The museum’s first director was nationalist historian Renato Constantino. He headed an initial staff of six who set the pace to cultivate the museum’s chosen legacy: exemplifying the best in Filipino cultural and intellectual heritage. Before his term ended in June 1972, the foundation published its first salvo: The Philippine Insurrection Against the United States by John R. M. Taylor. Prominent historians agreed that the five-volume compilation, issued from 1970 to 1979, was a major contribution to social sciences and the Filipino scholars’ cache of primary documents by which to analyze and re-write the national narrative.
The museum roots its legacy in ideals valued by its namesake: a fundamental faith in the advancement of scholarship and learning, a search for the truth, and a desire to render the greatest service to students and the scholarly community. The Eugenio H. Lopez, Sr. collection is of great research value. To ensure its transition through epochs, the Eugenio Lopez Foundation was incorporated on June 17, 1968. The not-for-profit, non-stock corporation serves the general public principally through operation of the museum and library, although it also engages in projects with long-term investment in the national interest. Inaugurated on December 9, 1969, for instance, was the Asian Institute of Management building in Makati donated by the foundation.
To bequeath the nation a dynamic, living institution that offers a wide range of educational and cultural opportunities is the foundation’s vision. Its complementary mission is to support, promote, and enrich library holdings and art collections thereby contributing meaningfully to the educational needs of readers and the cultural fulfillment of art viewers.
As the 1960s came to a close, the Lopez Museum and Library increasingly became a tourism mustsee. The service entrance and backdoor for personnel at the Sheraton-Philippines Hotel (later the Hyatt Hotel) was the insider’s short-cut to the museum’s secret treasures.