Catholic University of America. Rare Books and Special Collections - HMML Repository

Catholic University of America. Rare Books and Special Collections

Manuscripts, maps, and early printed works from the 15th to the 19th century related to the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in the Malta Collection at the Catholic University of America.


  • Collection

  • Country

    United States
  • City

    Washington, D.C.
  • Repository

    Catholic University of America. Rare Books and Special Collections
  • Project Codes

    CUAMAL
  • Project Numbers

    CUAMAL 00001-CUAMAL 00077
  • Type

    Digital
  • Digital Surrogates

    90
  • Date Preserved

    2016
  • HMML Reading Room (first record)

  • Languages

    Latin; Italian; French; German; Portuguese
  • Related Collections

    HMZA; HMAR; PFL; PFM
  • Reading Room Collections

  • Uncataloged Collections


The Malta Study Center and the Catholic University of America (CUA) Rare Books and Special Collections digitized 90 manuscripts, rare printed books, and maps related to the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta from the Malta Collection at CUA in 2016. The collection was created by two separate donations, the original donation by Congressman Foster Stearns in 1955, and a second donation by Carol Saliba in 1999. This was the Malta Study Center's first digitization project in the United States. The maps of the collection are located in HMML Museum.

Foster Stearns Gift

Foster W. Stearns (1881-1956), a member of the United States House of Representatives, Privy Chamberlain of Sword and Cape to Pope Pius XI, and Knight of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, donated his Malta collection in 1955. His collection spans over 800 years of the Order of Saint John's history, consisting of over 281 rare books and manuscripts. The collection is particularly strong in early printed editions, particularly with regard to the Great Siege of 1565, the Siege of Rhodes of 1522, and early modern histories of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, such as the 1581 general history of the Order written by Heinrich Pantaleon. The collection was originally cataloged by Oliver L. Kapsner, one of the founders of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library.

Carola Saliba Gift

The Carol Saliba collection was donated by Carol Saliba's son, Dr. N. Alex Saliba, in 1999. Carol Saliba was a native of Malta and a Commander of the St. John Ambulance Brigade. An avid collector of Melitensia, his important collection of letters and documents details the history of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including several important documents penned by Grand Master Giovanni Battista Tommasi. The collection of manuscripts is extremely important for understanding how the Order of Saint John responded to its expulsion from Malta in 1798.