Cathedral Archives - Archivum Cathedralis MelitÆ Fons HistoriÆ
2018 coincides with the 50th anniversary from the opening of the Cathedral Archives and the year which crowns Valletta as the European Capital of Culture. The Cathedral Archives Commission and the Metropolitan Chapter are presenting an exhibition of 50 documents selected from the various collections located in these archives situated in Villegaignon street, Mdina but will be exposed in the old refectory of the Cathedral Museum. The motivating theme and leit-motif of the exhibition entitled Archivum Cathedralis MelitÆ Fons HistoriÆ: A selection of 50 of documents from the Cathedral Archives spanning 800 years of History attempts to show the importance of the manuscripts as an essential primary source of the study of these islands’ identity as manifested in such important aspects of their content related with: history, art, music, architecture, language, inquisition and social history, church-state relations and other areas of study. The exhibition will be displaying 50 important manuscripts dating from the 12th to the 19th centuries. These constitute some of the most outstanding ensembles of handwritten manuscripts, some of which with explanatory diagrams or illuminations scarcely seen and unknown prior to this event. Each of the seven sections within the exhibition venue has its own integrity and is shown separately but is to be conceived as an integrated whole which shows the diversity of documentation conserved at the Mdina Cathedral Archives. The documents selected are grouped under seven headings: Medieval Malta, Art History, Aspects of Maltese History, Architecture, the Church of St John in Valletta, Malta’s Musical Heritage and the Maltese Language. Each section is preceded by a brief introductory essay by an expert on the subject, justifying the choice and the importance of the selected documents. These brief essays are authored by Prof. Stanley Fiorini for late Medieval Malta, Mgr John Azzopardi for Art History and St John’s Church, Mario Gauci for Architecture, Prof. William Zammit for General History, Dr Frederick Aquilina for Musical History and Prof. Joseph M. Brincat for the Maltese Language. Most of the manuscripts have been restored and digitized as part of the exhibition. In effect, they are now more accessible and are described in greater detail. The exhibition will be displayed for public viewing for a two-month duration from 2nd May till the 30th of June. Beyond the documentary exhibition which will visually highlight to the visiting audience an array of the rich patrimony conserved at the Cathedral Archive, the exhibition will be complemented by a fully-illustrated catalogue arranged thematically accompanied by a studied entry on each exhibit including also an explanation about the venue hall. The editors’ goal is to make the catalogue not only a record of the 50th anniversary exhibition, but also a reference work for further studies.