13 Nov 2012

The Archdiocese of Malta, in collaboration with Exigy, has digitised, uploaded and published a vast collection of documents and manuscripts, showing both ecclesiastical and civil records, to be reachable online by researchers, casual visitors and the general public. Such documents and manuscripts form part of the archives of the Archbishop and the Parishes of Malta, some of which date back to the 16th century. The newly launched portal where the digitised records were published– archives.maltadiocese.org – was inaugurated by Archbishop Paul Cremona O.P. on Wednesday, 7th November 2012.

Although the archival collection was microfilmed between 1973 and 1989, the microfilming only allowed limited access to the archives and humidity shortened the shelf life of the microfilms, some of which have deteriorated beyond repair. This created the need for the Archdiocese of Malta to transfer all the microfilms of the archival collection into digital form.

Exigy played a fundamental role in such a transitional project, having developed the dedicated front-end portal for viewing and downloading archives, linking it to the back-end document repository where all the digital archives have been uploaded. Exigy also coordinated the microfilm digital process and cataloguing into the repository. The enriching features of the system, based on Microsoft SharePoint, enabled the classification of each digitised record based on diverse criteria (such as the type of document, where it is located and the ecclesiastical or civil period that it relates to) distinguishing between confidential and public-facing records.

"In view of the cultural and historical value of the archived manuscripts and documents, it is vital that their digital replica endures as technology evolves," said Dominic Scicluna, Business Development Manager at Exigy, who was present at the official launch on the 7th of November, "The solution that Exigy has implemented enables the archives to be securely stored, accessed and read for the very long-term."