed in October 2007, includes the digitisation of the 1,141 volumes of the Magna Curia Castellaniæ (1545-1689) and the 25-volume index created by Dr G Portelli Carbone in the 19th century. Over 1.5 million (1,606,301) digital images have been created.

The Magna Curia Castellaniæ was the main secular tribunal in Malta during the period of the Knights of St John (1530-1798).  It was composed of the Castellano, a Knight of the Order, and two Judges; one judge had civil jurisdiction and the other dealt with criminal cases. It included also an Exchequer, a vice-Exchequer, two notaries and several clerks. In the event of an appeal, the case was referred to the Appellate Court, a different tribunal in the same Castellania, which was presided over by one Judge.

Being the largest tribunal, and having both criminal and civil jurisdiction, these records are one of the main archival sources about life in Malta during the stay of the Knights.  They deal with varying situations, from domestic violence to assault and from theft and fights to the appointment of guardians for minors.

Dr Daniel K. Gullo, Curator of the Joseph S. Micallef Malta Study Centre, expressed his satisfaction at the successful completion of the project. “The conclusion of this 8-year project is an important milestone for us. However, this is not the end. Currently we are engaged with the National Archives of Malta in the digitisation of the records of the Epoca Gallica and the Officium Civile Sacræ Inquisitionis and we look forward to further joint projects.”

The National Archivist, Charles Farrugia thanked the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library and The Malta Study Centre for their outstanding input into this project. “You are key partners of the National Archives in our efforts to preserve the Maltese national memory and make it accessible to wider audiences.”


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