The University of Santo Tomas and the UnionBank of the Philippines launched its latest collaborative project–the catalogues of rare books of the Miguel de Benavides Library and the Archives of the University of Santo Tomas–in auspicious ceremonies held at the Garden Ballroom of the EDSA Shangri-La. The project, now the third endeavor after the printing of first two volumes entitled¬†Lumina Pandit, saw the launching of the new catalogues and the public demonstration of the digital library.

Silent majority educating the young

In his welcome remarks, the Prefect of Libraries, Rev. Fr. Angel A. Aparicio, O.P., paid homage to librarians, who are custodians of the silent majority of the population tasked to educate. Fr. Aparicio underscored that libraries are our key to the past and guide to the future, and he said that the collaborative project with UnionBank is a step toward ensuring that this heritage will not be lost in time.

In his remarks, Fr. Aparicio said that the University’s collections include priceless volumes dating back to the 16th century, including a volume written by Copernicus regarding celestial bodies. These volumes, he said, are being preserved not just in their printed form, but more importantly being made accessible to the world via digitization and publication in the cyberspace.

Avoiding ignorance of history

The University’s Rector, the Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., PhD, reminded the audience that loving the country requires knowing its past. The Rector congratulated the Library and Archives for keeping with the times and ensuring that the collections do not gather dust in shelves, but rather be made available to a wider audience, utilizing the latest technologies to make such goal a reality. He likewise thanked the UnionBank of the Philippines for its commitment to the partnership with UST, which began in April 2011, and continues to the present.

Six volumes

The new volumes complete the Miguel de Benavides Library’s Catalogues of Rare Books and introduces the first two catalogues of the University Archives. The catalogues are complete with bibliographic information about the collections, photographs, and annotations about their contents.

Also shown during the event was the University’s Digital Library, which showcases the digitized materials from the rare books collection, as well as existing University periodicals.

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