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Rehabilitation Of Notarial Archives Building

The aim of this project is to transform the Notarial Archives at No. 24 St Christopher Street, Valletta and the abutting building at No. 217 St Paul’s Street into one unit, which will be a leading centre for historical and scientific investigation that will be fully accessible to the local and international research community. The intention is to establish a state-of-the-art conservation hub which, apart from servicing the collection of priceless volumes on site, will also act as a learning institution and cater for the needs of the private sector, thus making the project fully sustainable and a leader in the preservation of paper heritage. 

Concurrently this will ensure that the rich and unique collection of notarial documents is preserved and protected in a professional, efficient and accessible manner for future generations of researchers and the general public. Holistically this will contribute to the European City of Culture legacy by supporting and promoting excellence in monitoring, conservation and research.

The project is headed by ​the Chief Notary to Government Dr. Keith Francis German, with the continuous support of the Ministry, a number of expert consultants and the Restoration Directorate.

 
The Project focusses on the following themes:
Creating an internal link between No. 217 St Paul’s Street and No. 24 St Christopher Street so as to provide the essential space for the project to materialize;
 
Converting No. 217 into a state-of-the-art building having the ideal environmental conditions for the preservation of the notarial collection presently housed at No. 24 St Christopher Street, and creating a small museum and visitors’ centre that will showcase this precious collection to increase public awareness;
 
Converting No. 24 St Christopher Street into a state-of-the-art conservation laboratory and research centre, which includes lecture and conference space;
 
Converting both buildings such as to create a zero-carbon-footprint environment;
 
Providing an unprecedented link between a historical archive, the University of Malta and foreign universities which will target the co-operation of all institutions and support the development of scientific investigation to the highest level. This will be aimed at establishing the Archives as a leader in its field, bringing academics of high repute especially from around the Mediterranean to meet and exchange research at the archives.​
 
Providing short academic courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level, internships and placements for both qualified and aspiring book and paper conservators as well as paleographers (a discipline which at present our tertiary education sector does not cater for but which it ought to embark on due to our huge amount of unread paper heritage).
 
Using some of the new space for outreach programmes, including lectures, to raise awareness among the general public, as well as to highlight, through IT facilities, the digitisation project.
 
Setting up collaboration/synergies with UoM Faculties (Built Environment, Science, Engineering, Humanities, International Institute for Baroque Studies) where students, especially those following Masters programmes dedicated to Cultural Heritage Management and Conservation (but not only), and those doing dissertations with a CH / conservation slant (there are more and more students in each of these Faculties now taking an interest) can use the building and/or the collection for research purposes (could be environmental monitoring, management, scientific analysis, etc). ​ 
 
Providing specialized book and paper conservation services according to the highest international standards, thus creating a centre for excellence in this sphere and ensuring a constant flow of work.
 
Attracting private clients for the provision of services that will make the archives fully sustainable.
 
Attracting private sponsors in these initiatives in order to mobilize corporate responsibility. (e.g. Adopt a Notary/Item Scheme)
 
Creating an unprecedented link between the historic manuscript collection and the Arts in their various forms.
 
These properties are located at a key node between St Christopher Street and St Paul’s Street, close to the Mediterranean Conference Centre, a short walk from the Lower Barrakka Gardens and not far from the Grandmaster’s Palace.  Yet this area of Valletta is currently dilapidated with a lot of untapped potential. This project will include the restoration of the interiors of these buildings as well as of the external facades overlooking St Christopher Street and St Paul’s Street.  It will also include the setting up of a visitor’s centre with an exhibition space that will portray the rich roots of the Maltese Nation and the important role that these islands played throughout the centuries.  It promises to be a hub of cultural activity and a new destination for tourists and locals visiting Valletta. ​

 
This project is intended to become a catalyst for the regeneration of the area and will thus be contributing towards the improvement of a degraded urban area, creating an internal link between No. 217 St Paul’s Street and No. 24 St Christopher Street so as to provide the essential space for the project to materialize. Apart from generating employment during the execution phase of the project, the Archives will provide new employment opportunities. 
 
This project fits in within the objectives of V18, namely by:

     Ensuring Cultural Sustainability through the Reinvention of Cultural Education  – This project will be an opportunity to invest in a project which is in itself sustainable and will seek to invest in a programme of professional training for those engaged in the   cultural sphere.  

     Incentivising and Sustaining the Economy of Culture – The centre set up through this project could become a hub of activity for professionals from across the world and a new destination for tourists and locals, hence contributing even to the touristic product.​

   Contributing to the European City of Culture Legacy by supporting and promoting excellence in Monitoring, Conservation and Research.          

Office of the Notary to Government and Notarial Archives
2/3, Mikiel Anton Vassalli Street 
Valletta VLT 1310
 
Telephone
 
+356 22479800