Grand Master Jean-Baptiste Lascaris created the Notarial Archives of Malta in 1640, when he ordered that all public notaries place their registers in a central depository. There were separate depositories in Notabile and in Valletta until 1850, when a single notarial repository was established in Valletta at the Auburge d'Italie. The Notarial Archives became the responsibility of the Notary to Government in 1922, but suffered tremendously during World War II due to the bombing of Valletta conducted by German and Italian armed forces. After the war, the historical Notarial Archives were transferred to its present location at St. Christopher Street in Valletta. The current building contains over 20,000 registers containing notarial records, the earliest dating back to the fifteenth century.