PROPOSED COMPUTERIZATION OF AYALA MUSEUM, LIBRARY & ICONOGRAPHIC ARCHIVES

Zenaida F. Lucas

Ayala Museum, Library & Iconographic Archives
Metro Manila, Philippines

Keywords: Computerization, Automation, Library Automation, Museum, Archives, Manila, Philippines, Unesco, CDS/ISIS, Library Service, Database

Abstract: There are only a few well organized museums in the Philippines, especially in the Metropolitan Manila, namely the Manila Museum, the Central Bank Museum, the National Museum, the Lopez Museum and the Ayala Museum. The Lopez and the Ayala Museums are non-governmental entities.

The Ayala Museum of Philippine History and Iconographic Archives is a project of the Filipinas Foundation, Inc., no called Ayala Foundation, was founded on December 14, 1961. Its objective is to educate and arouse historical consciousness among the people. Its collection includes 60 dioramas of Philippine history, paintings, watercraft models, arti-facts, religious objects, sculpture, ethnic arts and handicrafts, memorabilia of Carlos P. Romula, etc. Visitors come to the museums by buses or groups almost every day.

The Museum's Library and Iconographic Archive specializes in Filipiniana materials its strong emphasis on art, culture and history. It has 12,000 books, 5,000 old photographs, rare books, 1000 maps, brochures, slides, etc. It has separate sections on the history and culture of Asian countries for comparative analysis/purposes. Likewise, a number of materials on languages, church history and ravel accounts, are also included. Materials form the Iconographic Archives have appeared in various media such as radio, television, movies and newspapers. Their usefulness is priceless and very historical.

The purpose of this paper is to give an insight on the Ayala Museum and the Library/ Iconographic Archive which is highly specialized in its collection. It is now on its final stage of processing all materials prior to computerization. Computerization is to commence by January, 1992 to design the ff:databases: book, slides, photographs, maps, memora bilia, museum collections, etc. The Library/Icon has no specific software for this purpose. Only the UNESCO CDS/ISIS is being used in some libraries in Metro Manila. There are also some problems to be encountered like the lack of training of staff on the use of com-puters, computers in general and lack of a good library software or system.

The company will benefit much form this conference with the computerization of its collections thus provide access to various holdings and location of such collection and by facilitating the search for bibliographic information in just one central location for the whole museum. The Ayala Museum and Library can network and share their resources with other libraries and museums locally and internationally.
 

 
1. INTRODUCTION

I am very much honored and privileged to be with you today on the occasion of the 5th Inter-national Conference on New Information Technologies. Let me express my sincerest thanks to the organizing committee headed by Dr. Ching-chih Chen and our Museum Director, Mrs. Sonia Ner who made possible the splendid opportunity to be here today. The Ayala Museum Library and Iconographic Archive would like to join this Information Technology era. Its establishment has resulted in the increasing development of information services and to retrieve information by the users the researchers, students, foreign scholars and tourists, the government and the private sector and especially management.

This paper describes in detail the collections of the Museum as a whole, their Library and Icono-graphic Archive collections, facilities and computerization.

In the Philippines at present, there are only a few museums which are famous for their rich collection of Filipina materials. Several of these museums are located in Metro Manila, such as the Manila Museum, the National Historical Institute, the Metropolitan Museum, the Central Bank Museum and the Ayala Museum and Iconographic Archives. The latter was founded by a non-stock corporation, the Ayala Foundation, Inc., while all the others are all government museums or esta-blishments. My paper discusses the Ayala Museum of which I am the Head Librarian at present.

2. THE AYALA MUSEUM

2.1 History and Objectives of the Ayala Museum

The Ayala Museum of Philippine History and Iconographic Archive is a project of the Ayala Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization founded on December 14, 1961. The Museum itself commenced operation in April, 1967. After two changes in site, the Museum moved in June 1974 to its present location in Makati Avenue. Two years later, as a result of its rapid growth, a few more halls were constructed.

