Fr. Columba and Fr. Nageeb were featured when they were together in Iraq this month reviewing the project to preserve the area's manuscripts containing priceless cultural history. The story, Piece By Piece, Monks Scramble To Preserve Iraq's Christian History, can be found on NPR's website here: http://n.pr/1z9tvUq. The story aired on January 25, 2015 on NPR's Weekend Edition.
HMML receives grant to digitize manuscript collection from the Cathedral Museum and Archives of Mdina, Malta
A grant from the Rahr Foundation will support The Malta Study Center’s efforts to digitize, conserve, and catalog a collection of medieval manuscripts at the Cathedral Museum and Archives of Mdina, Malta. This project will be the first digitization project at the Cathedral’s archives, building on the major microfilming project undertaken at Mdina during the 1970s and 1980s by the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML).
The Rahr Foundation’s grant will support the digitization of medieval and early modern manuscripts not microfilmed as part of the original microfilm preservation project. During a recent visit to Malta in September 2014, Dr. Daniel K. Gullo, the Joseph S. Micallef Curator of The Malta Study Center, and the Cathedral’s archivist, Monsignor John Azzopardi, recognized the need to preserve the numerous individual parchments, manuscript codices, and other valuable documents found in the collection.
“The medieval records of Malta are few in comparison to the period after the occupation of the island by the Order of Saint John of the Hospital,” said Dr. Gullo. “Several documents, especially those of Kings Alfonso V and Ferdinand II of Aragón, record the relationship between the island and the Crown of Aragón prior to the arrival of the Knights to Malta in 1530.” The manuscripts include two 12th-century illuminated Aquitanian liturgical music manuscripts, several manuscript codices with liturgical works, sermons, and music, and many royal letters, papal documents, and charters.
The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library in Collegeville, Minnesota, preserves handwritten manuscripts around the world and makes the digital images freely available in an effort to understand and protect the history of humanity.