The library houses the extensive collection of books compiled by Captain Olof Frederick Gollcher OBE. It is large for a private collection comprising, as it does, over 4000 books and manuscripts.

A photograph taken in the early 1930s shows a row of two-metre high mahogany cupboards containing around 200 books. The collection gradually expanded in size, as well as in subject matter, necessitating more wooden shelving and a walkway, which were added above the already existing cupboards. This resulted in the library walls having floor-to-ceiling shelving.


The subjects covered by this collection are numerous, ranging from the art of ancient warfare to the two World Wars; from medieval history to mineralogy, and from the Court of the French Kings, to literary curiosities such as books about prisoners. There are several biographies on prominent persons and artists, and a particularly extensive collection of British history books. The vast selection of art historical books and periodicals reflects both Gollcher the artist, as well as his collecting interests.

Some prestigious multi-volume sets include the Ninth Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, published between 1875 and 1889; reissued in 1898, and comprising twenty-five hefty, leather-bound volumes. An even more voluminous set features the complete works of Voltaire, which were published between 1785 and 1789, in seventy volumes. Other sets of interest include The History of the Popes (1305-1700), published in 1923, and the Cambridge Modern History, published in fourteen volumes between 1904 and 1912 and A New History of Ethiopia published in 1682.

The Gollcher library also includes an important Melitensia collection comprising several books about the Maltese Islands, or by Maltese authors, all of which have now become highly collectible. Prominent among them are the two official histories of the Order of St John, namely, Dell’Istoria della Sacra Religione, by Giacomo Bosio – continued by Bartolomeo Del Pozzo – and the Abbe de Vertot’s Histoire des Chevaliers Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jerusalem (1726). A version of the latter in English, entitled The History of the Knights of Malta (1728), is also in the collection.

The Library at the Norman House, Mdina


One of the projects completed at Palazzo Falson was the compiling of an electronic database, which catalogues and records the entire library collection. You can access the full catalogue which has been digitised by the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) of St John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, the USA, in the link below.

An appointment may be set to consult the library. Kindly contact us via email on or by calling on +356 2145 4512.