This is super totally random topic, but nevertheless, original and interesting. Maybe if you're not a history buff the topic may be boring, but it's always fun to learn something new, especially if they're a part of your culture's history. Because a lot of these historical publications are now public domain, for sure you can find them digitized at archive.org or Project Gutenberg or even at other places like Google Books.
Just a few hours ago, a Facebook page that I'm following (California Bookstore Day) shared a video about the University of Santo Tomas (or University of St. Thomas), the oldest university in the Philippines (1611), way older than Harvard University (1636), going through a huge restoration of their archival books in their heritage library, many of them are 500 years old. The video that they featured shows the restoration of the very first Tagalog language dictionary called Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala (The Vocabulary of the Tagalog Language). Obviously, it's in (old?) Spanish.
So, I looked it up to see if there's a digitized version of the dictionary. I did find a later edition of it published in 1860 and the copy was contributed by the University of Michigan. Even though it's not the first edition (the original one was published in 1613), still it's interesting to see an edition of the dictionary. Again, it's all in (old?) Spanish, so for all the Spanish speakers out there, this may come in handy. Maybe LOL.
The Philippines did not gain its "independence" from Spain until 1898 when the Spanish-American War broke out there, as well as in Guam, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Sadly for the Philippines, the country was merely transferred its colonization rights to the Americans through the Treaty of Paris, so the country was not quite independent until the end of WWII. A lot of the Philippine historical documents and publications prior to American colonization were in Spanish.
Another one that I'd like to share is (probably) the Philippines' first novel, Noli Me Tangere (Latin for "Touch Me Not") by Jose Rizal, a known revolutionary against Spanish colonization and one of the Philippines' national heroes. Like all of the Philippines' historical publications, it was originally written in (old) Spanish. After Rizal's death (by firing squad), the novel eventually got out of Spanish hands and the Americans were able to obtain a copy. The novel was translated into English several times. The first one by American publisher Frank Ernest Gannett under the title Friars and Filipinos in 1900 and American linguist Charles Derbyshire under the title The Social Cancer.
So, here are the two versions that I found in Project Gutenberg. I couldn't find the original Spanish, so choose and check them out:
My parents had to read this novel back in their high school and college years in the original Spanish and in Tagalog - both parents said they were both difficult to understand because there were two English versions and the faculty couldn't really determine which one of the two is the better translation. Maybe it wasn't a bad idea to keep the Spanish language as one of our official languages then hahahaha
So, do you have any awesome discoveries of historical publications floating around the net? Please share and tell us why you find it interesting and fascinating.