Published on Thursday 6 September 2018

A television series will bring to life some of the memories stored in the National Library, including forgotten tales of murder and embezzlement

“By shining a light on some of the items within the library’s collections, this television series builds a bridge between education, culture and entertainment, providing culturally significant storytelling to contemporary media audiences”, said Minister for Education and Employment Evarist Bartolo.

With tales of murder, robbery, revenge, forgiveness and triumph which took place around 400 years ago, the stories shown on Deheb il-Karta might seem like the stuff of fiction, but they are all based on real events documented in the manuscripts housed at the National Library.

Situated in the heart of Valletta, a hush surrounds the manuscripts of the National Library, with its high bookshelves and ancient manuscripts. The stories often lie forgotten, read only by the researchers who visit the library.

“This series will make the stories, and the rich insights into the past that they provide, accessible to a much wider audience by turning them into docudramas broadcast on national television”, said Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici. “This is in line with Arts Council Malta’s aim of placing the arts and creativity at the heart of Malta’s future.”

The National Library of Malta holds various collections such as books, journals, newspapers, manuscripts and maps, as well as audio and visual recordings by Maltese authors. These holdings are of significant importance not only for the history of the Maltese Islands, but also for the evaluation of European and Mediterranean history.

Now in its second season, Deheb il-Karta is a series of 13 short 15-minute docudramas.

Scripted by Lino Farrugia and adapted for television by Frederick Testa, the new season will start airing on TVM in October.

The stories are related in such a way that the narrator is himself a character in the stories, allowing viewers to be drawn further into the narrative. Costumes and costume research were provided by Teatru Manoel, while original music was composed by Elton Zarb. 


Press release by the Ministry for Education and Employment and by the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government.