UST Library launches rare books, digital library in ‘Semper Lumina’ exhibit


MULTIVOLUME catalogues of the University’s rare books, periodicals and collections were launched by the UST Miguel de Benavides Library and Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomas (AUST) in an exhibit at the Edsa Shangri-La Garden Ballroom last May 5.

The formal launching ceremony titled “Semper Lumina” is a follow through of “Lumina Pandit,” the exhibition of UST’s rare books and collections during the Quadricentennial celebration.

Rector Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy O.P.

“Books are more than the objects of reality,” Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. said in his speech.

“When a person reads, he becomes a vast repository of knowledge and ideas, which passes from one person to another, and from one generation to the next. This is how important books are,” Dagohoy added.

The project launched a six-volume catalogue of rare publications and a historical catalogue from the UST Archives.

Featured in the first to third volumes of the catalogue are rare books housed in the UST Heritage library sections, including those published from 1492 to 1900.

Volume 1 covers the 466 books printed between 1492 to 1600, while Volume 2 contains 5,861 published entries during the 17th to 19th centuries. Volume 3 includes an original copy of Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere,” which was preserved by UST in its Filipiniana rare collection.

The fourth to sixth volumes cover the rare periodicals of the library’s Filipiniana section published before 1945. Included in Volume 4 are “La Solidaridad” and “La Independencia,” newspapers published during the Spanish colonial period.

The two remaining catalogues were edited by University Archivist Regalado Trota Jose. These include published Thomasian literature, the Foundation Act of 1611 (the act of the official foundation of UST), Apolinario Mabini’s 1898 Decalogo and the 17th-century baybayin documents.

Inquirer Arts and Books Editor Joselito Zulueta, also the Varsitarian’s publications adviser.

“Spreading the light in the exhibit of the rich collection of scholarly, typographical, archival, natural and cultural heritage artifacts underscore how the Pontifical university have been spreading all these centuries the light of knowledge,” said Inquirer Arts and Books Editor Joselito Zulueta, also the Varsitarian adviser.

Digital library

In collaboration with Union Bank of the Philippines, UST also launched the UST Digital Library ( containing the heritage collection of the UST Library and Archives.

With the use of a high-grade leaf-casting machine, the historical collections of the University, some dating back to the 16th century, are being restored and preserved online.

As of writing, a total of 1.5 million pages have been scanned by the UST Library for restoration and online publication.

Other digitized versions of books and periodicals of the University, which total about 834,000 pages, can now be accessed through the website.

Photos by Jamillah N. Sta. Rosa


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