detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Thursday, March 18, 2004


: . The Imperial Archive

I only stumbled into this site, in a fit of absence of mind, a few days ago although it has been around, in its present form, since January (and a version of it has been around since this past fall). More comprehensive though less user-friendly than Jim Zwick's BoondocksNet, The United States and Its Territories, 1898-1930: The Age of Imperialism is an extraordinary collection of fully searchable digital Filipiniana:
    The United States and its Territories, drawn from the University of Michigan Library's Southeast Asia collection, comprises the full text of monographs and government documents published in the United States, Spain, and the Philippines between 1870 and 1925. The primary focus of the material is the Spanish-American war and subsequent American governance (approximately 1898-1910). The text collection is complemented by digitized images from key photograph collections drawn from the Special Collections Library.

A few kinks still need to be worked out but the collection is impressive enough as it is. It includes all 55 volumes of Blair and Robertson's Philippine Islands (no need to buy the hard-to-find cd-rom version produced by BPI) and all the issues (I think) of Revista Filipina/Philippine Review. It also includes accounts of the Philippines from Morga to Mayo, the complete Album of Philippine Types (does anyone know where the full body shots are?), and even curiosities like Pedro Paterno's Los Itas. Few of the items in the collection are rare; most have been gathering dust somewhere in the stacks of some large American university library and most are well preserved as few people have actually bothered to read them. However, there are few individual libraries in the United States and even fewer individual libraries in the Philippines where all these items are gathered together. Let's just hope that the Newberry Library (Edward E. Ayer Collection of Philippine and Hawaiian History) and the Lilly Library (Philippine Mss. Collections I and II) will follow the University of Michigan Library's example by digitizing their manuscript collections and thus facilitating research in Philippine history especially for Filipinos in the Philippines (internet access is another problem). Alas, I don't believe any of these efforts will ever breathe life, though there has never really been a golden age, into a moribund field -- it needs more than mouth to mouth and outsourced digitizers.

In an obsessive-compulsive fit I've looked through the citations of all 1500 odd titles in the collection and chose to highlight a few of them if only to allow researchers to at least find some of the collection's contents through an ordinary google search. The collection is after all one of those resources that one knows about but never bothers to consult -- how much useful material could it possibly have? Also, since it has not (yet) been properly categorized to make browsing less of a chore, only those who are already familiar with the key texts of late Spanish colonial and early American colonial Philippines would fully benefit from the collection. Here then are my personal picks, reflecting my own preoccupations, in order of publication date:
    Historia de Mindanao y Joló
    por el p. Francisco Combés; obra publicada en Madrid en 1667, y que ahora con la colaboración del p. Pablo Pastells, 1897 [1667]

    Adventures in the Philippine Islands (often cited as Twenty Years in the Philippines)
    by Paul P. de La Gironière, 1854

    Luçon et Mindanao; Extraits d'un journal de voyage dans l'Extrême Orient; Avec une carte de l'archipel des Philippines
    par Ferdinand Philippe Marie d'Orleans, duc d' Alençon, 1870

    El Indio Batangueño: estudio etnográfico
    por Wenceslao E. Retana, 1888

    The story of the Philippines: Natural riches, industrial resources, statistics of productions, commerce and population; the laws, habits, customs, scenery and conditions of the Cuba of the East Indies, and the thousand islands of the archipelagoes of India and Hawaii, with episodes of their early history; Events of the war in the west with Spain, and the conquest of Cuba and Porto Rico
    by Murat Halstead, 1898

    Yesterdays in the Philippines
    by Joseph Earle Stevens, 1898

    La sensacional memoria de Isabelo de los Reyes sobre la revolución Filipina de 1896-97: por la cual fué deportado el autor al Castillo de Montjuich
    por Isabelo de los Reyes; con un prólogo de D. Miguel Morayta, 1899

    The Philippine Islands; A political, geographical, ethnographical, social and commercial history of the Philippine Archipelago and its political dependencies, embracing the whole period of Spanish rule
    by John Foreman, F.R.G.S., 1899

    The Philippines and round about: with some account of British interests in these waters
    by Major G. J. Younghusband, 1899

    The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803; explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the Catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the beginning of the nineteenth century; v. 1-55
    edited by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson, 1903-09

    Album of Philippine types (found in Bilibid prison in 1903) Christians and Moros (including a few non-Christians)
    by Daniel Folkmar, 1904

    Census of the Philippine Islands, taken under the direction of the Philippine commission in the year 1903, in four volumes
    by the United States Bureau of the Census, 1905

    A history of the Philippines
    by David P. Barrows, 1905

    Filipinas dentro de cien años: estudio político-social
    por José Rizal, 1905

    An Englishwoman in the Philippines
    by Mrs. Campbell Dauncey, 1906

    A woman's journey through the Philippines on a cable ship that linked together the strange lands seen en route
    by Florence Kimball Russel, 1907

    Noticias histórico-bibliográficas de el teatro en Filipinas desde sus orígines hasta 1898
    por W.E. Retana, 1909

    A woman's impressions of the Philippines
    by Mary H. Fee, 1912

    Efemérides Filipinas
    por Jaime C. de Veyra y Mariano Ponce; con prólogo de Epifanio de los Santos, 1914

    Lineage, life and labors of Jose Rizal, Philippine patriot: a study of the growth of free ideas in the trans Pacific American territory
    by Austin Craig, 1914

    Los itas
    por Pedro Alejandro Paterno, 1915

    The Philippine Islands
    by Dean C. Worcester, 1915

    The Philippine review/Revista filipina: A monthly magazine in English and Spanish
    edited by Gregorio Nieva, Jan. 1916-Dec. 1921

    The non-Christian people of the Philippines
    by H. Otley Beyer, 1918

    Galeria de filipinos ilustres: biografias a contar desde las primeros tiempos de la dominacion Hispana, de los hijos del pais que en sus respectivas profesiones descollaron y hayan alcanzado algun puesto de distinción en sociedad (also available in Cebuano!)
    por Manuel Artigas y Cuerva, 1918

    The isles of fear: the truth about the Philippines
    by Katherine Mayo, 1925

    Novenary of the motherland: the motherland is symbolized in the envisioned Mother of Balintawak
    by Gregorio Aglipay y Labayan and Isabelo de Los Reyes, Jr., 1926

    Himagsikan nang manga Pilipino laban sa Kastila
    salaysay na sinulat ni Artemio Ricarte, 1927

    Tagalog literature: a historico-critical study
    by Eufronio Melo Alip, 1931

    Schoolbooks and Krags: the United States Army in the Philippines, 1898-1902
    by John Morgan Gates, 1973

Other full-text versions of Philippine Studies-related works available elsewhere (in order of the latest publication date):

The first three items on this list are part of the eScholarship Editions collection of the University of California Press. There are a few others which are available only to "University of California faculty, staff, and students." As for the last few items on the list, someone should supply Project Gutenberg with the latest translation of the Rizal novels. I don't think Bookmark or the University of Hawaii Press will lose any money if this were done.

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