[WATCH] 24,000 hours of footage from PBS archives, dating back as far as 1960, being digitised


The €4.8 million digitisation project will give Maltese families access to the historical wealth contained within the footage, Culture Minister Owen Bonnici says

Some of the footage which is being digitised dates back to the 1960s
Some of the footage which is being digitised dates back to the 1960s

Malta's public broadcaster has embarked on a project to digitise 24,000 hours worth of recorded footage, dating as far back as the 1960s.

The €4.8 million project will see the recordings - which are currently stored on physical mediums, including VHS tapes – being digitised for posterity.

PBS chairman Tonio Portughese said the digitisation process was currently ongoing, and was able to start after the challenges and feasibility of such a project were identified. 

Prior to the process commencing, the PBS also obtained the go ahead from the government, acquired the necessary digitisation technology and indexed the required meta data, he said.

The footage will be digitally split into clips which will be located on a server at PBS premises and will be made accessible through a website and specific QR codes placed on totem poles and plaques in relation to heritage sites or attractions. Visitors will be able to access the clip using smart devices, such as mobile phones and tablets.

The PBS has over 42,000 hours worth of footage in its archives, with this particular project entailing the digitisation of 24,000 of these.

A total of €4 million of the €4.8 million required for the project will be coming from the European Union's European Regional Development Fund.

Culture Minister Owen Bonnici said the project would be granting Maltese families access to their own historical past.

"We are giving people their memories back," Bonnici said, "Through such a project, we are showing that we are committed to reopening the doors to the historic memory, and this applies to all sectors of our cultural heritage."

On his part, EU funds parliamentary secretary Aaron Farrugia said the digitisation project was one of several other projects connected with Malta's historical heritage - such as the MUŻA museum and the rehabilitation of the notarial archives – which were being funded by the ERDF.


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