Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Philippine mss. consist of original documents and transcripts relating to the Philippine Islands and the Spanish Roman Catholic missions in East Asia. They were looted from the Augustinian Convent of San Pablo during the British occupation of Manila in 1762-1764 by Sir Samuel Cornish, -1770, and Sir William Draper, 1721-1787, and later acquired by Alexander Dalrymple, 1737-1808, hydrographer to the navy. Dalrymple and his friend, Admiral James Burney, 1750-1821, both made use of the original collection for their respective works on voyages and discoveries in the Pacific Ocean, but the manuscripts they used are no longer in the present collection. At Dalrymple's sale in 1809, the collection was purchased by Richard Heber, 1773-1833. On February 10, 1836, it was acquired by Thomas Thorpe, 1791-1851, who sold it to Sir Thomas Phillipps, 1792- 1872, in the same year. On February 1, 1872, it was assigned by will to his daughter, Katharine (Phillipps) Fenwick, 1823- 1913, with a life interest for her third son, Thomas FitzRoy Fenwick, 1856-1938, who seems to have taken full charge eleven years later. At his death Alan George Fenwick, a nephew, became the life tenant. On February 19, 1946, it was purchased by the house of William H. Robinson, Ltd., which closed its doors in 1956. Philip and Lionel Robinson, however, as private owners retained the collection. It was sold by Sotheby & Co. on June 28, 1966, as "The Property of the Trustees of the Robinson Trust" to the Dolphin Book Company Ltd., from whom Bernardo Mendel, 1895-1967, acquired it for the firm of Lathrop C. Harper. On May 28, 1968, it became the property of the Lilly Library. Eleven additional items dealing with the Philippines were obtained from Lathrop C. Harper on the above date.

Biographical information about Augustinian missionaries was obtained from P. Manuel Merino, O.S.A., Augustinos Evangelizadores de Filipinas, 1565-1965, (Madrid, 1965), (Lilly-Mendel BX2946 .P55 M5).

Collection size: 198 items

Related manuscripts: Philippine mss. II

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.