The Notarial Archives and their contribution to Maltese historiography
The monthly series of cultural talks organised by Din l-Art Ħelwa, at the Judge Caruana Curran Hall, continues with a lecture which aims to highlight the historical importance and uniqueness of the thousands of documents deposited at Malta’s Notarial Archives. Dating back to the medieval period, these archives are considered to hold the collective memory of the Maltese nation. While the first part of the lecture will discuss recent developments in the on-going preservation process of these precious volumes, the second part will be exclusively dedicated to a discussion which will seek to interpret selected notarial contracts dating back to the pre-siege period.
Our speaker will be Dr. Joan Abela Ph.D. who read History at the University of Malta as a mature student, and obtained her B.A. (Hons) degree in 2003. She furthered her studies in History at Master’s level focusing on port activities in mid-sixteenth century Malta, a study for which she obtained a Distinction in 2007. In 2008 she was awarded a Malta Government Scholarship to pursue her studies abroad and concurrently another Scholarship from the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies at the University of Exeter. Opting to choose the latter and under the supervision of Dr. Maria Fusaro, she read for a PhD in Maritime Studies. Her research interests focus mainly on sixteenth century Malta, with particular reference to port activities and notarial primary sources. Joan is a founding member of the Notarial Archives Resources Council, Secretary of the Malta Historical Society, board member of the Planning Authority’s Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee and visiting assistant lecturer at the Department of Legal History and Methodology, University of Malta.