May 26, 2019

Philippine Arts Encyclopedia donated by the Philippines

Important Philippine Arts Encyclopedia donated by H.E. Ambassador Jaime Victor Ledda of The Philippines

By Anton Lutter.

The University of Leiden has acquired an important encyclopedia about the arts of The Philippines. The encyclopedia which consists of 10 volumes, is an important acquisition to the University of Leiden Asian Library.

The Asian collections of the University of Leiden belong to the foremost collections worldwide, containing the largest collection on Indonesia in the world; one of the leading Chinese libraries in the Western world and one of the largest collections on South East Asia in Europe.

Next to that the library constitutes one of the four worldwide depositories of the Japan Art Catalogue project of the National Art Center of Tokyo.

H.E. Ambassador Jaime Victor Ledda’ speech focused on The Philippines national hero Jose Rizal who was interested in learning Dutch and meeting with the famous Dutch orientalist and linguist Prof. Hendrik Kern.

The director of Leiden University Library Mr. Kurt de Belder thanked the ambassador for the most generous gift to the library and invited the guests – consisting of students, academe, diplomats and the commander of the Order of Knights of Rizal in The Hague Sir Anton Lutter, KCR to an exhibition of maps of The Philippines.


The director of Leiden University Library Mr. Kurt de Belder and Ambassador Ledda.

One of the highlights of the exhibition was the more the 300 years old Murillo map, considered the first scientifically based map of The Philippines, compiled by the Spanish Jesuit Pedro Murillo Velarde and printed by the native Tagalog Nicolas de Cruz Bagay. An even older map showing The Philippines was displayed. This map, covering the entire Far East was designed by Arnold Floris van Langren and engraved by his brother in 1595 and “all taken from the most accurate sea charts and rutters in use by the Portugese pilots today”, is one of the earliest engraved maps presenting the Portuguese knowledge of this area.

After the exhibition the University of Leiden hosted a special reception where the guests took the opportunity to meet old friends and university staff.



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