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Iconography Reading Room


Opening hours:

Monday to Friday: 9.30am - 5.30pm
Item requests up to 5pm.

Saturday: - Closed

Additional services:
Photocopies of reference works, on request up to 4.30pm


Tel.:  21 7982049 / 50
Fax: 21 7982138
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The Iconographic collections contain around 117,000 images on paper and have constituted a specialised section of the Library since 1976. They were originally formed from three initial collections that belonged to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division (Prints, Drawings, and Religious Pictures), but were organised into a separate collection when the Library became fully aware of their importance to the study of history, sociology, art and so on, and came to recognise their heritage value.

Although the collection is universal in its scope, the predominant themes are Portuguese, and its timeframe ranges from the 16th century to the present day. The collections are constantly being added to by the Legal Deposit system, purchases and donations.

The Iconography Reading Room on Level 3 possesses seating for 8 and a collection of reference works on engraving, drawing, posters, illustrated postcards, religious pictures and ex-libris, access to which is self-service.

Any holder of a Reader’s Card may access this collection. For the general terms and conditions governing access, see Regulations. In addition to the online catalogue, there are a number of manual search instruments for collections that were formed prior to 1987, and some iconographic indices.


♦  Alphabetic index of iconographic contents of 19th century magazines (Almanaque Ilustrado, 1883- 1906; Arquivo Pitoresco, 1857-1868; Mosaico, 1839-1841; Museu Pitoresco, 1840-1843; O Ramalhete, 1837-1844; Revista Contemporânea de Portugal e Brasil, 1859-1865; Universo Pitoresco, 1839-1844);

♦  Alphabetic index of subjects related to Brazil (in the collections formed prior to 1987).