Malta Parish Archives

Digital finding aid and visualization of the Malta Parish Archives Manuscript Microfilm Project

 

BACKGROUND

The Malta Parish Archives project was created to facilitate access to parish records microfilmed by the Malta Study Center at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library between 1980 and 1989. In 2014, HMML's Malta Study Center and the Archdiocese of Malta signed and agreement to scan all of the parish microfilms, making them available in vHMML Reading Room.

Due to advances in metadata harvesting, Dr. Daniel K. Gullo and John Meyerhofer used JSON exported from vHMML Data Portal and the converter Sqlify to create two visualization of the parish archives to provide easy access to vHMML Reading Room. The data was first converted into Google Sheets then added using Awesome Table it was rendered on a page using JAVA script.

The data used for the timeline was created the same way, but required manual entry of the begin and end dates by taking the earliest volume and latest volume to create the overall range of the Malta parish archives. Awesome Table again was used for creating the visualization.

With the data prepared for Awesome Table, the file was exported from Google Sheets as a .CSV and imported into Datawrapper.de. This with Datawrapper some custom addition of html style codes was added within the application to stylize the format.

 

METHOD

1

Cataloging

Metadata was corrected and prepared by Dr. Daniel K. Gullo and Ms. Cláudia Garradas after consultation with Fr. Nicholas Doublet of the Archdiocese of Malta Archives. The metadata was originally gathered by Monsignor Dun Gwann Azzopardi in the 1980s.

2

Import of metadata

Metadata was imported into vHMML Reading Room and checked for errors.

3

Curated search in vHMML Data Portal

Each archive was searched individually and with the full metadata exported in JSON. This created several datasets, which would later be combined into a single sheet.

4

Sqlify conversion of JSON and upload into Google Sheets

We used Sqlify to convert the JSON into .CSV files, selected only those fields from the schema needed for the project. These .CSV files were then uploaded into two Google Sheets, with the timeline Google Sheet having manual data added.

5

Modify Google Sheets and Link to Awesome Table

Following the documentation of Awesome Table we created two projects, one as a catalog, and the other as a timeline, using Awesome Table. We set the parameters within the application and copied the JAVA script into the iframe of the final website.

6

Data Imported into Datawrapper

Using the data prepared for Awesome Tables, a file was downloaded from Google Sheets as .CSV and imported into Datawrapper.de. Data was organized and modified to fit the application and custom HMTL was used to stylize the tooltips

Connecting immigrant families to their heritage and history has been a guiding force behind this project. Seeing how this has aided the diaspora communities has motivated the team since the beginning.

Lead developer

Dr. Daniel K. Gullo

Daniel K. Gullo is the Joseph S. Micallef Curator of the Malta Study Center and Coordinator of Digital Humanities Projects at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

Having worked closed in the archives in Malta these last few years, I have seen how important it is to create virtual access to the collections for those who have emigrated from Malta and find it hard to return home.

Cataloger

Cláudia Garradas

Cláudia Garradas is the Site Director of the Malta Study Center

I have been working with Google apps for the last several years, and seeing how Awesome Table could be used to generate simple charts was a real revelation in the power of open technology.

Systems librarian

John Meyerhofer

John Meyerhofer is the Systems Librarian at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

 

PEOPLE

PARTNERS