The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

National Archives building will be state-of-the-art centre for preservation, research

Giulia Magri Monday, 3 June 2019, 13:25 Last update: about 4 months ago

We are aiming to have a state of the art centre for both preservation and research, and an iconic repository which will store the collective Maltese memory and identity, said Malta’s National Archivist Charles Farrugia.

Farrugia was speaking at the signing of an agreement for the transfer of land that will host the National Archives Project in Ta Qali, earlier this afternoon in the National Archives in Rabat. “This Sunday, 9 June is marked as International Archives Day and we believe that this important signing today is a significant moment in the history of Maltese archives.”

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He explained that the National Archives has the responsibility to preserve the collective memory of the Maltese nation, through the preservation of documentation. He said that the current situation which Maltese Archivists face is difficult. “Today we are facing issues such as a lack of space an facilities to store and preserve such documentation and that as a country we do not have a correct building to collect and protect such documentation. It is not just important to store this documentation, but that researchers also have the correct facilities and tools to do their research.”

He said that today marks as the first step for the new building of the National Archives in Ta Qali. The proposed area in Ta Qali was shown to be close to the Malta Aviation Museum.  He said that in the upcoming months, the Archive will be commissioning international archivists to evaluate the project and new building, so that it the project will be up to international standards. “Apart from assistance from the Maltese Government, we currently have assistance from international archives from the UK, Estonia, France and Finland and we will be having a public consultation for anyone who is interested in helping with the design of the National Archives building.”

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Ian Borg said he was extremely happy that this project has finally taken its first steps, in the importance of preserving the local history. “The National Archives will be now in a more central and modern places, which I have no doubt will improve the level of preservation of Maltese history.”

This is an opportunity to bring more awareness to the importance of these buildings and the purpose behind them, storing and preserving Maltese documentation, said Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Property Market, Chris Agius.

Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Education and Employment stressed that the new National Archives are extremely important for the future generation, who will be researching the collective memory of Maltese identity, one which he described as “entanglement of many cultures.” Bartolo also commemorated and expressed his condolences to the passing of Former Nationalist MP Micheal Bonnici, who passed away earlier last week. “He was a man with a good heart and was a person who was sensitive and hard working. He was a decent politician, who was amongst us as we now face the political situation in our country which has become one of a ‘Tom and Jerry’ situation.”

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