The Ayala Museum sits on 1,950 square meters of land in the middle of Metropolitan Manila's plush commercial areas. It is accessible to various offices and establishments in the district. The Museum building, designed by Leandro V. Locsin an Associates, is characterized by a series of rectangular blocks, reflecting the Museum's role to help bridge the country's past with the present, the traditional with the modern.

From its beginning, the Museum saw itself as a learning and service organization conceived to educate and arouse historical consciousness among its public through a body of carefully chosen collections. To achieve these objectives, it performs three fundamental activities:

Conducting and conserving artifacts, relics, documents and books of historical, cultural and aesthetic value;

Conducting studies and research on its collections; and

Communication to the public through meaningful displays and through publications the significance of what it has chosen to collect, to conserve, and study.

The Museum's initial collection, including a few artifacts acquireed from H. Otley Beyer, the "Father of Philippine Anthropology", was later expanded due to generous donations from the collec-tions of Paz Amora Mascunana, Fr. Jaime Neri, S.J., Galo Ocampo, and Fernando Zobel. The library received some 2,000 rare and contemporary books and periodicals from the Ayala Corpora-tion, to which were added many more items from the libraries of the historians Carlos Quirino and Juan Palazon. Over the years, the Museum has acquired a number of carefully selected examples of ethnographic and archaeological materials to represent the country's rich and diverse cultural heritage. A number of oils by Fernando Amorsolo were also acquired an put up for viewing, thus making the building itself a gallery of the National Artist.

The Museum is however, not a mere repository of historical objects and mementos. With an on-going program of varied activities, the Museum also becomes a show case for contemporary cultural endeavors.

2.2. The Diorama of Philippine History

Easily a great favorite and definitely a crowd drawer is the Ayala Museum's exhibit of 63 dioramas. The three dimensional dioramas depict high points in Philippine dating back to 150,000 - 30,000 B.C. to the EDSA Revolution in 1986.

A panel composed of the country's foremost historians and scholars selected the events depicted in the dioramas. A research team then studied historical photographs, eyewitness accounts of the events and places, and the actual specimens to prepare the working plans for the settings and figurines. The researches paid careful attention to historical details to make everything that went into each diorama authentic representations. Thus, and observer who takes time out to study each diora-ma will learn not only of the events that shaped Philippine history, but furniture and house furnish-ings, mode of transportation, and other particulars of Filipino life though the ages.

Once the dioramasmas were assembled, special lightning was designed for each one to give the appropriate mood and time of the day and to give the viewers a feeling of "being there". The dioramas therefore help the viewers re-live Philippine history in all its color and drama. At the same time, they showcase Filipino artistry and craftsmanship.

A tour of the dioramas begins in the second floor and ends in the first floor where the Museum galleries are:

Gallery I

Appropriately called the Boat Room, it contains a collection of watercraft models. Since the Philippines is surrounded by water and Filipinos have been known as a sea-faring people, the Ayala Museum decided to present, as part of its permanent exhibit, models of watercraft that have played important roles in Philippine history.

Gallery II

Gallery II showcases representative example of the country's archaeological, ethnic, and colonial heritage. A relief map at the gallery entrance pinpoints the area where the Philippine major ethno-linguistic groups live and where the main archaeological excavation sites are.

Gallery III & IV

This area of the Museum is set aside for exhibits that are normally changed every three weeks. Gallery III offers to the public a wide variety o exhibits such as paintings, sculpture, ethnic arts and handicrafts, prints and photographs of local artists. Thus, displays of portable greenscapes, cartoons, World War II air and transport models, barong tagalogs, and artists are invited to exhibit in gallery III.

In this way the Museum seeks to show not only the continuity of Philippine artistic traditions and sensibilities, which link the past (as expressed by the permanent exhibits), to contemporary artistic developments in the country. These exhibits also manage to show the vitality of contemporary Philippine art forms as part of the world community of art.

2.3 Facilities and Services

The Filipinas Room

The Filipinas Room sits 90 and is equipped with slide and film projectors and recorders. It is a frequent venue for showing the Museum's ethno-historical films on Filipinos art and culture and for critically acclaimed foreign films from different embassies. It is an increasingly popular choice of other groups assemblies and cultural activities, aside from the Museum sponsored lectures, conferences and musical presentations.

