Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica : Journal of the Malta Historical Society. 1(1952)1(61-62)

Report on the Work of the Society for 1950-51

The main activities of the Malta Historical Society during the years 1951 and 1952 were directed along the lines of policy established by the Committee. These are here dealt with under separate headings:

CARD-INDEX. At its first meeting the Committee decided on the compilation of a card-index of Melitensia. This index is to include both published and manuscript sources and its coverage will extend to material existing in foreign archives and libraries. Special attention is being given to the main periodicals containing articles of historical interest, and so far La Diocesi di Malta, Archivum Melitense, LArchivio Storico di Malta and The Law Journal are being indexed. In time the indexing of these periodicals will make it possible for the Society to publish a separate “Subject-Index to Maltese Periodicals,” thus providing a badly needed reference tool for research workers.

NATIONAL REGISTER OF ARCHIVES. The Society directed its attention to the existence of parish and private archives and to manuscripts and other documents in private possession. A list of owners of such private documents has been drawn up and a questionnaire has been formulated with a view to carrying out a preliminary survey of existing archive material other than that preserved in Government repositories.

READING OF PAPERS. Five meetings were held at which the following papers were read:

On the 21st February, 1951: Mgr. Professor A. Bonnici, D.D., B.L.Can., read a paper on “What is History?,” and Chev. Vincenzo Bonello read another paper on “Il Primo Architetto dell’Ordine a Malta.”

On the 26th April, 1951: Lecture by Mr. Lionel H. Butler, M.A, on “The Università of Malta in the 15th Century.”

On the 6th June, 1951: Paper by Fr. Bonaventura Fiorini, O.M.C. on “Le Relazioni tra l’Ordine Gerosolimitano e i Minori Conventuali di Malta.”

On the 26th September, 1951: Lecture by Miss Hilda I. Lee, M.A., on “The Development of the Malta Constitution 1813-1849.”

On the 4th December, 1951: Lecture by Professor W. Ganado, M.D., M.R.C.P., on “Political Parties in Malta following on the Rising against the French.”

[p.62] PUBLICATIONS. The Society decided to publish a journal, to be called Melita Historica, which will appear twice a year if enough material is available. The main trend of the journal will be bibliographical in order to provide guidance to history students. Unpublished source material will figure in the journal, starting with the Report of the Commissioners of 1812 and Mgr. Duzina’s Report on his Apostolic Visit in 1575. Occasional monographs on special subjects will also be published if considered necessary.

OTHER ACTIVITIES. During the years under review the Committee agreed (a) to draw up an iconographical index of persons and events of importance in Maltse History, (b) to compile a list of persons and events deserving to be commemorated by a monument, and (c) obtain from the Museum Authorities and from the Registrar of H.M. Superior Courts permission to allow members of the Society free access to local antiquities and to the Court Archives.

CORRESPONDENCE: During the same period correspondence was exchanged with the Director of the British School at Rome with a view to carrying out further excavations on the sites of the Roman Villa at Rabat and at Għajn Tuffieħa. This matter will be discussed with the Director on his next visit to Malta.Government was likewise approached (a) to erect a monument to Grand Master La Valette outside Kingsway (b) to transfer the registers at present kept in the Vittoria Church, Valletta, to the Royal Malta Library, (c) to publish the minutes and proceedings of the Malta National Assembly of 1945-46, and (d) to assemble at one place the records of the District Committees set up during the war and to make them freely accessible to students.

FINANCE. The statements of accounts for the two years in question showed a credit balance of £30 - 3 - 0 on the 17th January, 1952.