About the Foundation

History and Mission

The Ortigas Foundation was incorporated on November 7, 1996 with the goal of creating a center to promote the study of Philippine history, art and culture.  It is our aim to encourage and assist students and the general public in researching and conserving the fascinating story of our nation and preserving its cultural artifacts.

The Ortigas Foundation Library is the cornerstone of our ongoing research and conservation program. The library makes available its unique collection of historical books, periodicals and photographs in a quiet setting, conducive to study.   Our library staff and special consultants are trained in the proper handling of antique and fragile materials and follow internationally accepted standards of archival conservation.   We are happy to assist researchers with inquiries about our special collections and to provide copying services when feasible.

The Ortigas Foundation Library also hosts conferences and offers its meeting rooms for seminars, lectures, colloquia, exhibitions, and other interdisciplinary events for both the academic and business community. Our underlying goal is to promote Philippine studies through creative programs in a supportive setting.

Our Principal Holdings

The foundation of our research library was established with the acquisition of the Netzorg Filipiniana Collection from Cellar Books in Detroit, Michigan and the personal reference library of the late Dr. Gregorio F. Zaide.  Morton “Jock” Netzorg was a lifelong student of Philippine history and for decades the foremost dealer in Filipiniana books in the United States.  Dr. Gregorio F. Zaide was a prolific writer and one of the Philippines’ most prominent historians for many years.  He regularly represented the country abroad at academic conferences and symposia.   In 2009 the library was loaned an additional nine thousand Philippine history books, vintage photographs and documents from the Rafael Ortigas Jr. family.  Many of these date from the Spanish era in the Philippines.   Over the years, the Francisco Ortigas family and other friends have added valuable material to this core collection.

Highlights of Our Collection

  • Hacluyt’s 1666 translation of Melchisédech Thévenot’s “Relations de Divers Voyages Curieux”.
  • 1767 edition of George Anson’s “Voyage Round the World” with forty-two copper plate engravings and maps, including an account of the capture of the Manila Galleon by the British.
  • Juan de la Concepcion’s  1788 – 1792 “Historia General de Filipinas”,  complete in fourteen volumes.
  • The extremely rare gallery proofs of John R. M. Taylor’s “Insurgent Records”.  One of the most extensive archives of captured Filipino revolutionary documents.
  • Marion Wilcox’ 1900 folio edition of “Harper’s History of the War in the Philippines” with hundreds of illustrations from photographs and drawings.
  • Prof. Zaide’s extensive collection of books and articles by and about Filipino National Hero Jose Rizal.
  • Netzorg’s comprehensive set of reference material on the Second World War in the Philippines.
  • The library also has a complete set of the records of the Japanese war crimes trials and original newspapers, magazines and photographs from the war years. The Ortigas Library collection contains over sixteen thousand books, periodicals, graduate theses, manuscripts, photographs, maps and loose documents relating to Philippine history. 
  • Over 9,000 books, images and documents from the personal collection of Atty. and Mrs. Rafael Ortigas Jr. specialize in Spanish-era Philippines.