Encarnacion Alzona
(1895 - 2001)

On August 20, 1919, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera wrote a then 24-year old Encarnacion Alzona, congratulating her on being a pensionada and encouraging her to write a history of Manila. Alzona never got to write that history. Her distinguished, eight-decade long career as a historian, Rizal scholar, professor, and suffragist has, however, justified—many times over—the confidence Pardo de Tavera had shown in her.

Alzona earned three post-graduate degrees, the last two being a Master’s Degree in History from Radcliffe College, and a Doctorate in History from Columbia University. She returned from her studies to teach at the University of the Philippines for over two decades.

In 1932, she penned her first book, A History of Education in the Philippines: 1565-1930, described by the Philippines Herald as “the most complete and comprehensive work on the subject to date.” She went on to write prodigiously, producing a canon of works whose breadth, scholarship and insight established her reputation as the first and foremost woman historian of the Philippines. She also translated many of the works and correspondence of Jose Rizal.

A feminist, she was among the leading suffragists of the time, using her formidable skills as a writer and historian to advocate the Filipino woman’s right to vote.

In 1985, she was conferred the title of National Scientist.

ALIWW is honored to host a substantial Encarnacion Alzona Collection, for which a catalogue has been painstakingly prepared and published. This catalogue itemizes a staggering 6,768 pieces of print memorabilia, documenting the extraordinary life and career of one of the most accomplished women the country has ever produced.

©Ateneo Library of Women's Writings
3/F-Rizal Library Annex
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights,1103 Q.C., Philippines


Carmencita Chuidian Delgado
Memorial Lecture Series





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