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August 12, 1887, the Museo-Biblioteca de Filipinas was Established

The National Library of the Philippines was established as the Museo-Biblioteca de Filipinas (Museum-Library of the Philippines) through the royal decree of August 12, 1887.

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It opened officially on October 24, 1891 at the Casa de la Moneda in Intramuros, then home of the Philippine Mint, with around 100 volumes and Julian Romero and Benito Perdiguero as director and archivist-librarian, respectively.

The Library was revived with the donation made by the American Circulating Library Association of its Circulating Library to the government formalized through Public Act No. 96 passed on March 5, 1901.”

“Public Law Act No. 1935, provided for the “the consolidation of all libraries belonging to any branch of the Philippine government for the creation of the Philippine Library”, and for the maintenance of the same, and other purposes. To carry out the provisions of this law, a Library Board was constituted consisting of the Secretary of the Public Instruction, the Secretary of Interior, the Secretary of Finance and Justice, and the other members to be appointed annually by the Governor General.”
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Today, the National Library’s most-prized possessions include Dr. Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo and

Mi Ultimo Adiós. Three of his unfinished novels and the Philippine Declaration of Independence are kept in a special double-combination vault at the Rare Documents Section of the Filipiniana Division’s reading room.

The library is accessible since 1998 to the public through online public access catalog (named after Basilio, one of the characters in Rizal’s novels), as well as its web site, the library’s internet room in 2001, and the birth in 2004 of eLibrary, the Philippines’ first digital library.


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