Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Rutter Team On the (Archive) Road!

Lisbon, Biblioteca da Ajuda, 1 July 2020, 10:30am.

What a privilege! The library of the Palácio da Ajuda is all for us: we are only 3 readers in the library room.

Many sources relevant to our project are currently kept in the Library of Ajuda.
One of them is the “First rutter of Brasil”, the 1530 codex Naveguaçam que fez Pero Lopez de Sousa no descobrimento da Costa do brasil…. The codex is a 16th century copy, and before belonging to the Ajuda library it was treasured by the family of the Counts of Redondo. The manuscript was discovered in the Ajuda collections in 1839 by Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen, who published its first edition.

The Ajuda library is the direct heir of the Portuguese Royal Library and is one of the oldest cultural institutions of Portugal. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake destroyed its core collection, but it rapidly rose from its ashes, like a phoenix. In the 19th century, the King took his library to Brazil and its 60,000 volumes formed the initial core of the National Library of Brazil. Today, the Ajuda manuscript collection alone holds approximately 2500 codices and more than 33,000 documents.

It feels like we’re just starting to dive into the past! [Luana Giurgevich]

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