l’Arabie according to Valerga


I took a little walk tonight. It’s recycling night in my neighbourhood but my purpose was to relax after a busy day – I leave the recycling to the can-collectors.


However I found this piece of art laying against some recycling bins put out by the big St-Vincent du Paul on St-Joseph. It’s really big – around 4ft by 4ft – and I think it’s really great. It looks to be woven. I brought it home and I’m thinking I’ll put it up on the wall.

I’m a bit confused as to why it was put out with the recycle.


I also found some old drawing and construction paper in one of the bins. I know people that’ll put this to good use.


palestine book 1886

This is a flashback to my Tuesday morning. There’s a little section of the East Plateau (at least I think it’s the Plateau) past de Lorimier that has its trash pickup the same time as Hochelaga. I was searching through a garbage bin full of spring-cleaning type stuff and came across this book casually tossed inside.

palestine book 1886

The spine isn’t in very good shape and there was a bit of gunk on the cover but the actual text is in great condition. The title is “La Palestine, la Syrie et l’Arabie, visitées avec Mgr Valerga.” This Valerga guy was a high ranking Catholic church official it seems, and these were his stories about his travels in the Middle East. It’s dated as being a second edition published in 1886.


I’d be curious as to what he wrote but my French definitely isn’t good enough to understand an old tome like this. Regardless, it’s a pretty interesting find in a otherwise unexciting bunch of trash!

14 thoughts on “l’Arabie according to Valerga”

  1. Interesting old book. It seems your Mgr Valerga (Giuseppe Valerga) lived quite the life. Here are a few highlights, some from http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Valerga

    04/09/1813 Born in Loano (Liguria) Doctor in theology at the Sapienza (Rome)
    17.12.1834 Ordained in Rome Professor at the College of Propaganda.
    10/03/1847 Election D. Valerga Patriarch (34)
    12/02/1872 Death at 60, 24 Patirarche years, buried in the chapel of St. Joseph. Mgr. Valerga

    Here’s one copy at $199 Euro http://bit.ly/13oGYYk and here’s another at $29.90 http://bit.ly/ZzSn0p Quite a gap! Still, might be suitable for ebay.

    1. College of Propaganda eh? Could that be a conversion thing?

      I’ve tried selling old books on Ebay before, but the market is very occasional. It’s the kind of thing that may sit around for years until you can find the person who wants to buy it. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it – I may just keep it in my personal collection.

  2. I agree with you that some valuable old books are hard to sell on Ebay,Craigslist or Kijiji.I live in Ottawa and tried to sell 5 or 6 old British autobiographies on E-bay as well as Craigslist,but got no serious response.I put an ad on Craigslist 5 times,but no response.I will not give them to charities because this kind of book ,when it is not sold,is often thrown out.I am just going to keep it or give it to my brother’s home library.

  3. Also … Amazon mostly deals in new books but you can list the antique books you find under previous listings or creating your own listing by signing up to a merchant account.

  4. I love your blog.I spread my time between Montreal and Ontario.I hope residents of other arondissements follow your example and start opening trash bins with lids as well as recycling bins with lids to look inside for contents before the trash truck comes.You never know what you will find.I hope dwellers of apartment complexes check the contents of their plastic trash bins and recycling bins every week to salvage treasures.I found a wonderful mouth organ and a collection of superb toy cars in a recycling bin in VIlle St.Laurent.Every now and then I peek into trash bins.

  5. I have been reading your blog for a few months and I am addicted! I am an avid “treasure hunter/freecycler” in the Toronto area and I’m continually amazed at the things people throw away.

    Thanks to your blog I got more courage to explore inside bags, something I never really did before. The other day I found a mint digital camera, rechargeable drill that works, highend earphones etc. Giving away the things I don’t want to keep through freecycle has been great too.

    1. Nice finds! It’s good to hear that I may be spreading some trash wisdom. Also glad to hear you’re using freecycle. I’ve never thought to use that myself but it’s a pretty good site.

      1. Yeah I love freecycle.
        Since it is a moderated group people are more accountable for their actions so will be more considerate about picking things up (less flakes) and appreciative. There are also always great things up for offer too.

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