Local Studies Centers in the Philippines: An Introductory Text

Local Studies Centers in the Philippines: An Introductory Text

Martin Julius V. Perez (Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippines)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9542-9.ch011
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Local studies centers are specialized information centers combining a library, an archives and a museum in terms of the range of the collections, and serving one purpose of preservation of knowledge about a certain locality defined in all facets. In the Philippines, these local studies centers were established as early as 1975 and from there, different local studies centers were established. This chapter aims to present an introductory text to the local studies centers in the Philippines. It describes and identifies what a local studies center is based on the structure and characteristics of existing local studies centers in the Philippines, specifically: organization and administration; collection; and services and programs. Further, this chapter intends to present select established local studies centers in the Philippines.
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What Is A Local Studies Center?

An institution dedicated to the study of local studies (including local history) is coined as a “local studies center.” It is important to trace back the history and development of such concept in order to understand how it was conceived and how it operates. It can be noted that various terminologies were identified but are referring to the same concept of local studies center.

In an article in 1992, Rimmer outlined the concept of “local studies centre” vis-a-vis a record center. He has noted that a “local studies centre,” based on its operations, is an agency that combines a records office, a local studies library and sometimes a museum (see Figure 1). Attributing the concept of “local studies centre” to “local studies,” he provided some definitions of the concept of the latter. Local studies can be: 1) a sub-discipline of librarianship, 2) a type of history project relating to a locality, and 3) a “local study” per se (Rimmer, 1992). He further noted that the terminology “local studies centre,” is vague. Different terms have been used for the said combined units that can be synonymous to the “local studies centre.” These include: “local interest centre,” “records and research centre,” “local history resource centre” and “heritage centre.” This suggests that there is no established vocabulary on the idea of that combined agency.

Figure 1.

The local studies center: a library, an archives and a museum


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