The Filipinas Heritage Library recently launched their newest endeavour, the Filipiniana Online, last January 22, 2014. It is the digitized version of FHL’s rare Filipiniana collection. They have over 2,000 rare books, many of which are too fragile to be handled and lent out to their users. The idea of digitizing the books was born a few years ago and to date, they have around 500 books digitized and uploaded as flipbooks to the website, with many more in the works.
Our class was able to attend through the invitation of our professor, and was considered to be part of our collection management and development curriculum. Prior to the launch, we took a tour of the Ayala Musuem and the Filipinas Heritage Library.
The FHL was previously located at the Nielssen Tower along Makati Avenue. Personally, I found it a very picturesque location, and quite unique too. But times change, so the library was moved to its present location at the 6th floor of the Ayala Museum.
Here we saw their collection, and in line with our studies, talked to the librarians who were in charge of developing the collection as well as digitizing it. As libraries in the Philippines go, FHL is one of the better ones, support and budget-wise, but that doesn’t mean they are without challenges. Still, it was very interesting to see their process of how they gathered the resources to purchase the equipment they needed to digitize the books.
The Filipiniana Online is open to the public. However, only the preliminary pages are available for viewing and full access to the books requires a paid membership.
Congratulations to the team of the Filipinas Heritage Library for the successful launch.