Malta Libraries’ latest publication, Cities, Harbours and Artefacts: Transformations of an Early Modern Landscape, includes five papers from eight public lectures delivered in 2018–2019 for the National Library of Malta’s Public Lectures Series of the same title.

Bringing together archaeologists, historians, and architects, this series of public lectures explored various subjects, highlighting aspects on land and people during the early modern period.

The selection of subjects was purposely identified for this series on urban landscapes, which aimed towards wide-ranging discussions about the shaping of Malta’s harbour landscape.

Papers included in the resulting publication are: ‘The building of a new city – Valletta’ by Claude Busuttil; ‘Properties of the Order of St John − Structural transformations in Valletta’s houses’ and ‘Malta’s harbour in 1798 − Transformation of a new urban landscape’ by Mevrick Spiteri; ‘Early building on the Xiberras peninsula and the sale of plots in Valletta’ by Stanley Fiorini; and ‘Of markets and melting-pots − A methodology for mapping historic socio-spatial relations at the Valletta Market between 1643 and 1798’ by Christian Mifsud.

The publication includes a lavish plates section showcasing rare documents and maps from the National Library collection. Copies may be acquired directly from the National Library of Malta (for more info, e-mail or from

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