TBG Limited, a Malta-based industrial holding company, has donated the sum of €10,000 to New Leaf, an organisation dedicated to preserve and digitise the books at the National Library of Malta, for its book preservation and digitisation programme.
Half of the funds have purchased a specialist piece of equipment to digitise small thick books which generally have a rigid binding and inserts – such as documents inserted onto one page – which need to be unfolded and flattened. These books also tend to close naturally or spread their pages out in the form of a fan.
The remaining €5,000 will help to preserve the Libri Bullarum, which are registers of the chancery bulls issued under the magisterial seal by the grand master and the council. The subject matter concerned the admission of knights, issuance of passports, collations of the priories and commanderies, bestowal of titles of nobility, the election of judges, and the instructions issued to ambassadors and galley captains.
These registers also contain diplomatic correspondence, military matters, the administration of the central convent on Rhodes, and the summons to chapters general. These registers of charters are grouped according to the reign of the specific grandmaster during the period covered.
Oliver Mamo, National Librarian, said: “This donation enables us to have equipment that will not only speed up the process for book preservation and digitisation for future generations, but also minimises contact with books and documents by operators. The Libri Ballarum are incredibly important and their preservation is paramount.”
“TBG supports selected causes in Malta as part of its social responsibility as a Maltese company and is privileged to have many worthwhile causes to support. New Leaf was selected for these contributions as their work focuses on supporting the preservation and making available to a wider public, the unique set of assets that Malta has in the books and documents held by the National Library” said Clifford Thring, the Company Secretary.
“It is only with corporate sponsors, membership fees and private donations that we can continue the work we have started to assist the National Library’s experts to preserve and digitise books and documents for future generations,” commented Monique Chambers, Chair, New Leaf. “This donation brings the total funds raised to almost €50,000 in under two years”.
The National Library houses 750,000 books, many of which have both historic importance and require both preservation, repair and digitisation.
To find out more about the charity, its work and how you can help, please visit www.newleaf.org.mt