Exhibition of Gozo guide books

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NAG-ExhibPhoto.jpgThose visiting Gozo during the second and third weeks of August will have an added attraction besides the traditional activities normally organised for this time of year.

This year the National Archives (Gozo) in conjunction with the Friends of the National Archives is holding a special exhibition which consists of a collection of one hundred guide books related to the islands of Gozo and Comino. The idea of holding such an exhibition was of Max Farrugia, Chairman of the Friends Committee, who put his collection of guide books at the disposal of the Archives. Other guide books were provided by the Gozo Public Library, courtesy of George Borg, Senior Assistant Librarian.

Pride of place will be taken by the original copy of Jean Quintin d’Autun, Insulae Melitae Descriptio, a guide to Malta and Gozo published in Lyons in 1536, from the collection of the Gozo Public Library. Abbè Jean Quintin was born in Autun on 20 January 1500. In his twenties, after being ordained priest, he joined the Order of the Knights Hospitalliers of Saint John. He was in Malta in 1530 some months before the arrival of the first Grandmaster. At that time, he began taking notes for this guide book which was to give future Knights an idea of the islands that Emperor Charles V had donated to the Order. Jean Quintin died in Paris on 9 April 1561.

Other exhibits include George Percy Badger, Description of Malta and Gozo (1838); a copy of the earliest illustrated guide book, J.E. Gatt, Guide to Gozo (1937); that by Edgar G. Montanaro, On the trail of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in the island of Gozo (1950); and the six guide books to as many Gozo villages written by Joseph Bezzina, the assistant National Archivist. The last in the series, Nadur – the village of the rising sun, came out on the 28th of June 2007.

The exhibition was inaugurated yesterday. It will be open Monday to Saturday, from 8am to 1pm and will run up to Saturday the 25th of August. The general public is invited to attend.

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