The Museum Shop

Located at the first floor lobby, this small shop carries Museum publications and other Filipina books, slides, postcards and souvenir items designed and made crafted by the Museum, as well as consigned items. On the second floor lobby is another counter which features choice antique and contemporary jewelry.

Publication Management

Aside from its own publications, the Ayala Museum assists individuals and organizations interested in publishing in their pre-printing and printing needs. Its services include research and documentations, editing, photography, graphic design, and supervision of printing.

Additional Services for other Museums

The Ayala Museum offers consultancy services for provinces, towns, organizations, and individuals wishing to set their own museums. Assistance may be in the form of research, authen-tication and documentation of the collection and the actual setting up of exhibits. A typical example is Ayala Museum's participation in the establishment of the Archdioceses of Sand Fernando Museum and Archives in Pampanga. The Museum was also commissioned to assemble some twenty dioramas for the National Museum of Singapore.

Research and Publications

The Museum's Research Department does historical, artistic and ethnographic studies on the Philippines. Especially noteworthy is an on-going comprehensive research on colonial church art. An initial publication on this subject matter is a section on Spanish colonial art, written by Fr. Gabriel Casal and Mr. Regalado Trota Jose, K Jr. for the catalogue for the exhibit, "People and Art of the Philippines", the largest and most popular of its kind held in the United States. The Ayala Museum was one of the three curators for the exhibit which opened in Honolulu in 1981 and traveled on to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago where it ended in 1982. More recently, Fr. Gabriel Casal and Mrs. Sonial Ner wrote and article on fold Christianity and Mr. Regalado Trota Jose, Jr. on Colonial Art for the catalogue for a similar exhibit on the Philippines held at Munich, Germany in the summer of 1985.

Art classes

Every year over 300 students are enroled in the various art classes offered throughout the years. To complement the popular oil and watercolor painting classes, pottery and art appreciation classes were also offered aside from a number of children's art workshops held during summer.

3. THE AYALA MUSEUM LIBRARY AND ICONOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE

The Ayala Museum Library and Iconographic Archives specializes in Filipiniana, with strong emphasis on art, culture and history, as well as humanities and the social science. It was established to meet the research needs of Filipino and foreign students, scholars, researchers, etc. Efforts are being made to collect -- either through purchase, exchange or donations -- anything and everything on the Philippines that is of historical and cultural value.

It is has a Head Librarian, one librarian, and one library assistant. It is composed of two sections: the book collection and the iconographic archives.

The book collection (contemporary and rare books), cumbering more than 12,000 volumes, consists of rare books, manuscripts, prints, vertical file materials, clippings, brochures, and non-print materials such as 10,000 slides, films, audiovisual tapes, etc. The library has expanded its holdings to include materials on the history and culture of other nations such as Spain, China and other countries of Latin America and South East Asia, for comparative purposes. In addition, the Library possesses a supplementary collection of about 1,000 maps of different locales in the Philippines.

The entire collection of books and photographs is still in the precess of organization. The nucleus of the book collection was donated by the Ayala Corporation Archive/Library Department. The catalog of the collection is under preparation for purposes of exchange with Asian and other foreign libraries.

The Special Rare Book Section of the Ayala Museum Library consists of more than 2,000 titles. This section prides itself with having some of the rarest books in the Philippines, the Dootrina Christiana, in Spanish, old Tagalog, and Chinese versions; Conquistta de las Islas Molucas, printed in Madrid in 1609 by Bartolome de Argenfol; an original copy of the 55-volume set, The Philippine Islands, 1493-1893 by Blair and Robertson; and Francisco Pi Y Margall's 8-volume set, Historia de Espana en el siglo XIX.

