Friday, July 15, 2016
The Lopez Memorial Museum and Library
During my search for interesting and relevant sites related to my Javellana-Lopez ancestral roots, I found several sites that were interesting and informative. The first three sites I have already posted in my blogs: Stevan Javellana's novel, Without Seeing the Dawn, Old Families of Jaro, Iloilo and their Mansions and my Ties with the Katigbak Surname during the Japanese-American War in the Philippines. This 4th site is the Lopez Memorial Museum and Library, located in Pasig, Rizal, Metro Manila. Here's a summary from Wikipedia for your information and reading pleasure:
"The Lopez Memorial Museum (LMM) was founded on 13 February 1960 by Eugenio Lopez, Sr in honor of his parents, Benito Lopez and Presentacion Hofileña. Eugenio Lopez built the museum to provide scholars and students access to his personal collection of rare Filipiniana books, manuscripts, maps, archaeological artifacts and fine art.
Eugenio Lopez is known to many as a leading industrialist of post-World War II Philippines. With resources that came from sugar production, he pioneered in diverse fields of business including transportation (bus, taxicab and air transport operations), mass media (ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation and The Manila Chronicle), energy (MERALCO) becoming one of the first Filipino successes in business in a then largely American dominated economy.
A staunch nationalist, Eugenio Lopez believed that by preserving and promoting the Filipino heritage, his country men would eventually develop sense of national pride and enable the country to develop a unified spirit ultimately resulting in ensuring a strengthening of a collective national soul in the succeeding generations.
He died in July 1975 in San Francisco, California, USA, where he had lived in self-imposed exile since 1972, away from the oppression of martial law. He had led a full life as a leading industrialist and a media magnate, leaving behind him a legacy for the Filipino people.
Eminent historian Renato Constantino was Lopez Museum’s first curator, from 1960 to 1972. Engaged by LMM founder and prominent antiquarian Eugenio Lopez, Sr (Eñing), it was only logical that it would be under his watch that the museum acquired Juan Luna’s España y Filipinas, a seminal work much cited for capturing the image of a country patronizingly led up the rungs of evolutionary colonial tutelage. Such acquisitions complemented the Philippine rare books and antiquarian map collection amassed by Eñing, who in consultation with renowned collector and connoisseur Alfonso Ongpin, further acquired other seminal and technically astute works by Luna, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, and Fernando Amorsolo. A second key acquisition phase was led by Eñing’s youngest son, Roberto Lopez who was inclined toward Philippine Modernism, thus improving this aspect of the LMM collection with works vetted under the supervision of art historian, Rod Paras Perez.
At present, the character of the Lopez Museum collection has cumulatively morphed with the institution’s shifting concerns. Today, one of the major challenges confronting LMM is the need to continually showcase segments of its permanent collection alongside contemporary Filipino creative expression couched within the frames of increasing inter-disciplinarity and merging communication platforms. It is in this light that curation brings the possibility of infusing context and sub-text to an otherwise private quest for personal roots and a shared locus for nationalist heritage.
The library collection consist with over 19,000 Filipiniana titles by about 12,000 authors, the Lopez Library houses an invaluable collection of Philippine incunabula, rare books, manuscripts, dictionaries, literary works in Western and vernacular languages, religious tracts, periodicals, newspapers, coffee table volumes, academic treatises, contemporary writing, maps, archival photographs, cartoons and microfilms. It remains a critical node in the small network of institutions devoted to ongoing Philippine scholarship produced locally and internationally.
Among its more important holdings are 21 rare titles of Philippine imprints dated from 1597 to 1800, 69 key titles from the 18th century, and 777 titles from the 19th century. The library’s rare books and manuscripts include those of eminent printers, Tomas Pinpin, Raymundo Magysa, Nicolas Bagay, Laureano Atlas, and Juan Correa. The library is home to the first edition of Belarmin-Lopez’s Doctrina Cristiana (Manila 1620) translated into Ilocano (Libro a naisuratan amin ti bagas), Pedro Chirino’s Relacion de las Islas Filipinas, as well as key editions of Antonio de Morga’s Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (Jose Rizal’s 1890 edition, Blair and Robertson’s 1904 edition, and W. E. Retana’s 1909 edition).
In addition to a huge aggregate of secondary works on the National Hero, Dr Jose Rizal authored by both Filipino and Western authors, the Lopez Library also serves as steward to 93 of Rizal’s letters to his parents, sisters, brother and brothers-in-law, among other objects which constitute the most priceless items in LMM’s Rizaliana collection.
Among other items worthy of note are a variety of dictionaries, grammar books, and LMM’s collection of devotional literature: sermons, novenas, accounts of the lives of saints that were used as tools in the propagation of Roman Catholicism during the Spanish colonial period. Equally important and indispensable are such primary sources as the manuscripts and personal papers of individuals such as Pablo Pastells, Gaspar de San Agustín, Eulogio Despujol, H. L. Legarda, Manuel Sastron y Piñol, and Justo Zaragosa.
Microfilm copies of the Philippine Revolutionary papers, commonly known as the Philippine Insurgent Records, American Consular Reports (1817–1898) from the National Archives, Washington, DC, USA. and several reels of the British Consular Reports, circa 1844–1898, together with the H. H. Bartlett collection from the American Philosophical Society Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, are among the significant additions to the library’s growing microfilm collection which also includes the Tribune (1925–1945), Manila Chronicle (1945–1972), Harpers Weekly, and other key periodicals which are already accessible through digitized versions ".
This place is on my bucket list of things to visit, the next time I will be in the Philippines.