Thousands of old notarial deeds are being digitised

The Notarial Archives contain the original deeds of Maltese Notaries Public. Currently the workers at this office, who are also assisted by volunteers, are digitizing the acts that even date back to the fifteenth century.

Government Notary, Dr Keith German, told Television Malta that within nine months 25,000 contracts with over 1 and a half million pages were scanned.

The Notarial Archives is located in an old building in one of the quietest streets of the capital. They volumes date back to the time of the Order of the Knights, with the oldest preserved volume being that of Paolo Bonello dating back to the fifteenth century. The cover of these volumes contains the scripts documenting hundreds of years of history of notarial deeds and records. However, these are documents that are studied and examined on a daily basis by legal and historical professionals, among others.

With a view to continuing to enjoy these scripts for future generations and at the same time facilitating access to them, a process of digitization of volumes is currently underway. Notary Keith German explained that the process began last June and so far 25 thousand contracts have been scanned which means one million and five hundred thousand pages.

“There’s a wealth of information. We have a lot of researchers and we’re finding a lot of volunteers who come in their spare time to help us with digitization – the process of digitizing all the contracts we have today.”

Minister of Justice, Edward Zammit Lewis, said that since June last year this office has processed the entire 2016 and 2017 volume collection of all notaries in Malta. He said the Government Notary’s office receives about 140 orders for contracts and wills every day. “The idea is that a citizen can take advantage of the service from the comfort of his home. The idea is to always put the citizen at the centre. Since the beginning of this project people have decreased by 80%, including professionals. . ”

The Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, said that this system was being carried out with around € 100,000 from European funds. Dr Zrinzo Azzopardi said that the Notarial Archives were benefiting from another project of around € 4.2 million also financed by European funds, to preserve, preserve and digitize all notarial archives.

The Principal Permanent Secretary, Mr. Mario Cutajar, said that this investment ties in well with the Government’s broad strategy to provide am unhampered service to the people 24 hours a day all year round.