Rizal Library

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Rizal Library
File:First Pacific Hall.jpg
The First Pacific Hall of the Rizal Library
Country Philippines
Type University library
Established 1967
Location Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Branches none
Access and use
Access requirements Staff, students, faculty, and alumni of the university (researchers from outside the university community are likewise served)
Other information
Director Vernon R. Totanes
Website http://rizal.lib.admu.edu.ph

The Rizal Library is the main university library of the Ateneo de Manila University. It mainly serves and supports the teaching and research in the Loyola Schools. It is named after Ateneo de Manila alumnus José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines.[1]

Divisions and Services

The Rizal Library is divided into functional divisions: Technical Services, Readers Services, Special Collections and Archives, and Support Services. Under the Technical Services are Acquisitions, Cataloging, and Indexing sections. Under the Readers Services are the Circulation, General Reference, Filipiniana, Computer and Audio-Visual Services, Microform Reading Center, and Foreign Periodicals sections. The Special Collections and Archives division has the Ateneo Library of Women’s Writing (ALIWW), American Historical Collection (AHC), and the Pardo de Tavera Special Collection Archives, and Photoduplication Services sections under it.[2]

A new five-storey Rizal Library building was completed and opened in 2009. The new building, which is divided into the North and South Wings, houses the library's circulation section, the undergraduate and graduate reserve sections, the multimedia collection, the periodicals collection, the Japanese collection, online database access terminals, an information commons, and the Library's technical services facilities.[3] The new library building carries the name "First Pacific Hall" in gratitude to a donation made by the First Pacific Corporation towards its construction.

The old library building, now called the Rizal Library Special Collection has a floor area of 7,000 sq. m. and houses the Microform Reading Center, Art Book Collection, Filipiniana Section, American Historical Collection, the Ateneo Library of Women's Writings, the Pardo de Tavera Collection, and the Theses and Dissertations collection. It also has cubicles for faculty, photocopying stations, and other facilities.[2][3]

The library also manages at least 250 open-access computers spread in various locations in the Loyola Schools. The library also maintains the a study hall named after Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci.[2]


The current collection exceeds the requirements of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU), of which the Ateneo de Manila University is a member, for academic libraries in the Philippines. The library also keeps rare Filipiniana materials, which include a permanent exhibit of Rizal memorabilia; the Trinidad Pardo de Tavera collection; the American Historical Collection; the Ateneo Library of Women's Writings (ALIWW); and other special collections and manuscripts by Filipino scholars, writers, and artists.[4] Around the library are glass cases filled with prehistoric Philippine earthenware as well as porcelain from China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand.[5]

With the country’s National Library, the library has some of the largest holdings of materials in the Philippines.[4]


The façade of the old main library building facing the red brick road of the College Lane

The Ateneo's main library was first located in the Ateneo campus in Intramuros, Manila. Fathers Vicente Jiménez, S.J. and Jacinto Lloven, S.J. collected books and started a library. Supported by the Ayuntamiento (city government of Manila), the first Ateneo library in Intramuros served its purpose effectively for over four decades. In 1921, when the school administration passed to American Jesuits, the Ateneo library was briefly under the care of Fr. Edward Duffy, S.J. Fr. Walter J. Claffey, S.J., was appointed its first director. Claffey officially established the library in the Intramuros campus's "Salón de Vistas," which was later called "Rizal Hall." Fr. Walter Meagher, S.J. became director in 1922 and two years later Fr. James Moran took over.[1]

The library's collection in 1926 was the most up-to-date in Manila. In 1928, the Rizal Book Club was established with Fr. Joseph McGrath, S.J. as moderator. By 1931, the library had around 11,000 volumes but the following year, fire destroyed the campus. The fire devoured all but a handful of books. The Ateneo then transferred to Padre Faura St., still in Manila. There, the library, through the help of friends of Fr. Theodore Daigler, S.J., grew again. So that by 1935, it had built up a collection large enough for Fr. Thomas Tuite, S.J. to introduce the new Dewey Decimal classification system. Fr. John Treubig, S.J., in 1939, with 33 members of the Rizal Book Club boasted of a daily circulation of 300 in a school of less than 2,000 students.[1]

The Second World War destroyed the Ateneo's library, which was restarted by Fr. Jaime Bulatao, S.J., who introduced the Library of Congress classification system. Then Fr. John Carroll, S.J. continued the post-war effort to build the library collection.[1]

In 1952, the Ateneo moved from Padre Faura to Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Mr. Francisco Singson and Fr. Joseph Maxcy, S.J. were the central to the library's development over the next seven years. By 1959, the School's centennial year, a professional librarian, Fr. Robert J. Suchan, S.J. was appointed director. In 1967, the first library building was inaugurated with the help from Ford Foundation, alumni, and other donors. It was named Rizal Library in honor of José Rizal, an alumnus of the university and the national hero of the Philippines. The collection grew over the years.[1]

Mr. Rogelio B. Mallillin became director in 1980. His requests for an expansion of the library facilities came true in 1989 when an annex building, a three-storey building, was completed.[1]

From 1997-2001, Mr. Carmelo V. Lopez headed the Rizal Library. A Rizal Library Board was created in 1997 to serve as the chief advisory body to the Dean of School of Arts and Sciences, now the Vice President for the Loyola Schools, in all matters pertaining to the Rizal Library. Vernon R. Totanes is the current Director of the Rizal Library.[1]

In December 2008, construction began on the new library building, The new facility was expected to be finished in August 2009[6] and was opened in November of the same year.[3]

Image gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Rizal Library website. Last accessed February 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Institutional Brochure, Ateneo de Manila University Rizal Library
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 New Rizal Library Building now open
  4. 4.0 4.1 2007 Institutional Brochure, Ateneo de Manila University. Published by the Office of International Programs, Ateneo de Manila University.
  5. Ambeth Ocampo. "Ateneo's Rizal Library." Posted September 21, 2007, http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view_article.php?article_id=89814. Accessed February
  6. http://www.ateneo.edu/index.php?p=120&type=2&aid=6017 The rise of another iconic structure--the new Rizal Library, last accessed April 2009.

External links