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PIA spearheads Presidential Library and Memorabilia Project

By Cielito M. Reganit

MANILA, June 28 –- The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) presented on Monday the Presidential Library and Memorabilia Project that aims to provide a comprehensive source of materials on the Philippine Presidency.

The project, which was initiated in 2007 by outgoing Secretary and PIA Director-General Conrado A. Limcaoco Jr., was intended to create a central repository, in digital domain, of multi-media materials and documents on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s major official activities for preservation purposes.

International cataloging standards for archival description and digitalization of documents of various formats were used in the project.

Project Director Belina SB. Capul said that the compilations include photos, audio, videos, publications, print and other special media materials that were produced by the different partner agencies under the government’s information sector.

The project partner offices are the PIA, Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), Radio-Television Malacañang (RTVM), Bureau of Communication Services (BCS), Philippines News Agency (PNA), Bureau of Broadcast Services (BCS), National Broadcasting Network-4 (NBN-4), the National Library and the Presidential Close-in Photographers Office (PCPO).

The compilation likewise includes more than 3,000 photos that depict the country's 14th Chief Executive with the First Family, relatives and friends, as Senator, Vice President and President of the Republic.

Capul said the photos were personally handed by President Arroyo to Secretary Limcaoco over a period of time and are now set in 38 photo albums.

Although the initial project plan was for the creation of a website that will contain all the digital information, Capul said that time and logistical constraints had confined the project to come out with two initial outputs.

The first is My Electronic Album, a copy of the digital information of the multi-media records and documents about the President that was uploaded into a laptop computer for easy and exclusive access and use of President Arroyo.

It is an abridged version of the original plan that creates President Arroyo’s library memorabilia from the time she assumed the Presidency in 2001 up to her last days in Malacanang in 2010. It includes multi-media collections in the form of film, audio recording, printed publications, video tapes of Presidential speeches, news clippings, family photos, TV and radio appearances, state visits, official and private activities, campaign ads and other significant items.

The second is the reorganized presentation of the more than 3,000 photos in 38 photo albums according to subject classification and storyline. The digital version of these photos were also included as part of My Electronic Album.

Capul said that the laptop and the photo albums will be turned over to President Arroyo at the end of her term.

These two are expected to provide a comprehensive source of materials for memorabilia, book writing, research, and exhibition or production of documentary materials on the Arroyo administration.

This early, Capul said that plans are already in the works for the creation of a Presidential Library and Memorabilia Project for incoming President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III.

“It would be in accordance with the original plan and, having more time for preparations and modifications, will be more comprehensive and hopefully posted in the web as intended,” Capul said. (PNA) scs/CMR

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