Friday, March 9, 2018

Who is the Colonel's Wife? Knowing More About the Egberts

Writing this post in celebration of the 59th National Public Library Day (every March 9).

We usually pass by a well trimmed grassy area where an old cannon is placed at the ALERT Center. If you take a closer look, the inscription says that it is dedicated to Colonel Harry C. Egbert (One Valenzuela wrote about the cannon about 5 years ago in 2013. Read: History in One Valenzuela's Day: Dr. Ambeth Ocampo on Rizal and a War Relic from the Battle of Malinta). Col. Egbert played an important role in the past. What else can we learn from his personal history?

The cannon was once placed near the Social Hall and was transferred here at the ALERT Center. 

"In memory of Col. Harry Clay Egbert, U.S. Army, Brigadier General-U.S. Vols. who was mortally wounded on this spot while leading his regiment, 22nd U.S. Infantry, 26th March 1899".

Details of the Labanan sa Malinta. Photo taken from the Valenzuela City Museum

Just a few days ago, the curator of Valenzuela City Museum tagged One Valenzuela on Twitter. Here, he mentioned that Col. Harry has a wife who happens to be a very important name in the library science world (especially in the history of public libraries in the Philippines). Being a lecturer on the topic of public libraries in the librarian licensure examination reviews at UST, her name will always be on the review materials: Nelly Young Egbert (Sometimes spelled "Nellie"). Yes, the Colonel's wife is a librarian. Not interesting enough?   

The curator mentioned that the information came from the Facebook account of R. Dante O. Perez. Sir Dante gladly allowed One Valenzuela to lift the passage linking Harry C. Egbert and Nelly Young Egbert:
"On March 5, 1900, a Monday, a century and eighteen years ago, the American Circulating Library of Manila, the earliest subscription library in the Philippines, was inaugurated at 70 Calle Rosario in Intramuros, Manila. It was dedicated  as a memorial to the American soldiers and sailors who lost their lives in the country. It was organized by Mrs. Charles R. Greenleaf with Nelly Young Egbert (widow of General H.C. Egbert who died in the country in line of duty) as its first librarian."
Credit: R. Dante O. Perez, Librarian-Archivist at Father Duenas Memorial School, Guam

The Colonel's wife was the first librarian of the American Circulating Library.

One Valenzuela was hoping to find a photo of Nelly Young Egbert online but was not able to do so. But she found a short entry in the book, The United States in Asia: A Historical Dictionary:

EGBERT, NELLY YOUNG (1843-1913). Librarian, born in Washington, D.C. Egbert came to the Philippines in 1899 with her husband, an army officer, who was killed that year. She became president of the Manila Aid Society, which provided services to disabled soldiers. She was the first librarian of the American Circulating library (later the Philippine Library and Museum) in Manila from 1900 to 1909, and its superintendent and librarian until her retirement in 1911. She returned  to the United States in 1911. Died June 2, 1913 (Reference: DPB 2)

An interesting fact to know on a day worth celebrating. Wish there's more to know and learn about the Egberts.  

How about today? One Valenzuela has been blessed to know of some Valenzuelanos who are rockin' it in the librarianship field. Two bagged the librarian licensure examination: one was born in Pasolo while the other hails from Balangkas. The latter is currently a very passionate professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman School of Library and Information Studies, Mr. Elijah John Dar Juan. On the other hand, Ms. Eimee Rhea Lagrama of Parada is the head of UP University Archives Division and was recently accepted at the Archives Leadership Institute's ALI18. Another librarian from Gen. T. De Leon, Ms. April Manabat, who works at the De La Salle University Library was awarded in 2017 the 3rd Place Best Paper with a co-author at ICOaSL in Indonesia.

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