The library houses a vast collection of 3,193 titles of books and 1, 542 volumes of periodicals documenting the varied interest of Mr. Vargas, especially in the areas of history, law, art, philatelic and numismatic. Organized from its specialized collection, the library has the following indices: Vargasiana (bibliography), Quezoniana (MLQ), Philippine art, numismatic, philatelic, ethnographic, and linguistic sources. It is an excellent venue for advanced scholars in a variety of disciplines to pursue their individual or institutional research, including access to manuscripts and rare books.
The U.P. Vargas Museum, more popularly known for its rich collection of artworks from renowned Filipino artists, is also home to a diverse body of archives and manuscripts that is considered to be a unique and primary source of historical information.
Based on an initial survey, the archives consist of 88 boxes or approximately 300 linear feet of loose documents such as artworks’ receipts, minutes of meetings, and correspondence; 332 volumes of scrapbooks including newspaper clippings, greeting cards, photographs, and events programs; and memorabilia such as trophies and plaques, hotel keys, matchboxes and lighters. Having served in various government positions such as being the Executive Secretary of President Manuel L. Quezon and mayor of Manila during World War II, Jorge B. Vargas’ archival collection is virtually a memory house of the Commonwealth era, American colonization and Japanese occupation. Moreover, the museum’s collection of records provides the appropriate contextual perspective to the artworks and to Vargas as a collector.