Seven national entities have agreed to work together to digitise historic texts, sounds and other important documents to preserve them for future generations.
The University of Malta, National Archives of Malta, the Broadcasting Authority, the Department of Information, Malta Libraries, MCAST and PBS are to work together in this landmark collaborative audio-visual digitisation programme. The National Archives in collaboration with the M3P Foundation is also helping coordination this mission.
Efforts to digitise important national documents date back several years, with an Audiovisual Archive to preserve Maltese songs dating back to the 1930s also established some years ago.
Education Minister Evarist Bartolo presided over the signing of this charter during a ceremony held at the National Archives in Rabat. Pro-Rector Godfrey Baldacchino represented the University of Malta at the event.
A National Audio-visual Archives Steering Committee was established last year to address electoral manifesto pledges to preserve Malta’s audio-visual heritage and oral histories by consolidating the sound, video and image collections held by a number of government departments and public sector organisations, the university said in a statement.
Mr Bartolo explained that the National Archives would be tasked with leading the implementation of the project, adding that the seven signed-up entities would be merging their resources to digitise, curate and provide access to their audio-visual collections.
The National Library in Valletta launched its own digital archive last year, allowing the public to read books dating back to the 15th century from the comfort of their computer or mobile phone.
National Archivist Charles Farrugia, spoke of the need to develop and enact a systematic plan to ensure the long-term preservation of substantial audio-visual materials on a national level. Some of this work will become accessible to the public through a consolidated online catalogue coordinated by the National Archives.
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