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.
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn.— The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library’s (HMML’s) Malta Study Center has signed an agreement with the National Archives of Malta to digitize archival records detailing the civil legal proceedings related to the Roman Inquisition in Malta.
Known as the Officium Civile Sacrae Inquisitionis (OSI) Fond, the collection contains records that date from 1605 to 1798, when the French ended the proceedings of the Roman Inquisition in Malta after their conquest of the island. “Given the increasing academic interest in the history of the Roman Inquisition, The Malta Study Center has made it a priority to preserve the records of the Holy Office,” said Dr. Daniel K. Gullo, Joseph S. Micallef Curator of The Malta Study Center.
Hill Museum & Manuscript Library’s Malta Study Center begins new digitization project
at the National Archives of Malta
National Archivist, Charles Farrugia stated, “This collaborative project with HMML not only safeguards the preservation of the records, but also help the archives strengthen their users’ services—especially through the Archives Portal Europe.”
This is the second digitizing studio HMML has established at the National Archives. The first began in 2007, and thus far has digitally preserved 1500 volumes of law court records dating back to the time of the Knights of Saint John.
Feb. 17, 2014
Hill Museum & Manuscript Library Receives Grant from Prince Claus Fund to Digitize Timbuktu Manuscripts
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. - The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) of Saint John’s University has received an award of $38,500 from the Cultural Emergency Response program of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, based in the Netherlands.
Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, HMML executive director, and HMML staff from Beirut and Collegeville have traveled to Mali twice in the last eight months to set up digitization studios and conduct training sessions for the local team at SAVAMA-DCI, which will make a digital record of the manuscripts. Since late December, the technicians in Mali have been working steadily with two complete studios. This project has the potential to be one of the largest efforts in HMML’s 49-year history.
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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.