Tuesday, March 4, 2008

107th Anniversary of the National Library of the Philippines

THE National Library of the Philippines originated from the American Circulating Library of Manila established as a memorial to the American officers and soldiers who lost their lives in the service of their country in the Philippines and as a source of instruction and profitable entertainment for all residents of Manila. Early in 1901, the Board of Trustees of the American Circulating Library donated the library’s collection to the Government of the Philippines. The Philippine Commission passed Act No. 96 on March 5, 1901, officially accepting the donation and established the first public library in the country – the National Library of the Philippines.

Succeeding years saw the growth of the National Library of the Philippines. Through Act No. 2572, passed on January 31, 1918, it was merged with two other government agencies – the Executive Bureau’s Division of Archives, Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks and the Law Library of the Philippine Assembly – and became known as the Philippine Library and Museums. Act No. 3477, passed on December 7, 1928, created the National Library and the National Museum as two separate government agencies. In 1947, Executive Order No. 94 renamed the National Library as Bureau of Public Libraries. Then under Republic Act No. 3873, passed on June 18, 1964, the Bureau of Public Libraries was renamed the National Library of the Philippines.

Since its establishment, the National Library of the Philippines has embarked on the acquisition of various private collections through donations and purchases. Today, the National Library has almost a million volumes of books, monographs, newspapers, and picture collections. Many of these tomes are priceless and irreplaceable.

Housed in the National Library of the Philippines are the following valuable collections: The President Manuel L. Quezon Papers, the President Manuel A. Roxas Papers, the Julian Cruz Balmaceda Collection, the Lope K. Santos Collection, the General Carlos P. Romulo Memorabilia, the Philippine Revolutionary Papers (1892-1906), rare Philippine newspapers and magazines such as El Indio Agraviado, La Lectura Popular, El Renacimiento, Muling Pagsilang, El Crito del Pueblo, El Heraldo de la Revolucion, and La Independencia. The "crown jewels’’ of the National Library are the Dr. Jose P. Rizal manuscripts, notably the original manuscripts of the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

We congratulate the National Library of the Philippines headed by Director Prudenciana C. Cruz, its Officers and Employees on the observance of its 107th Anniversary. We wish them success in all their endeavors.

Source: Manila Bulletin, March 5, 2008. http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2008/03/05/OPED20080305118598.html

No comments: