Last August 12, 2018, was the 131st anniversary of the establishment of the Museo-Biblioteca de Filipinas, through a Royal Decree made by Maria Cristina, Queen Regent of Spain, dated August 12, 1887.
This was the first public museum and library institution in the Philippines, and can be considered the forerunner of both the National Museum and the National Library of the Philippines.
Items pertaining to the Museo-Biblioteca de Filipinas, which was abolished in 1900 for no apparent reason by the American military government, are very rare, and so it is with great pleasure that the National Museum today receives the donation of an envelope, stamp-dated June 3, 1895 in Leitmeritz, Austria-Hungary (today Litoměřice in the Czech Republic). It was addressed to the first Filipino director of the Museo-Biblioteca, the historically-prominent public figure Pedro Alejandro Paterno. Moreover, the sender was no less than Ferdinand Blumentritt, the great Austrian-Czech friend of Dr. Jose Rizal and many other Filipino ilustrados.
The National Museum expresses its admiration and gratitude to the donor, Dr. Carlos Madrid, scholar of Philippine history and also the present director of the Instituto Cervantes de Manila, for his generosity and strong support. Dr. Madrid himself stated to National Museum director Jeremy Barns that his gift to the nation is made “with my pleasure if it contributes to a better understanding of the true origins of the great institution that you direct”. Thank you very much!
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