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HMML’s Malta Study Center begins new digitization project at the Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum

May 11, 2015
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The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library’s (HMML’s) Malta Study Center has signed an agreement with the Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum in Mdina, Malta, in association with Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti to digitize the palazzo’s historic library and archival manuscript records.

The Palazzo Falson is the former home of Captain Olof Frederick Gollcher, OBE (1889-1962). Gollcher was an artist, scholar and philanthropist, but also a discerning collector of objets d’art and written works. The Malta Study Center will digitize over 100 manuscripts in the library and museum collections, consisting mainly of historical titles and theology, several of which are related to the history of Malta and the Order of Malta.  

In addition to the library, the Center will digitize the Olof Frederick Gollcher Archives, consisting of over 60 boxes of archival material dating from the 15th through the 20th century. Also included are rare materials acquired by Olof Gollcher and his family, and records from the historian Major Henry Balbi and the International Institute of Mediterranean Archaeology. “Gollcher was a first-rate artist and collector of rare materials and art,” noted Dr. Daniel K. Gullo, Joseph S. Micallef Curator of the Malta Study Center. “Outside of his rare books and manuscripts works, his own archival documents reveal the history of international non-state actors working to preserve and create culture in Europe and the Mediterranean during the 20th century.”

The digitization project is funded in part by a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, whose philanthropic work provides support for the humanities, arts, and research libraries. “Funding from the Delmas Foundation will bring these documents to the world’s scholars for the very first time in digital format, while new archival boxes will protect the original collections from environmental factors that can cause documents to deteriorate,” noted Dr. Gullo.The Malta Study Center was founded in 1973 by Honorary Consul General of Malta-Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Joseph S. Micallef, KMOb. The center sponsors digitization projects to preserve the history of Malta, the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, and the history of the Crusades. The Center also acquires antiquarian and modern publications about Malta’s history, literature and culture. For more information on the project, watch HMML’s web and social media sites, and biannual issues of Melitensia

One of the world’s leading cultural preservation institutions, HMML’s mission is to identify, digitally photograph, catalog and archive the contents of endangered manuscripts belonging to threatened communities, and to make these unique cultural resources available to users around the world. Since 1965, HMML has formed partnerships with over 540 libraries and archives to photograph more than 140,000 medieval, renaissance and early-modern manuscripts from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India.