Filipiniana Arts & Heritage Library



Kapisanan’s Filipino Arts & Heritage Library serves the Kapisanan community. This small but growing collection of approximately 200 books, documents, and films has been carefully assembled to answer the community’s interests and needs, and includes works on special topics (e.g. folklore, traditional dressmaking, history, and women’s issues) as well as modes of expression (e.g. theatre, visual arts, and poetry). Works that deal with the Philippines and the Filipino experience are a special strength of the collection. We are proud to feature many items—such as exhibition catalogues from Philippine museums and out-of-print works from small Filipino presses—that are either impossible or very difficult to access anywhere else in the Greater Toronto Area. In addition, a Library Coordinator is available to help library users navigate this unique collection. The Filipino Arts & Heritage Library provides a crucial service to the Kapisanan community, supporting members to explore their culture and create their own meaning of “Filipino”.

How to read call numbers

The Filipino Arts & Heritage Library is organized according to a custom-designed, simplified version of the Library of Congress cataloging system, which is used by many university libraries.

Each item has a unique call number that allows you to find the item on the shelf. This call number also contains some basic information about the item. For example:

PQ RIZ 1995 (the call number for Noli Me Tángere by José Rizal)

PQ: Two- or three-letter code indicating the item’s subject category (in this case, French, Spanish, Italian & Portuguese literature)
RIZ: Three letters indicating the title or the author’s name (Rizal)
1995: The item’s year of publication.

Items are organized on the shelf according to the subject category code first of all (e.g. PQ), then the author/title (e.g. RIZ), and finally by the year of publication (e.g. 1995). This means that the item PQ RIZ 1995 will be shelved before PQ RIZ 1997, but after PN MIN 1989.

Searching the collection

There are two ways to search for a book:

  1. If you are looking for a specific item, go to Kapisanan’s Zotero page. Use the search field in the top right corner to search for the item by title or author’s name.
  2. If you’d like to browse the collection by subjectdownload the catalog, which lists all of the items currently held by the library. The items are organized by subject category.

Both options listed above will allow you to view item details such as title, author, year of publication, and main language.

Borrowing policy

Due to the rare nature of many of the library’s items, borrowing privileges are reserved for Kapisanan’s Members. However, in order to ensure that the library remains accessible to Toronto’s broader Filipino community, we invite anyone (regardless of membership status) to visit the library during the Centre’s office hours. Anyone may browse items in the library and read them on-site.

Members may borrow up to two items for a loan period of two weeks. One renewal is possible; just give us a call or send an email to

An array of other materials (including periodicals, reports, and dictionaries) is shelved separately, and is for in-library reference use only.

Sister Library at The Filipino Centre Toronto

The Filipino Arts & Heritage Library has a sister library at the Filipino Centre Toronto (FCT). Together, the Filipino Arts & Heritage Library and the Filipiniana Library at FCT are proud to offer a broad array of information resources to Toronto’s Filipino community.

For more information on the Filipiniana Library at FCT, please visit their website.

Doing a project? Need research help? Ask the Library Coordinator!

If you have any questions about the Filipino Arts & Heritage Library, including research questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Support the Filipiniana Arts and Heritage Library at the Kapisanan! 

We welcome your support of the Filipiniana Arts & Heritage Library! Donations of materials (e.g. books and films) can be made by emailing Upon request, a donor plate may be included on the item’s inside cover so that your contribution to the Filipino Arts & Heritage Library is recognized.

Please note that while we are grateful for all book donations, we reserve the right to accept only those books that directly address the library’s mandate.

Kapisanan is a safe, positive space which integrates an anti-oppression framework for young Filipinos to express their voices, exchange ideas and explore their roots together as an empowered community.

Kapisanan Philippine Centre is a registered Canadian charity: 88838 7404 RR0001