The subject of Philippine birds, old and new, has been well-explored, well-illustrated and well-written about. Four main sets of these winged beauties worth mentioning are:

1. Masuji Hachisuka's The Birds of the Philippine Islands, printed in two volumes, with illustrations, in 1935;

2. 31-page I. Birds from Mindoro and Small Adjacent Islands and II. Notes on Three Rare Luzon Birds, with plates, by Richard McGregor;

3. A Manual of Philippine Birds, printed by the Manila Bureau of Printing in 1909 in two volumes; and

4. Bolder Sharps' On the Birds Collected by Prof. J.B. Steere in the Philippine Archipelago, printed in 1876, with plates.

The Botanical Sciences section, too, includes a long list of significant works written on Philip-pine plants, flowers and herbs. Among these is Manuel Blanco's Flora de Filipinas; edicionada con manuscrito inedito del P. Fr. Ignacio Mercado las obras de Fr. Antonio de Fr. Antonio Llanos y de un apenice, grand edition in four volumes, printed in Manila in 1880. This is a masterpiece which today would cost no less P25,000.00.

The Life Sciences Section is comprised by 19 entries. Most of these works are studies made by various authors of different nationalities on the extant ethnic groups in the Philippines. An example is The Gems of the East: Sixteen Thousand Miles of Research Travel Among the Wild and Tame Tribes of Enchanting Islands, by A. Henry Savage Landor.

The largest section falls under the General History of the Philippines heading. Among the more than 100 entries are:

Repertoria Historicao, Biografico y Bibliografico ( Collection de obras publicadas hasta el presente en la prena de Manila, y ahora cuidadosamente renundidas...) printed in 3 volumes

Historia de Filipinas; Apuntes de Obras y documentos indeitors por Espanoles, copiados y colleccionados in 7 volumes, printed in 1912.

The Iconographic Archives is unique in the history of Philippine Museology. It is composed of 20,000 entries on various subjects, from books, paintings, private collections, and libraries. The reproductions are divided into three types: black and white pictures, colored pictures and slide reproductions -- from pictures of seeds, beads, and minute details of paintings, drawings and manuscripts, to pictures of monuments, cathedrals and mountains; receipts and birth entries of important statesmen and artists, photos of war technologies form different Philippine groups, and scenes of the economy and industry of each province.

Festivals and traditional scenes are captured in black and white and in colored reproductions: the lenten flagellants and cenculos, obando dance offering; rotating the lechon, a Philippine gastrono-mical institution; the native and long-lasting barrio fiesta; and, of course, the Christmas "parol" or lanterns are also serious scenes: worshippers from orienta and western religions and their places of worship; wedding and funeral practices of both Christian and native indegenous groups; and typical school day activities.

There are musical instruments: kubing, gabang, gongs and kulintangan, bamboo zithers and native violins, and western type orchestras and their bamboo versions. Art crafts of Filipinos present and past, ethnic and Christianized are well-presented.

Of particular interest are two sets of works done by Damian Domingo (Collection de Trajes Manila y de las Provincias; 32 Drawings) and Carl Johann Karuth (72 drawings form the J.A. Karuth album). These are 19th century representations of Philippine costumes.

Important contemporary events are also recorded. Each item is appropriately annotated, catalo-gued and indexed, thus making the collections especially useful for researchers, writers and scholars. Materials form the Iconographic Archives have appeared in various media: in print, radio, television, and movies. The documentary photographs may be useful in other unexpected ways, as when in recent cases some were used to identify and redeem stolen items.

4. LIBRARY SERVICES

Photographic Reproduction and Photography

The Museum Library services requests for photo/slide reproduction of its iconographic collection and selected Museum items. It also maintains a photocopying matching for books and other printed materials.

Proposed Computerization

A number of library problems are the key factors in the proposal to automate the organization and documentation of the Ayala Museum Library and Iconographic Archive. Among the key factors are the big cataloging backlog, limited library space, limited library income, and other factors.

5. PROBLEM AREAS

5.1. Cataloging Backlog

The need for an automated database on the collections and other resources of the Ayala Museum Library was perceived by this writer as soon as she took charge as librarian of the Ayala Museum. The main reason is that the rich, well-selected collection of about 20,000 books, slides, films, audio-visual cassette tapes, pictures, and photographs remain largely unorganized. Much of the collection has not been accessed or cataloged.

