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Lost Libraries

The history of Philippine libraries has been told a few times, but either the accounts went unpublished, appeared in obscure journals, or were printed in such limited quantities that they are now out of print. Fortunately, Ambeth Ocampo occasionally mentions what happened to Philippine libraries in the past. From "Lost Books" (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2007):

The Philippine Library and Museum that boasted the finest collection of Filipiniana in its time was one of the casualties of the Battle for Manila in 1945. The late historian Teodoro Agoncillo related how he had packed his most important books and brought them to the University of the Philippines Library at the outbreak of the war, assuming that the enemy would respect an academic institution. Many other scholars and collectors, like Jaime C. de Veyra and E. Arsenio Manuel, felt the same way and deposited their precious libraries in UP, only to watch helplessly as the Japanese made a bonfire from their books.

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