Prof William Zammit

Prof William Zammit

Senior lecturer, Library Information & Archive Sciences

Since graduating B.Ed. (Hons) in 1987, William Zammit has taught or lectured at primary, secondary, junior college and university levels. In 1988 he was awarded the Diploma in Library and Information Studies by the University of Malta. In 1995 he graduated M.A. History with Distinction and in 2001 he obtained his Ph.D in the same subject. He is currently a Senior Lecturer, and Head of Department of Library Information and Archive Sciences within the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences.

Zammit’s major research projects have included the cataloguing of the Archive of the Order of St John for microfilming purposes. This project was carried out between 1993 and 1999 in conjunction with the Hill Monastic manuscript Library of St John’s University, Minnesota, USA. Between 2003 and 2008 Zammit worked on the bibliographic description of the Albert Ganado cartographic collection which was subsequently passed over to Heritage Malta.

Currently, Zammit is working on the creation the creation of a retrospective bibliography of all works printed in Malta between 1642 and 1800. For this purpose he has carried out extensive research in Maltese and foreign, particularly Italian libraries and archival collections.

Since September 2013 Zammit has been appointed as President of the National Archives Council, which is a legally-instituted body responsible for Maltese archival heritage.

Thanks to a research grant from RIDT Prof. William Zammit, has identified and acquired early Malta-related printed material (Melitensia) of historical and cultural significance, held in UK libraries and which are not available in Maltese public collections.

The main focus of the project was on printed pamphlets describing naval battles between the fleet of the Hospitaller Order of St John and Muslim shipping in the Mediterranean during the 16th and 18th centuries. Naval battles involving Maltese corsairs have also been included. This focus was chosen since it covers three areas of research interest, namely:

1. 16th to 18th century Malta.
2. The naval history of Malta and of the Order of St John.
3. Mediterranean naval conflicts between the 16th and 18th centuries.

Prof. Zammit scanned the said material and helped in the creation of the metadata required for these works to be uploaded in the University of Malta’s Institutional Repository – OAR@UM. The material can now be accessed at: Naval Battles of the Order: here

Research interest: Bibliographic control of Melitensia; book, printing and library history; written, visual and oral forms of communication in the early modern period, Maltese cartography.

Retrieving Historical Printed Matter – an RIDT funded project

Selected Publications:

  • Zammit, W. 2016, Kissing the Gallows: A Cultural History of Crime, Torture and Punishment in Malta, 1600-1798, Book Distributors Ltd, Malta
  • Zammit, W. 2014, “Stemming Vice: a proposal for Hospitaller virtuous living in Ancien Régime Malta” in A Timeless Gentleman: festschrift in honour of Maurice de Giorgio, pp. 365–372. Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti.
  • Zammit, W. 2014, “The presence of forbidden literature of French origin in Malta, 1700–1798”, in Studi in memoria dell’ambasciatore Lorenzo Tacchella (1922–2008), pp. 131–160. University of Turku, Finland.
  • Zammit, W. 2014, “Records of the Roman Inquisition in Malta in the Vittoriosa Collegiate Archive”,  in Scientia et Religio: Studies in memory of Fr George Aquilina OFM (1939-2012): scholar, archivist and Franciscan friar, pp. 55–68. Wignacourt Museum, Malta.
  • Zammit, W. 2013, “Notizie sopra l’origine ed avanzi della Biblioteca della Sagra Religione Gerosolimitana’ – an unknown work by Agius de Soldanis’, rivista semestrale, 2, 1, pp. 149–184.
  • Zammit, W. 2012, “De Soldanis, the political exponent”, in De Soldanis: an eighteenth-century intellectual, pp. 46 –53. Heritage Malta.
  • Zammit, W. 2012, “Bibliographic tools for Maltese historical research in the electronic age: some considerations”, Journal of Maltese History, 3, 1, 46–51.
  • Zammit, W. (ed) 2010, The Bellanti Family: Contributions to Art and Culture in Malta, First edn, Fondazjoni Patrimonju Malti, Malta.
  • Zammit, W., Caruana, A. 2010, ‘The Maltese Labour Corps during World War I, Symposia Melitensia, 7, pp. 1–22.
  • Zammit, W. 2010, “New light on the Archive of the Inquisition in Malta during French Rule, 1798-1800” in 60th Anniversary of the Malta Historical Society: A Commemoration, ed. J.F. Grima, First edn, Malta Historical Society, Malta, pp. 275-94.
  • Zammit, W. 2009, “The Creation of a Comprehensive National Collection of Melitensia” in A Mosaic of Library and Archive Practice in Malta: a collection of papers by MaLIA members and friends on its 40th anniversary, 1969-2009, eds. C. Vella, V. Vella & L. Zerafa, First edn, Malta Library and Information Association, Malta, pp. 47-61.
  • Zammit, W. 2008, “The Order of St John and its Controls over Reading Matter, 1700-1798” in Guardians of Memory: essays in rememberance of Hella Jean bartolo Winston, ed. C. Farrugia, First edn, National Archives of Malta, , pp. 207-35.
  • Zammit, W. 2008, Printing in Malta 1642-1839: its cultural role from inception to the granting of Freedom of the Press, First edn, Gutenberg, Malta.
  • Zammit, W. 2006, “Divertimento insieme, e sollievo del popolo: the Coccagna as manifestation of Benevolent Despotism in Ancien Regime Malta” in Celebratio Amicitiae: Essays in Honour of Giovanni Bonello, eds. M. Camilleri & T. Vella, First edn, Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, Malta, pp. 69-86.
  • Zammit, W. 2005, “Book Trading Practices in Early Modern Malta”, Treasures of Malta, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 51-9.
  • Zammit, W. 2004, Il Naufragio di San Paolo in Malta: A Maltese Eighteenth-Century Play by Vittorio Gristi, First edn, Publishers Enterprises Group, Malta.
  • Zammit, W. 2002, “The Communicative Role of Visual Media in Malta, 1700-1798” in Melitensium Amor: festschrift in honour of Dun Gwann Azzopardi, eds. L. Bugeja, T. Cortis & T. Freller, First edn,Malta, pp. 325-58.