Retrieval of materials, not to mention information, is not only the adverse effect of the this state of affairs. Because of the sate of disarray of the library, it is not included as a destination in the Museum's Daily Tours. Visitors pay admission to see the dioramas, the boat room, and the gallery exhibits, but the existence of the library is unknown to most museum visitors.

The big cataloging backlog is the result largely of the lack of a supervising librarian in the Ayala Museum for some time. A curator had previously supervised library staff and although the curator, a well-respected cultural historian and scholar, did tremendously well in putting together a valuable collection, little was done to organize the materials to facilitate library service and retrieval of infor-mation. The library functioned as a scholar's library,with the scholar-curator able to locate needed materials. But with his resignation, retrieval has become very difficult and time-consuming.

Information retrieval is conducted through the traditional card catalog, which is outdated on account of the backlog. Catalog cards are individually produced on a material typewriter and filed in the card catalog. Traditional cataloging practices are observed. There are limited access entries: author, title, and one to three subjects. This is inadequate for the type of information search undertaken by the library for its clientele.

Computerizing the essential cataloging and indexing operations will facilitate and expedite the organization of the collection and provide greater intensity and depth of indexing and other documen-tation processes. Information retrieval and production of bibliographic outputs will also be greatly facilitated.

5.2. Limited Library Space

The present library floor area is only 52.5 square meters. There is little prospect for additional space for library purposes in this financial and commercial area where space is at a high premium. There is minimal space for library users, but those who do come to use the library do so for intensive search for elusive bits of information about Philippine history and culture. this number rises as library services are improved.

There is not enough space for a growing card catalog and the index files that need to be generated for a collection of varied media and for the requisite indexing depth.

Automation of cataloging and other library databases will entail minimal space requirement -- that of only one or two computer workstations.

5.3. Limited Library Income

In the Makati area, the first class community in Metro Manila, every square meter costs a lot of money on the part of the Ayala Foundation. Although the Ayala Museum and Library is the creation of a non-stock foundation, every division, department or unit is expected to generate as much income as possible towards its continuing viability. The Ayala Museum Library has the lowest income among the various divisions in the Museum. The Galleries, the Diorama Room, the Filipinas Room, the Art classroom, the Museum Shop, and the Library are all required to generate income to make up for at least some portion of the direct and indirect expenses for their maintenance.

The Library charges a daily entrance fee of five pesos (15 cents) per user (college students) and 15 pesos (50 cents) for scholars and professionals for the use of the Library per day. Additional income is generated from photocopying services.

Improvement of library services all around would result in augmented income. More efficient retrieval will attract more users to the library and generate more income through computerized printouts of bibliographic information. A well-organized library would also be a more attractive stop and resource for tourists and other visitors, such that the Library could share in the income from the Museum's Daily Tours. A general improvement in the library, even if it would still not generate a higher income than the other units, would at least indicate a sincere and hardworking attempt on the part of the library staff to generate as much income as possible.

5.4. Other Factors in Library Automation

Other problem areas need to be considered in the proposed library automation program.

The library staff, with the exception of the supervising librarian, are not oriented to the compu-ter's usefulness, flexibility, and capability for bibliographic information handling. They favor use of the typewriter even in the face of a typing backlog of about 8,000 entries and process slips.

Although the library staff have had some training in librarianship, such training has been limited, has obviously been forgotten in part from atrophy, and is almost certainly outdated. It did not include training in information technology.

The library had one typewriter and no computer on June 16, 1992, but a computer was imme-diately furnished when I took over as head librarian on June 16, 1992. Management also readily approved the proposal to automate technical processing and other library records. Indeed, the propo-nent was requested to expand the proposal to include in the automation program the Museum's records.

The Ayala Museum has developed a fountain of information on its artists, mailing list of visitors per exhibit, art objects/pieces, list of elementary and high school students sponsored by the Ayala Corporation, schedules of exhibits, monthly schedule of activities, and other records. Compu-terization of this information would facilitate retrieval of the data by Corporation officers and employees and interested clientele.

