The Episcopal and the Pro-Vicar’s archives at Mdina
The Bishop of Malta had his Curia and Tribunal in Valletta, but for practical purposes he appointed two Provicars, one for Gozo and one for the areas around Mdina to act in his name in those areas. The Provicars kept full records and presided over their ecclesiastical tribunals. The Provicar of Mdina kept his archives in the episcopal palace of Mdina. The office of Provicar for Mdina was retained practically up to the Second World War, even though his responsibilities and powers had been considerably reduced. These archives were transferred to the vacant palace of the Old Seminary by Archbishop Michael Gonzi circa the year 1944. The volumes, unlike those of the Inquisition Tribunal, were in a rather good state of conservation. They were made available for research in 1968.
About six years later, with the progress of the microfilm project (HMML), Archbishop Gonzi encouraged us to upgrade these archives with many thousands of loose documents conserved in the basement of the Valletta Curia. These were catalogued chronologically and filed in folders forming over one thousand volumes. These papers never formed part of the Provicar’s Archives but since they were added to the same group, the whole collection started to be referred to as ‘The Episcopal and Provicarial Archives of Mdina, Malta’.