UST Museum of Arts and Sciences

The University of Santo Tomas Museum is the oldest existing museum in the Philippines. It started as a Gabinete de Fisica, or observation room, of mineral, botanical and biological collections in the 17th century. Under the old Spanish educational law the collections were used as classroom materials, especially in Medicine and Pharmacy.

University of Santo Tomas Museum
Established1869 (1869)
LocationMain Building, University of Santo Tomas, Espana Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila
Coordinates14°36′36.7″N 120°59′21.4″E / 14.610194°N 120.989278°E / 14.610194; 120.989278
TypeUniversity Museum
DirectorIsidro C. Abaño, O.P.



Ramon Martinez, O.P., a professor of natural history, founded the UST Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1871. However, it was Casto de Elera, O.P., who started to systematically gather and catalogue all the collections, some of which date back to 1682.[1]

Considered the oldest school-based museum in the Philippines, the UST Museum became a repository of scientific and artistic articles, and objets d’art. Starting in 1941, the museum acquired the works of Filipino masters such as Fernando and Pablo Amorsolo, Carlos Francisco, Vicente Manansala, and Galo Ocampo. The museum has permanent displays for specimens of natural history, ethnographic materials, Oriental art objects, Philippine religious images, paintings, and Coins, Medals, and Memorabilia. The painting collection includes works from the 17th to the 20th century.[1]

The museum also houses the museum gallery, a souvenir shop, and a mini-library. The museum gallery has served as the venue for art exhibitions.[1]


  • Natural history
  • Visual arts
  • Philippine religious images
  • Coins, medals and memorabilia
  • Non-Philippine Oriental arts
  • Ethnography


  • Library
  • Museum gallery
  • Curio shop
  • Conservation laboratory


  1. ^ a b c UST Museum of Arts & Sciences, retrieved 22 February 2010

Further reading

  • Lenzi, Iola (2004). Museums of Southeast Asia. Singapore: Archipelago Press. p. 200 pages. ISBN 981-4068-96-9.