However, cost of library software for the purpose is considered beyond the Ayala Foundation's capability at the present time.

6. COMPUTERIZATION PLAN

UNESCO's CDS/ISIS system of UNESCO s the only available software for the Ayala Museum's plan to computerize. I is free. The University of the Philippines Institute of Library Science provides technical support and staff training for a minimal fee.

The databases to be developed are the following:

1. Contemporary book database

2. Rare book database

The above will consist of more than 20,000 entries: access points are author, title, subject or use of keywords.

3. Acquisition database: a centralized tracking system of all the materials acquired by the Library/Iconographic Archive for the last five years (1987-1992).

4. Photographs database: will involve data encoding of about 4,000 items or 15,000 photographs.

5. Slides database: will involve encoding more than 6,000 slides

6. Ayala Collection Database: will include all publications, books, paintings or other works of art, the members of the Ayala family and others.

The three-year (1992-1994) forward plan for computerization is as follows:

Phase I (July-December 1992) will be the inventory of the collection of books, photographs, slides, etc.

The Library and Iconographic Archive staff will process the backlogs by cataloging and assign- ing subject headings of a total of 20,000 collections. Likewise, a total inventory is needed to deter-mine the extent of the iconographic collection.

Basic training on advanced cataloging and computer usage or operations will be given to the library staff. Special focus will be given to the organization of special materials in accordance with the multi-media nature of the iconographic collection.

Phase II (1993) highlights the computerization of library/iconographic archive collection. The first stage or phase will be the computerization of books and the second phase will be the computeri-zation of photographs by the 2nd quarter (April-December 1993). While computerization is process, the backlog of about 60% will continue to be processed or catalogued and classified and targeted to be finished by the end of 1993.

New information services will be introduced by the Library/Iconographic Archive by the start of the third quarter (by July) such as: Current Awareness, Abstract Service and Bibliography. These were discussed earlier.

Phase III (1994), the Library/Iconographic Archives will continue acquiring more quality and historical books, photographs, slides, etc. It will eventually finish the microfiching of rare books by the end of 1994. Additional information services will be developed such as packaged information, contract research and indexing of presidential papers, as well as sale of publications. The write-up on the profile of the Library and Iconographic Archive or its brochure will also commence in January 1994.

The online search from 1993-1994 will be realized and retrieval of information will be easier than before. The users may access information using author, title, subject or descriptors/keywords. New library fees will be recommended to generate additional income for the Library and Iconographic Archive. This will spearhead the development of a total information center for the Ayala Museum. The Library/Iconographic Archive will be an additional educational place to be visited by local and international clients to a well organized and automated Filipiniana Library/Iconographic Archive Department.

7. CONCLUSION

This paper discussed the present status, collections and services of the Ayala Museum, particu-larly the Ayala Museum Library and Iconographic Archives. The Museum continues to draw a lot of tourists, Filipino students at all levels, and people from all walks of life. It has brought tremendous cultural awareness and consciousness of the evolution of Filipinos from the Spanish period to the present. This was achieved through its dioramas and galleries. In addition, it established the Library and Iconographic Archive in 1974 to house Filipiniana materials, such as contemporary and rare books, pictures, slides, maps, films on art, culture and history, as well as the humanities and the social sciences.

The increasing demand and utilization of the Museum and the Library and Iconographic Archive by a great number of users day by da encourages and motivates the writer to facilitate retrieval and delivery of information through automation.

In order to implement the three-span automation plan for 1992-1994, the following requirements are essential:

training of the Library/Museum staff on automation;

hardware and software support should be fully extended;

budget allocation should be released in due time; and

continuous upgrading of the personal to learn new trends and techniques of automation and related courses.

It is my hope that the initial computerization shall commence by January 1993 with full support, confidence and trust from the administration.

In May, I invite you to visit the Philippines and the Ayala Museum in Makati and have a pleasant and wonderful stay in Hong Kong. To the Organizing Committee of the New Information Techno-logies, I thank you.
 
 

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