Christianity and the Development of Libraries in the Philippines


This presentation explores the role of Catholicism in the development of libraries in the Philippines. Its aim is to provide perspective and background information in Philippine library history accounts reflecting Catholicism’s involvement and contributions to the development, and influence to the present stature of libraries in the Philippines. These are presented into three parts: (1) the first collections and convent libraries; (2) Catholicism, education and libraries; and (3) religious collections and religious libraries.


Martin Julius V. Perez is a foreign service staff employee and one of the communications and records officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). He is also a part-time lecturer on archives and records management in the School of Library and Information Studies of the University of the Philippines – Diliman.

He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Library and Information Science (LIS) in 2011 with the distinction of Magna Cum Laude, and currently finishing the Master of Library and Information Science, both from UP Diliman. He is a licensed librarian and ranked second (2nd) in the 2011 Librarians’ Licensure Examination in the Philippines.

Martin formerly worked as a part-time librarian and archivist for the Sto. Domingo Convent Archives and Library, as library assistant and then librarian for the Far Eastern University Library, and as librarian for the Carlos P. Romulo Library of the Foreign Service Institute.

He has served as a resource speaker in the DFA and outside the agency including professional associations, on various library, records, and archives-related topics. He is also active in participating and presenting papers and posters in international conferences on LIS and archival studies. In 2015, he was one of the five Fellows selected to participate in the Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program in the USA.