PHILIPPINES Four centuries of Filipino parish records on microfilm donated to Santo Tomas University

The Episcopal Conference entrusted them to the custody of the university to make them available to researchers and scholars. They contain meticulously annotated information on baptisms, marriages, and funerals that took place from 1600 to the present day throughout the country.

Manila () – The Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines handed over to the Santo Tomas University – the oldest Catholic university in Asia, founded by the Dominicans in Manila in 1611 – four centuries of copies of records of Catholic faithful from parishes around the world country stored on microfilm. A mine of information on baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and funerals from the early 17th century to the present day will now be available to researchers.

The microfilms reproduce entries from registers that were meticulously compiled in parishes across the country. The initiative also has an ecumenical dimension, since it was reproduced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the majority group within the Mormon movement), which later donated this material to the Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Its president, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, of Kalookan, thanked the university for the custody of this material and stressed that, thanks to changes in communication media technology, information from parish registers will be more easily available. of the research papers. During the delivery ceremony, the Rector of the university, Fr. Richard G. Ang, thanking them for the gift entrusted to them, reiterated his commitment to be of service to the Philippine Church.

The Santo Tomas University has one of the oldest archives that exist in the country, whose priorities are the selection, conservation and accessibility for the investigation of historical materials. According to the donation certificate signed on March 28, the university will ensure that the materials are placed in a space with environmental control to guarantee the correct handling and use of the digital files. In addition, it will facilitate access to the contents to researchers, including graduate students, professors, genealogists, journalists and other academics, respecting the provisions of the Data Privacy Act.

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Written by Editor TLN

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