In September 2015, the Malta Study Center has worked with the Cathedral Archives of Mdina to inventorise and digitise documents which had not yet been microfilmed. These had been done in order to preserve historical documents which shed light on the history of Malta. The collection of Inquisition documents, parchments, choral books and papers date from the 15th to the 20th century. The project was made possible by a grant from the Rahr Foundation. Thanks to archivist Mgr John Azzopardi, assisted by Mario Gauci, assistant archivist, and Sara Ramíres Calatayud, the metadata cataloguer for the Malta Study Center, nearly 500 documents were inventoried. To address problems due to the size – having some documents measuring 75cm – or due to the fine writing, a special camera, a special table and a lighting system were purchased and installed on site. Moreover, to limit transfer of iron gall ink corrosion, Ms Ramírez used acid-free paper to separate the documents.

Above: The digitisation process of a large Bishop Royas choral book. Mr Stephen Busuttil, photographer, and Mr Mario Gauci, assistant archivist, used a special table and a lighting system technique to prepare the documents for digitisation.

Above, left to right: Dr William Zammit, Dr Daniel K. Gullo, Curator of the Malta Study Center, Prof. Stanley Fiorini, administrator Mrs Mariella Cutajar and Mgr John Azzopardi, Director of the Cathedral Archives, discussing the digitisation project.