Page:The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 (Prospectus).pdf/9

This page has been validated.

The Philippine Islands— 1493-1803

7

religious and secular. These manuscripts are to be presented to the public chiefly through English translation; although a few (as those Earliest manuscripts of Pigafetta and Loarca, above mentioned) will be given in both languages—the former in French and English, and the latter in Spanish and English. From these and other documents printed bi-lingually will beseen the peculiarities of Peculiarities of the manuscripts the old manuscripts; and the difficulty of reading them will be thoroughly appreciated. Those old forms and abbreviations have made the transcription a difficult task. Special and expert copyists were needed Difficult to decipher to decipher the writing of many documents, in order that correct copies might be obtained for translation in this work.

Most of the printed books included Given in English for the first time in this series are here published for the the first time in English. Notable among them is a pamphlet issued in 1566, Copia de una carta venida de Sevilla á Miguel Salvador de Valencia, the earliest published account of Legazpi's proceedings Earliest published account in taking possession of the Philippines for Spain. Of this book but one copy is known to be extant, which is now in Barcelona; on this account, the original Legazpi, only copy known, in Barcelona text as well as the translation will be presented in this series. Occasional copies of other early works have been found, notwithstanding their great rarity, in the large reference libraries of the United States, mainly at Harvard and Lenox: and it is a matter of just pride to Americans that in our libraries may be found copies of some works which are rarities in foreign libraries, sometimes even in those of Spain. Among these is the Chirino, one of the rarest Jesuit Chirino's Relacion de las Islas Filipinas (Roma, 1604), described by Quaritch in 1901 as "one of the rarest of books on the Philippines;" at least two copies of this book, however, are found in the United