ID: 34

FARRUGIA, Charles;  ELLIS, Ian


Charles Farrugia is Malta's National Archivist and also Chairman of the Association of Commonwealth Archvists and Records Managers. In 2009 he was the host and organizer of the CITRA conference in Malta. He lectures in archives and records management at the University of Malta and has delivered lectures on the theme in the UK, Budapest, and in Italy. In 2004 he was the promoter of the National Memory Project in Malta which is currently expanding its remit to include photographic and audio-visudal archives.


Ian Ellis, was born in Malta in 1950. He graduated from the University of Malta with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1975. Ian did not pursue a career in the family photographic business but embarked on an engineering career. He has worked for The Malta Drydocks, for Dowty Seals in the U.K. and also for Rotos Spa, in Milan and Malta. He then joined Thomas De La Rue Security Prints, where in fifteen years he covered various senior management posts. On his uncle’s death in 1993 he took over the family business and decided to continue his uncle’s initial work in reviving the Ellis Archive. The Archive has published four volumes based on the archive’s photographic collection of Malta and two volumes covering the archive’s naval collection. A comprehensive program is in hand to digitize the over 30000 negatives in the archive. Ian is married to Rita and has two children. Richard, an engineer, who lives and works in Barcelona and Timothy, a notary,


The Richard Ellis Archive - a landmark in Maltese and international photography

Brief summary:

Richard Ellis was born in London but moved to Malta aged 19 in 1861.  He  set up his own shop in 43, Strada Stretta, Valletta.  The current owner of the archive Ian Ellis is collaborating with the National Archives of Malta to develop it into an archive of international repute and attract foreign photographic archives to join in this venture. 


The first part of the talk will be deliverd by Ian Ellis who will trace the history of the Ellis family in Malta, the work done by Ellis and also highlight technical and important photos of the time.  The presentation will focus a lot on the visual elements of the rich holdigns.  The second part of the talk will be delivered by Charles Farrugia who will speak about how such a collection can be used to protect and promote the cultural identity of a small island such as Malta.  The project has a philosphy that through sharing and collaborative efforts archival holdings can safeguard and promote the diversity and particularity of national identity. 

Scientific contribution:

The contribution arises form the fact that this collection is virtually unknown in international academic archival circles. 


Richard Ellis
Photographic Archives
Public Private Partnership