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Gabriel A. Bernardo — Filipino Librarian

Gabriel A. BernardoGabriel A. Bernardo
14 March 1891 - 5 December 1962

Those interested in knowing more about Gabriel A. Bernardo may wish to visit the Rizal Library's "Preserving Gabriel A. Bernardo’s Memory," an exhibit of Bernardo’s personal papers in celebration of his 105th birth anniversary. The exhibit opens today at the Pardo de Tavera Room of the Ateneo de Manila University's Rizal Library, and will run until 14 April 2006.

You may also wish to attend the Gabriel A. Bernardo Memorial Lecture, where DOST USec Fortunato dela Peña will talk about the "Philippine e-Lib: A Promising Tool in Knowledge Management." The event will be held at the College of Engineering, University of the Philippines Diliman, on Wednesday, March 15, 9 am.

For those who wish to read a sample of what Bernardo has written, below are a few paragraphs from an essay by Bernardo, as quoted in "The enemies that books face" by Ambeth Ocampo (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 14 April 2004):

The National Library and its branches salvaged about 36,600 volumes out of its aggregate collection of 733,000 volumes and pamphlets. It also practically lost its entire collection of 186 paintings, pieces of sculptures, carvings, etc.; 575 historical objects and specimens; 3,543 medals, coins and pieces of jewelry; and 75,534 unused postage stamps.

The Scientific Library lost its collection of about 357,000 volumes, pamphlets, and periodicals, as well as its entire stock of duplicates for exchange and gift purposes, including a total of 4,194 issues of the Philippine Journal of Science, 79 reprints therefrom, and 933 technical and popular publications of the Bureau of Science and the Department of Agriculture and Commerce. Of this entire collection, only about 300 bound volumes and pamphlets were salvaged. Its library, quarters, furniture and equipment, including its union catalog of Library of Congress printed cards and slips in its general catalog, were also totally destroyed.

The library of the University of the Philippines with its prewar aggregate collection-about 147,000 volumes, over 45,000 pamphlets, more than 5,000 current periodicals, 9,000 theses and dissertations, 500 manuscripts, over 300 maps, charts, etc., over 10,000 music scores, and 700 phonograph records; and over 1,000 art pieces, were completely destroyed, with the exception of about 3,000 volumes returned by borrowers after the liberation. In addition, it also lost collections of duplicate publications of the University of the Philippines for exchange and gift purposes; official records of the University Library, the Department of Library Science, the University Council, and the Board of Regents (1908-1941), and music collections loaned by private collectors for the annual art exhibits held under the auspices of the Department of Library Science and the President's Committee on Culture; collection of postage stamps (three large boxes of Philippine, United States and foreign stamps); woodcuts, linoleum colored prints, bookplates etc.; collection of five large-sized portraits of past presidents of the University of the Philippines, painted in oil on canvas by prominent local artists [Fernando Amorsolo?] collection of trophies, cups, medals, seals, diplomas, etc. awarded to the University of the Philippines; complete medium-sized book binding machinery, equipment and supplies; and one hand-operated multigraph printing machine with complete accessories and printing supplies; collection of books, etc. mainly Filipiniana, loaned by private collectors for University use. The library building itself was reduced to ruins.

In 1940, there were 5,934 libraries in the Philippine public school system, holding an aggregate collection of 3,709,939 volumes. Most of these libraries were either looted, seriously damaged or completely destroyed during the enemy occupation and the subsequent fighting for the liberation of the Philippines... Of the 74 libraries surveyed by the Catholic Welfare Organization of the Philippines, 41 had lost their records of holdings. The other 33 libraries had pre-war holdings aggregating 203,751 volumes. The total cash value of losses to the 74 libraries surveyed amounts to 1,087,212.20 dollars... no survey on non-Catholic schools.

Category: Librarians

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