Jose Rizal’s Bibliographic Cards

Document History, Analysis, and the Need for Recognition


  • Martin Julius Perez Department of Foreign Affairs / University of the Philippines Diliman
  • Roscelle Cruz National Historical Commission of the Philippines / University of the Philippines Diliman


Important Cultural Property, José Rizal, bibliographic cards, document history, documentary heritage


José Rizal is known for being a bibliophile and a book collector, however, it is largely unknown to many that he created bibliographic cards for his collection. This historical article revisited Rizal’s bibliographic cards, particularly those under the custody of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), to highlight the historical value of these cards towards its recognition as a documentary heritage worthy to be preserved. This article argued that these bibliographic cards are historically significant, through discussions of their provenance and the contexts surrounding them. It provided a document history of these cards; an analysis of these cards as card catalogs, as records, and as artifacts (or object-document) from the standpoint of librarianship, archives, and historiography, respectively; and a discussion of its eligibility and the need for these cards' recognition. It concluded with a recommendation for the recognition and declaration of these bibliographic cards as Important Cultural Property, under existing legal and policy frameworks in the Philippines.