Spanish Origins of the National Archives of the Philippines
(A Historical Article)
Keywords:Archives, Philippine archives, Spanish origins of Philippine archives, Spanish archives in the Philippines
The National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) was officially established by the American colonial authorities on 21 October 1901, but its origins are rooted in the Spanish rule of the country (1565-1898). Today, it holds about 60 million pieces of records, more than 18.8 million of which were produced during the said rule (NAP, Memorandum No. 121528). Using government reports, contemporary accounts, and NAP’s collections, this paper explains the beginnings of NAP, how those 18 million pieces of Spanish records were created and preserved for centuries, and what the contents and intents of those records are. It also cites through those records the important role that the Spanish rulers had in the formation of the Filipino nation, like the establishment of villages, towns, and provinces; the construction of roads, bridges, ports, and public buildings; and the maintenance of public safety and health.
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