Bibliotheca lecture being hosted by Central Bank of Malta

Last Updated on Tuesday, 1 June, 2021 at 9:31 am by Andre Camilleri

The Central Bank of Malta will in a few weeks’ time be issuing a silver numismatic coin depicting the Bibliotheca, which today houses the National Library of Malta, and to mark the occasion will be hosting a public lecture about its history.

This building, located in the heart of Valletta, was one of the very last to be built by the Order of St John in Malta and was completed in 1796, 225 years ago.

The iconic Bibliotheca has a rich history, not only with regards to its architecture but also because it holds such varied and extensive collections. The lecture, by University of Malta associate professor William Zammit, will delve into both these aspects, outlining the historical development of what was to become the island’s national library and its deeply-rooted and intricate ties with Maltese and European cultural developments.

Holding the largest collection of published works on the Maltese islands, the Bibliotheca is also the repository of, among other, one of the most significant archives on a European level, namely that of the Hospitaller and Military Order of the Knights of St John.

Prof. Zammit, who has a Ph.D in History, headed the Department of Library Information and Archive Sciences at the University of Malta for over a decade and is currently involved in a number of research projects. His main areas of academic interest include the mechanisms of early modern communication, print history, censorship and other forms of control as well as the bibliographic control of Melitensia.

The lecture, entitled “An Architectural Jewel Box: Commemorating the 225th Anniversary of the completion of Malta’s Bibliotheca”, will be delivered online via TEAMS on June 14 at 11am. A recording will be available on the Central Bank of Malta website a few days later for those who are unable to follow it live.

Those who wish to attend are asked to register via the website or alternatively send an email to, so that a TEAMS invite can be sent to them with the meeting link close to the date of the lecture. There will be a limited amount of time for questions and answers after the presentation.

For more information about the coin launches planned for 2021, visit here.

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