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May 8, 2017

UST, UnionBank launch massive multivolume catalogue of rare books and documents


UnionBank of the Philippines together with University of Santo Tomas (UST) thru Miguel de Benavides Library and Archives of UST launch Semper Lumina (Always the Light),  massive multivolume catalouge of rare books and documents at the Garden Ballroom of the Edsa Shangri-La in Ortigas. UST Rector Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P. and UnionBank CEO and chair Dr. Justo A. Ortiz lead the launch  on May 5, 2017.


In an effort to share to a wider world the priceless collections that have “nourished the minds of countless generations of Filipino students" Semper Lumina launched a six-volume catalogue of rare publications, a two volume catalogue of the UST Archives, and the Heritage digital library.


The Herculean project titled “Semper Lumina” (Always the Light) features the vast treasures found at the UST Miguel de Benavides Library and the Archivo de Santo Tomas. It is a follow through of “Lumina Pandit” (Spreading the Light), an international exhibit of the rich collection of Asia’s oldest university with accompanying two-volume catalogues showing such holdings.

Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P.

“The collection of rare books of the UST Library is an eloquent witness to the role of this institution in nurturing the values that have contributed to the birth and growth of this nation,” wrote UST prefect of libraries Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P., in the Volume 1 prologue. He served as the catalogues’ general editor.

Volumes 1 to 3 feature catalogues of rare books housed at the UST Heritage Library section dated 1492 to 1900, while Volume 4 covers rare Filipiniana periodicals up to 1945.

Among the 466 books printed between 1492 and 1600 included in Volume 1 are Josephus Flavius’ “De Bello Judaico” (The Jewish War, 1492), Nicolaus Copernicus’ “De Revolutionis Orbium Coelestium Libri VI” (1542), and the Biblia Regia Plantin or Polyglot Bible (between 1569 and 1573), among others.

Totaling to 5,861 entries and presented in three parts, Volume 2 focuses on the collections of UST acquired in three centuries (17th to 19th centuries) and used as textbooks by the University. Among the books in the collection is Pope Leo the Great’s “Opera Omnia” (1614). This volume is one of the catalogues of Lumina Pandit II.


Volume 3 showcases the UST Filipiniana rare collection, which is considered one of the richest of its kind in the Philippines. Publications included are the first edition of José Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere,” one of the three original copies preserved by UST.

Rare Filipiniana periodicals like “La Solidaridad” and “La Independencia,” are shown in Volume 4

Meanwhile, a separate catalogue in two volumes for the collection of the UST Archives (becerros, folletos, and libros) will also be released with archivist and respected Philippine church art and architecture historian Prof. Regalado Trota José as editor.

Documents included in the catalogue are the Foundation Act of 1611, Apolinario Mabini’s 1898 Decalogo, copy of Rizal’s “Ultimo Adiős,” and documents in baybayin (1623), recently declared National Historical Treasures by the National Archives.



Digitized versions of books and periodicals from the UST library (834,000 pages) may be accessed through the UST Digital Library (digilib.ust.edu.ph). As of date, a total of 1.5 million pages has been scanned, which will also be uploaded on the website.

UST Rector Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P
UnionBank CEO and chair Dr. Justo A. Ortiz

Asia’s only Pontifical University finds its roots to the donation by Msgr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P., second Archbishop of Manila and founder of UST, of his personal library collections.


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