Just one year since its inception, DFASinMalta has now embarked on its first project to help in national cultural conservation. DFASinMalta is supporting the Notarial Archives in Valletta and has chosen to adopt two volumes for conservation treatment. A donation of €500 has been made possible through funds raised at our lectures.
The Notarial Archives Resource Council (NARC) is a non-profit voluntary organization. It aims to protect, showcase and diffuse knowledge through the Notarial Archives’ treasure trove of historical information by helping to preserve it for future generations. The Notarial Archives at St Christopher Street, Valletta, are a main source for researchers and academics for historical investigation, providing an outstanding primary source for the uninterrupted series of daily activities from the late fifteenth century to date.
The Notarial Archives are currently undergoing an ambitious ERDF-funded programme of rehabilitation. This project seeks to stop the deterioration process of approximately 2km of notarial volumes and other manuscript material, including a collection which dates to the medieval period.
Owing to the dire need to preserve the country’s outstanding paper heritage, the NARC has also embarked on an Adoption Scheme which encourages the private sector, including institutions, companies and individuals to either adopt a notary’s collection of deeds, which may consist of several volumes; adopt a single volume, which may be of particular historical significance; or adopt a single historic document, by way of offering sponsorship for their conservation and future preservation.
With the help of its members, DFASinMalta has made this donation towards the conservation treatment of two manuscripts (pictured above) that are particularly precious because of the way they are bound, using block printed paper. These manuscripts date to 1821 and 1839. The treatment will require various interventions, such as surface cleaning, paper infills and spine repair. Furthermore a protective enclosure will be created to house the volumes safely and securely. All treatments will be carried out by professionals using the highest quality grade conservation materials and current techniques.