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Some notes on the bibliography of the Philippines   By: (1842-1923)

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First Page:

Bulletin of The Free Library of Philadelphia

Number 4




December, 1900

Copyright, 1900, by The Free Library of Philadelphia.

Press of Edward Stern & Co., Inc. Philadelphia


So many inquiries have been made in the Free Library of Philadelphia for information concerning the history and literature of the Philippines, that an earnest effort was made some time ago to gather together books bearing on these subjects. The fact that a short catalogue of Philippine literature, prepared by the bibliographer, W. E. Retana, comprises as many as three thousand separate works, is a matter known to comparatively few persons, and it was therefore with considerable interest that the Philobiblon Club of Philadelphia obtained the promise of the Rev. Thomas Cooke Middleton that he would read a paper upon the bibliography of the Philippines before the Club. This Bulletin is a copy of that paper, as read in substance, and it would have been published several months since but for the unfortunate loss of the manuscript in the office of the newspaper to which the author had confided it. In answer to the urgent requests of the members of the Philobiblon Club, Father Middleton very kindly re wrote it and consented that it should be printed by the Free Library of Philadelphia for the use of the students and patrons of the Library. An evil fate, however, seemed to pursue the manuscript, and within four days after it had been completed for the second time it perished in the great fire which destroyed the printing house of J. B. Lippincott Co. Once more the author took courage, and again wrote out the paper, and these facts are recorded both as a matter of interest, and to explain why this Bulletin has been so long delayed.

A collection of books on the subject of the Philippines is being gradually accumulated, and it seems desirable both to furnish the readers in the Library with information upon the subject, and also to take an opportunity to counteract the popular misapprehension as to what has been done by the residents of the Philippines in the way of literature.

Since the collection of works on this subject was commenced the Free Library has prepared and mimeographed from time to time for the use of its readers "Finding Lists" of the books on the shelves relating to the Philippine Islands. The latest of these lists, prepared May 4, 1900, shows that fifty four volumes have been collected and also gives references to nearly six hundred magazine articles in the Library.

Possibly one of the most interesting books received in the Library is the Flora de Filipinas, consisting of four folio volumes of text (printed in Spanish and Latin on the same page) and two of colored lithographed plates. It was published at Manila 1877 1883 for the friars of St. Augustine under the direction of H. Ex. the late Sebastiano Vidal y Soler, assisted scientifically by the able botanists, the Rev. Fathers Fr. Andres Naves and Fr. Celestino Fernández Villar, both of the Augustinian order of friars. It was composed from manuscripts of the late Father Blanco of the same order. The plates were drawn and colored from nature by native artists, and sent to Barcelona where they were lithographed, and after six hundred copies were printed off, the stones were destroyed. As will be noticed, in many cases the specimens are given both in fruit and flower, necessitating in most instances a gathering of the specimens at distinct seasons of the year... Continue reading book >>

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