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Reading Room Sessions

Whether you use the main reading room at the Head Office in Rabat, the Legal Documentation Section in Mdina, or the Gozo Section depends on the type of research query you have. Records of the Law Courts for the period 1530 - 1899 are held at the Mdina repository. All other administrative records for the post-1800 period are held at the Head Office in Rabat, and thus the reading room in Rabat has to be frequented. The records created by Gozo entities are consulted on site in Gozo. 
On entering ther respective reading room you will be asked to show an identification document (ID card or passport) and sign a register on each visit and to observe a set of regulations designed to protect the valuable, often irreplaceable, material for consultation there. 
In the reading room one finds: 
 
• A reference library which helps the researcher read about the context of the topic under investigation  
• A finding aids unit with a complete range of printed catalogues  
• Copying facilities  
• An information desk with a range of publications and information sheets  
• A rack for researchers to put their bags on  
• Preservation gadgets such as foam book rests and snakes to help you preserve the records  
 
For all archival items, you simply fill in an order form and hand it in. The items will then be fetched from the strong-rooms to your table. The number of items that can be issued per person per day is of ten items per session, and also this may be limited according to the circumstances. 
 
Maps 
The National Archives is in possession of thousands of plans and drawings originating from the Royal Engineers Office. These were accessioned from the Land Registry in April 1995. Most drawings relate to buildings and sites formerly under the Ordnance Department. Another group of plans were accessioned from the Museum of Archaeology. No drawings related to private property of dwellings exists at the National Archives, except in cases where the drawing forms part of a government file. 
As access to this fonds is provided in the map room at ground floor level and not at the main reading room, it is a must that researchers book for an appointment prior to visiting the archives.  
Photographic Material 
A group of albums depicting Royal festivities and visits forms the main nucleus of photographic material available for research at the National Archives of Malta. Other photos accessioned from the Public Works Department depict reconstruction works in various parts of Malta. The compilation of an extensive on-line catalogue forms part of the National Picture Archives initiative. LINK TO NMP 
 
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