New website preserves the oral and visual memory of Maltese people

Listen to interviews with fisherfolk, British expatriates, and many more in the National Archives' new portal Memorja

Photo: National Archives of Malta
Photo: National Archives of Malta

Maltese history enthusiasts will be able to hear interviews and view documents that set in stone the lives, craft, and work of Maltese people throughout history.

A new portal, Memorja, developed by the National Archives, collects historical material in oral and audio-visual form and showcases it online.

“Through this step, the National Archives are establishing themselves as the central entity in the maintenance of audio-visual documentation as well as the oral history of our people,” archives CEO Charles Farrugia said.

The website is split into two main sections: Ilħna (Voices) and Vettrina (Showcase). Ilħna is a collection of interviews with medical professionals, fisherfolk, British expatriates, and many more who recollected their time in Malta while practicing their craft.

Vettrina showcases a number of collections acquired by the National Archives through private donations.

Several people and entities collaborated with the National Archives on this project.Behind the scenes, procedures and protocols were developed to establish how the material is to be collected, catalogued, and preserved in an accessible way.

Jose Herrera, the minister responsible for cultural heritage, said at the inauguration that he hopes the project will grow and strengthen over time.

“We will continue to strengthen this vision in the project to build new National Archives in Ta’ Qali, where government is committed to ensuring that these new archives will not only be adapted for traditional archiving, where we’ve developed a certain specialisation in protecting the material, but also for audio-visual, oral, and digital archiving,” Herrera said.