An educational archival fair

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Monday, December 2, 2013


FOR the first time outside local archives, Spanish documents, artifacts and related objects on Cebu, and its infrastructure and church buildings are now available to the public through a collaborative effort between The National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) and University of San Carlos (USC) Museum.

Dubbed as “Integracion/Internacion: Urbanity, Urbanism and Their Discontents,” the joint exhibit was inaugurated on Nov. 13 at the USC Museum in the university's downtown campus. It will run until May 12, 2014.

Over 60 rare pieces—plans, maps, drawings, reports and legal inheritance documents are on display, coupled with 24 other pieces from USC Museum’s collection as well as loaned items like gold rosaries from separate museums and collectors in Cebu. All the documents were sourced from NAP and were accompanied by a trained documents conservator. According to project director Jojo Bersales, the initiative was planned over the last two years aimed to expose the treasure trove of Spanish-era documents on Cebu and to disseminate awareness to the general audience especially history students, from elementary to post-graduate level.

Bersales said the exhibit is a medium for Cebuanos to see how the local culture was amalgamated into the Spanish notions of urbanity and civility.

“In these times of climate change, where cities and towns can be and are in fact erased by earthquakes and super typhoons, the need for documenting the past and
preserving those documents about everything in a given town or city is ever-important.

For when these very towns and cities get torn asunder by disasters, we will still have documents as future reference as we move on,” he explained.

“Documents and documentation are and should be deemed as integral parts of our collective memory,” Bersales said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 03, 2013.

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