The Scope of the Conservation
A set of nine 18th century maritime documents have been saved from deterioration through conservation through a €15,000 donation made by the Salvo Grima Foundation to the Notarial Archives Foundation in Valletta, Malta as part of a five-year conservation project completed this year.
The documents consist of a series of Captain Logbooks describing daily life at sea on corsair vessels in the Mediterranean. Documents include a journal of onboard activities and lists of ship supply provisions ranging from wine, coffee, butter and armaments. These logbooks date back to the twenty-year span between 1777 to 1797.
Conservation Treatment Reports on the volumes were presented to Salvo Grima Foundation President Olivia Brincat by Dr Joan Abela, President of the Notarial Archives Foundation during a reception held at the Salvo Grima Group premises on 17th February 2023.
Dr Abela thanked the Salvo Grima Foundation for their generous donation and stressed the importance of conserving notarial documents for their historic value, not only to Malta, but also as part of world maritime heritage. Such documents record the experiences and voices of a large variety of individuals, many of whom are frequently invisible in other written records from the past.
Maritime Museum senior curator and author Liam Gauci also gave a talk on the colourful but morally ambiguous adventures of 18th Mediterranean corsairs. Individuals who operated within a complex legal framework and were highly-regarded by the Knights of Saint John and neighbouring rulers.
Conservation treatment was carried out on the maritime documents by conservator Chanelle Mifsud Briffa and a presentation was delivered on the subject by paleographer Vanessa Buhagiar.
Set up in 2020, the Salvo Grima Foundation is responsible for donating a proportion of Salvo Grima Group profits to charities which aim to promote and safeguard Maltese culture, heritage, education, the environment and social solidarity.