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 from the Sacra Audientia Collection and records from the Roman Inquisition in Malta housed in the National Archives.
The Sacra Audientia (SAU), or Supreme Tribunal of Appeal, served as the highest appeal court in Malta during the period of the Knights Hospitaller (1530-1798). The tribunal was presided over by the Grand Master, the Council, the Giudice Capitanale, the Castellano, the Judges of Appeal, and others according to the case treated. Records from this tribunal date from 1538 to 1788. “We are excited to digitize this small collection from the SAU Collection,” said Dr. Daniel Gullo, Joseph S. Micallef Curator of the Malta Study Center. “The collection contains the appeals from the civil and criminal cases found in the Magna Curia Castellaniae Acta Originalia, which the Center digitized between 2007 and 2015.”
In addition to the Sacra Audientia, the Center will also digitize the Tribunal Fabricae Sancti Petri de Urbe Fonds (TSP), the branch of the Inquisition that collected money for the construction and maintenance of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Tribunal also served as an arbitrator between the Bishop of Malta and the Grand Master of the Order of Saint John. “The Cathedral Archives in Mdina remains the primary repository for the records of the Tribunal Fabricae Sancti Petri de Urbe, which the Center microfilmed during the 1970s and 1980s,” noted Dr. Gullo. “Digitizing the Inquisitorial documents allows us to join the two collections together through microform and digital surrogates at HMML.”
The signing of the agreement took place during Archives Week in Malta, when the National Archives celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary of the National Archives Act. HMML and the Malta Study Center congratulate the National Archives on its success and continued efforts to preserve Maltese culture.
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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.