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HMML’s Malta Study Center Completes Digitization of the Manuscripts and Rare Melitensia at the Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, Malta

August 12, 2015
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HMML’s Malta Study Center has completed the digitization of the manuscripts and rare Melitensia located at the Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, including the important historic documents and family archives of Olof Frederick Gollcher. 

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 collection contains several rare manuscripts and books related to the history of Malta and Europe, in addition to rare papal documents and letters of the grandmasters of the Order of Malta. The project, which began in February 2015, produced over 90,000 digitized images from the collection. 

Photographer Mr. Stephen Busuttil taking the last picture of the Olof Frederick Gollcher Archives, August 2015.

Image: Photographer Mr. Stephen Busuttil taking the last picture of the Olof Frederick Gollcher Archives, August 2015.
“This was a short, intensive project working with local volunteers, staff at the museum and international organizations,” remarked Dr. Daniel K. Gullo, Joseph S. Micallef Curator of the Malta Study Center. “In addition to digitizing the documents, the Center created a new online catalog for the Palazzo Falson’s library collection and rehoused the archives in modern acid-free archival boxes. We were thrilled that the project’s novelty garnered local media attention, being featured in both the Times of Malta and Marcella Busuttil’s television series L-Arkiviji.”

The digitization project was funded in part by a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, whose philanthropic work has provided substantial support for the humanities, arts, and research libraries. “We are extremely thankful for the support provided by the The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation,” noted Dr. Gullo. “In addition to funding the digitization of the collection, grant funds supported the purchase of acid-free materials in which to store the documents and preserve them for the future.”

The Center wishes to thank Ms. Francesca Balzan, Curator of the Palazzo Falson, and Mr. Michael Lowell, CEO of the Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, for their support and tireless efforts to gather volunteers to organize and catalog the collection and prepare it for digitization. The quick realization of the project owes much to the volunteers at the Palazzo Falson, who spent years organizing and cataloging the archives and library prior to HMML’s work.

The Malta Study Center was founded in 1973 by the Honorary Consul General of Malta-St. Paul/Minneapolis, Joseph S. Micallef, KMOb and functions as a curated study center within HMML. The Center’s primary mission is to preserve and make accessible the written culture of Malta and the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, also known as the Order of Malta.