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Import of the archive : American colonial bureaucracy in the Philippines, 1898-1916

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Item Summary

Title:Import of the archive : American colonial bureaucracy in the Philippines, 1898-1916
Authors:Beredo, Bernadette Cheryl
Date Issued:May 2011
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011]
Abstract:When the U.S. acquired the Philippines at the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, it also acquired the Spanish Crown's archives on the archipelago.
The vagaries of war had resulted in the destruction of many of the colonial government's records, and those that had survived the upheaval were, in many instances, unsatisfactory to the officials of the newly-installed American government.
Shortly thereafter, the Bureau of Archives was established to care for the existing Spanish records and house the inactive records of the American government.
The archives played a crucial role in the entrenchment of the American colonial state in the Philippines. Over the next twenty years, the Bureau of Archives became more than just the repository for inactive records of the two colonial regimes.
It collaborated with the Bureau of Lands in attempts to register public lands, to settle natives on theretofore uncultivated arable land, and to settle disputes about privately-owned land. During this period, the bureau also managed the government's new system to register cattle brands, trademarks and copyrights, a crucial function in the islands' economic development.
The establishment and growth of the state's archives in the early years of colonial occupation were important to the suppression of the ongoing Philippine revolution, the disposition of seized lands, and the development of a colonial economy.
Though a much less spectacular and less memorable colonial project than the establishment of public education or the construction of roads, it was precisely the Bureau of Archives' insidiousness that made it so effective.
The Bureau of Archives was not a passive receptacle for the government's unneeded documents; and it did not simply document the work of the colonial state. It was part of the undeniably political and ambitious project of American empire.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - American Studies

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