HSBC Foundation unravelling new history narrative at Notarial Archives
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Hundreds of years of historical records are slowly unveiling a new picture of life in Malta over the last 600 years. Restorers in the Notarial Archives in Valletta are piecing together, page by page and fragment by fragment, fascinating accounts of day to day life on the island and the surrounding shores.
The historical records stretch along some two kilometres of shelving and it is estimated that there is over a hundred years of restoration work to be done. That said the last sixteen months has seen huge progress by the Notarial Archive volunteers who have a passion for saving this both beautiful and crucial store of Malta’s history.
“If it weren’t for legions of volunteers from HSBC Malta, we wouldn’t even have made the progress we have,” said Dr Joan Abela, Notarial Archives Resources Council member.
“In fact it was HSBC Malta Foundation’s donation of €100,000 that set the ball rolling in beginning to conserve these important historical documents. Their action created a positive ripple effect.”
HSBC Malta staff regularly volunteer at the Notarial Archives in St Christopher Street, Valletta, and lend a helping hand to the paper conservators of the project. In 2014, more than 150 persons volunteered, while another 100 helped in 2013.
Meanwhile, the Archives’ Digitisation Project, that is currently underway, thanks also to the assistance from HSBC Malta employees, will ensure the long-term preservation of the documents while significantly improving public access to a wealth of notarial information.
This is part of the Notarial Archives Resources Council’s drive to turn this important repository of documents into a leading centre for both Maltese and Mediterranean historical study.