Our new Digitisation Project has started!

We are thrilled to announce that the Museum has launched a new, exciting project – the digitisation of a significant portion of our Mellows Library’s collections. Made possible through a collaboration with the Malta Study Center at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML), a widely renowned non-profit organisation which leads digitisation projects all over the world, this initiative will make our collections more accessible for global audiences. Hundreds of items from the Library will be made fully available online, providing not only an invaluable source of research for scholars and students, but also public access to anyone who would like to explore the Museum’s collections.

HMML Reading Room webpage

The first phase involves our pamphlets and ephemera collection. In the past few months, our Museum Team have selected the materials spanning from the early 16th to the late 19th centuries and encompassing many different languages (from Latin to Italian, French and Portuguese). These rare – often unique – items include beautiful poems, historical accounts, statutes, proclaims and legal documents, mostly collected by the members of Order and donated to our Library over the years.

A pamphlet is carefully placed on a black mat, opened to a specific angle and secured to a wedge, ready to be digitised.
One of our pamphlets is carefully prepared for digitisation

At the beginning of October, HMML’s equipment was set up in the Mellows library and Dr Steve Gill started the photographic process supervised by our dedicated Librarian Dr Simone Monti. Upon completion, copies of the digital images will be stored by the Museum, whilst the collection will become available on the HMML Reading Room, fully catalogued and browsable by different categories.

In the library, Dr Steve Gill stands by his desk and carefully handles one of the pamphlets, by placing it on a black mat, leaning on a wedge. Over it, there is a camera fixed to a column, framing the black mat below, whilst behind the desk a photography umbrella ensures the perfect lighting of the room.
Dr Steve Gill in action, operating HMML’s photographic equipment

The first part of the project is expected to be completed next Summer, but in the meantime we will keep you updated with reports and stories from the process. In the next phase, we plan to digitise other invaluable items from the Mellows Library, including manuscripts and early printed books that illuminate the history of the Order. This endeavour represents just the beginning of our digital initiatives, offering a glimpse into the vast treasures waiting to be uncovered and shared with the world.


The Museum of the Order of St John would like to thank all those who have supported and continue to support its work. In particular, the Museum would like to thank the following for their generosity: