OLL Blog – Engraved Illustrations of Jesuit Martyrdoms During the Persecution of Christianity in Early Modern Japan – Jan Levin Propach

Dr. Jan Levin Propach

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich – Department of Catholic Theology


The Oliveira Lima Library contains a collection of engraved illustrations showing Jesuit martyrdoms during the persecution of Christianity in 17th century Japan. Even though these illustrations were made in Europe in a propagandistic manner, they tell a story which is not well-known in the West: the rise and fall of Christianity in Early Modern Japan.

In 1549 Francis Xavier S.J. (1506–1552)—one of the first disciples of Ignatius of Loyola S.J. (1491–1556)—arrived at Japan’s southern Island Kyushu together with two other Jesuits and a former Samurai. What political context did the missionaries enter? Since the Ōnin War (1467–1477), Japan was no longer reigned by the emperor and a shogun (Muromachi Shogunate). Instead, dozens of small local rulers (daimyō and kunishū), different Buddhist monasteries fought for their supremacy. The three Great Unifiers Oda Nobunaga (1534–1582), Toyotomi Hideyashi (1537–1598) and Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616) attempted to bring the Age of Warring States (sengoku) to an end and to unify the country under the reign of a shogun again.

Martyrdom of Augustinus Ota S.J. (1572-1622). IN: Cardim. Elogios e ramalhete de flores… (1650)

The destiny of Christianity in Japan is neatly wedded into this Age of Warring States. Many Japanese local lords allowed the Jesuits to proselytize their subjects, because they benefited from the Portuguese trade and weapon technologies. They also perceived in Christianity an instrument against the influence of different powerful Buddhist sects. On the other hand, Christian missionaries were seen as representatives of foreign powers trying to increase their influence in Japan.

Despite this, the early Japanese missions were highly successful: about 150.000 Japanese were converted in 1583; 75 Jesuits organized the Japanese mission; there was a novitiate in Usuki, seminaries in Arima and Azuchi and about ten Jesuit residences throughout Japan. However, missionaries would be increasingly perceived as antagonists to the efforts to reach the country’s unity, especially after the donation of Nagasaki to the Jesuits in 1580. Thus on July 24th, 1587 Hideyoshi issued an edict that expelled the Jesuit missionaries. This first edict had only a limited impact on the Japanese mission, although it caused the confiscation and demolition of Christian buildings, such as the college in Funai and the novitiate in Usuki. From this moment on, the Jesuit mission focused on Kyushu.

Martyrdom of Emmanuel Borges, S.J. IN: Cardim. Elogios e ramalhete de flores… (1650)

The pragmatic politician Hideyoshi only reluctantly tolerated the Jesuits’ bidding out of an interest in and dependence on trade with the Portuguese. These economic relations could only be achieved with the help of the Jesuits. Tokugawa Ieyasu, who followed Hideyoshi after his death in 1598, tolerated the Jesuits’ missionary activities for economic reasons too, but once he issued a trade permit for the Dutch (1609) and the English (1613), he limited the Portuguese ships to the port of Nagasaki. There was no further need of tolerance for Christianity to get involved in the profitable European trade. And when in 1612 a court intrigue—involving Okamoto Paulo Daihachi and Arima Harunobi who were both Christians—was disclosed, Ieyasu’s aversion against the Christian missionaries increased considerably.

In 1614, the bakufu, or military government, announced the expulsion of all missionaries from Japan. This edict was renewed under Ieyasu’s successor Tokugawa Hidetada (1579-1632) in 1616. The great martyrdoms in Kyoto 1619 (88 martyrdoms), Nagasaki in 1622 (55 martyrdoms) and Edo, now Tokyo, in 1624 (50 martyrdoms) all attest to the serious commitment of the shogun’s government to this new policy. Between 1614 and 1650, 2,128 Christians died under the persecution, 71 of whom were European missionaries (1). The following illustrations from Antonio Francisco Cardim’s Elogios e ramalhete de flores… (1650) in the Oliveira Lima Library depict the martyrdoms of Emmanuel Borges S.J., Augustinus Ota S.J. (1572–1622) and Diego Yuki S.J. (1574–1636) by anatsurushi (2) and by smiting with a sword.

Martyrdom of Diego Yuki S.J. (1574-1636). IN: Cardim. Elogios e ramalhete de flores… (1650)

By 1643, after all of Japan’s missionaries were forced either to flee to China and the Philippines, were killed or apostatized, about one hundred missionaries had secretly entered Japan to maintain the religious, and especially the sacramental life of the Church. Between 1714, the year of the death in Edo of Giovanni Battista Sidotti (1668–1714), the last priest to enter Japan secretly, until the enactment of religious freedom in 1889, Christianity survived in the underground, disconnected from the Church hierarchy. Many of those Hidden Christians rejoined the Catholic Church in the late 19th century. However, down to the present day some Christian communities remain hidden in the underground, opting not to reenter the Catholic Church in order to keep their own religious identities in contact with the greater Japanese religious environment. (3)


(1) For a list of all Japanese martyrdoms see Boxer, Charles Ralph. The Christian Century in Japan (1549–1650). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1951, 448.

(2) Anatsurushi was a method of torture by facing the victim upside down in an Excrement-filled hole in the ground; a lid closed on the neck. Slow death made it possible for those who were tortured to renounce their faith and thus save their lives.

(3) Cf. Turnbull, Stephen. The Kakure Kirishitan of Japan. A Study of Their Development, Beliefs and Rituals to the Present Day. Richmond: Japan Library Press, 1998; Harrington, Ann M. Japan’s Hidden Christians. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1993 and Pella, Kristian. The Kakure Kirishitan of Ikitsuki Island. The End of a Tradition. Uppsala: Uppsala University, 2013.

OLL Blog – Paesi nouamente retrouati. Et Nouo Mondo da Alberico Velputio Florentino intitulato (1507): Findings from a Study of the Oldest Book in the Oliveira Lima Library

Paesi nouamente retrouati. Et Nouo Mondo da Alberico Velputio Florentino intitulato (1507):
Findings from a Study of the Oldest Book in the Oliveira Lima Library

Erin Mir-Aliyev

Master of Science in Library and Information Science – The Catholic University of America
Flora de Oliveira Lima Fellowship for Graduate Students in Library and Information Science – The Oliveira Lima Library

Image 1: Rare Books shelf at the Oliveira Lima Library

As part of a rare books course this past fall, I was given an assignment to choose any book I wanted and to “write its biography”. Since I wanted to be able to review and make use of everything I had been learning about how to conduct bibliography in my classes, as well as take advantage of all of the rare books available to me in the Oliveira Lima Library collection, I decided to take a closer look at the oldest book contained in it – a work titled Paesi nouamente retrouati. Et Nouo Mondo da Alberico Velputio Florentino intitulato (Images 2 and 3). Compiled by Fracanzano da Montalboddo and first published in 1507, it contains the first printed narrative of the voyage of discovery of Brazil by Pedro Alvares Cabral among other early accounts of early exploratory voyages by Europeans, and is a very significant resource for many patrons of the collection.

Resources Consulted

Image 2: Front cover of Oliveira Lima Library’s copy of Paesi
Image 3: Title Page of Oliveira Lima Library’s copy of Paesi

My main task was to examine the physical characteristics of the copy available to me, the digitized version of the 1507 edition copy held by Oliveira Lima Library and available to the CUA community through Gale’s Brazilian and Portuguese History and Culture collection, in order to understand the processes involved in how it was made. I also compared this copy to another edition, which in this case was a digitized copy of a 1508 edition published as a facsimile in 1916 and held at Harvard University’s collection. Besides these two copies of the book, I also found useful information from outside sources including Ruth E. V. Holmes’ 1926 bibliography Bibliographical and historical description of the rarest books in the Oliveira Lima collection at the Catholic university of America, lists of known editions such as the one on the John Carter Brown Library website, Philip Gaskell’s book A New Introduction to Bibliography, and a 1917 article about Vespucci reprints in The American Historical Review. Going through this process allowed me to better understand where to go for bibliographical information and what to look for when studying books as artifacts, in order to gather clues about a book’s origin and the history of its development. This exercise also highlighted the continued importance of being able to physically, not only digitally, access books in library collections, as the information I was able to glean was limited by only viewing digitized versions. In order to give an idea of what kinds of information bibliographical research can uncover, as well as some limitations encountered, I briefly describe a few interesting things I discovered by analyzing the information I found through secondary sources as well as from looking at the physical traits of the copies themselves.

Circumstances of Compilation and Production

While common knowledge of the culture and time period in which Paesi was written, such as the atmosphere of competition between European nations to find and claim new lands, was helpful, researching also led me to detailed information about circumstances surrounding the book’s creation. Holmes’ bibliography contributed to my understanding of this a lot. According to her, writings by Jose Carlos Rodrigues reveal that a Venetian admiral and historian named Malipiero had connections to Venetian ambassadors in Madrid and Lisbon, who covertly passed on news and details of the voyage and discovery of Brazil mentioned within the text. One of these ambassadors had access to a letter from Pero Vaz de Caminha to King Dom Manoel of Portugal concerning the voyages, and based on the knowledge contained therein wrote a letter to Malipiero. It arrived too late for Malipiero to use it in the composition of his own works. However, Fracanzano da Montalboddo, a well-known sixteenth-century professor at Vicentia, Italy, was still able to use it to compile Paesi. This bit of information reveals that detailed knowledge about these exploratory voyages was not necessarily meant to be shared between different countries or meant for the average person, and hints that this knowledge about the Portuguese journeys contained in the text was probably not meant to be published, at least not at that time or in Italy. However, certain groups of people were seeking after it and produced the text anyway.

Quality of Materials and Unfinished Pages

Image 5: Inferior Paper Quality
Image 4: Good Paper Quality

Examination of the digitized images of the paper used in the production of the 1507 edition copy appears to indicate that quality was less of a concern as printing progressed. Some pages appear to be higher quality; these are mostly in the first half of the book and appear whiter in color, flatter, and without major flaws. Other pages, mostly in the second half of the book, have a more off-white color and have many imperfections such as warping that appear to have originated in the paper-making process (Images 4 & 5). Paper quality especially seems lower towards the end of the book, in section six. This variation in paper quality throughout the book could indicate that the creator or printer was running out of money towards the end of the printing of this book, and began to use any paper he could afford. It could also indicate that time became more of a concern, and that less focus was placed on having the best materials and more focus was placed on finishing the book the later into the process he got. Paper quality does not appear to be so varied in the 1508 edition copy, though the ability to see the paper closely in this version was more difficult due to the way the facsimile was made.

As mentioned before, this activity highlighted the necessity of accessing a physical copy of a book to thoroughly research some aspects of it or confirm certain details, which was at the time impossible due to Covid restrictions. A patron’s ability to analyze certain aspects of a book like paper, chain lines, format, ink, bindings, etc. are very limited without being able to hold and handle the object in person. This activity also brought to attention how often the bindings, covers, endpapers, and flyleaves of books are often not even digitized with other content deemed significant by whoever is doing the digitizing, leading to important information contained in those features being lost to those who only have access to digital versions. Good quality digitization, with the goal of providing patrons with as close a representation of the original object as possible, should include these features in the digitization process.

Image 6: Unfinished Page with Missing Block Print Letter
Image 7: Unfinished Page with Missing Block Print Letter

Similarly, something else interesting about the 1507 edition copy is that there are several pages in the second half of the book, especially in sections five and six, where the empty space intended to contain a block print of a large, decorative beginning letter is not filled with any design (Images 6 & 7).

Since this is something that would have been completed by hand after printing with the press, it is as if the printer was inattentive or rushed at this point in the process. When taken into consideration along with the decreasing paper quality mentioned above, it could indicate an instance of rushed production in which these details were not carefully checked before distribution of the final product. It could also indicate the importance of the written content over artistic details. It is unknown whether this is something unique to this individual copy, or something encountered in all 1507 edition copies. In contrast, the 1508 edition copy I looked at does not appear to be missing any of these images.

Different Perspectives Over Time

Reviewing the editions of this work that have been produced since the first one in 1507, also led me to realize how Paesi has remained relevant and important for scholars since the sixteenth century, but the format in which it is presented has changed. Unlike the 1507 edition and other early editions in which Paesi was published as its own standalone book, the 1916 version of the 1508 edition was created as part of a series of similar books, all containing Vespucci texts. The context of creation for this 1916 version is different in that the text is embedded within a body of similar information not originally associated with it, and the point of view of the creator and reader of this one is very different from the one that a creator or reader in 1507 would have had. The knowledge we now have of the events and results of the age of exploration contributes to how the information about it is now presented, consumed, and understood.

All of the conclusions made in this study are of course preliminary, but this was still a valuable exercise that taught me to start thinking as bibliographers do about the materials I encounter each day. 

OLL Blog – Manoel Cardozo: His Contributions to CUA and the Oliveira Lima Library

By Erin Mir-Aliyev  

Master of Science in Library and Information Science – The Catholic University of America

Flora de Oliveira Lima Fellowship for Graduate Students in Library and Information Science – The Oliveira Lima Library


         One of the most important figures in the development of the Oliveira Lima Library during the mid to late twentieth century is its former curator, Manoel Cardozo. Though Cardozo was a well-known scholar within the fields of Brazilian, Portuguese, and Latin American studies, not many members of the wider Catholic University community or the general public know who he was or understand the role he played during his time at Catholic University. Recognizing this, and wishing to remember his contributions at the 35th anniversary of his death this December 15th, the highlights of his career have been outlined here to provide readers with an idea of his accomplishments and his legacy. 

Cardozo’s Dynamic Academic Career

Caption reads: “Luncheon meeting of those interested in Latin-American Affairs, Dec. 6, 1961. L to R- Seated: William Manger, Georgetown U., Howard F. Cline, Hispanic Foundation, Father Mathias C. Kiemen, O.F.M., Editor, The Americans. Standing: Kenneth J. Bertrand, CUA, Colby R. Hatfield, Jr., CUA, John J. Finan, American U., and Manoel Cardozo, CUA.” Image source: The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives, The Catholic University of America.

As an academic, Manoel Cardozo was involved in a wide variety of scholarly activities within the local Catholic University community, and also on a national and international level. Beginning in 1940 he was a lecturer, then from 1954 a full professor, of Brazilian and Portuguese history and literature. He then headed the Catholic University history department for a decade between 1961 and 1971, in addition to various other academic and administrative positions. He was also President of the Catholic Historical Association in 1962, as well as being active throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s in organizations such as the Conference on Latin American History of the American Historical Association and the American Association of University Professors, attending international meetings and conferences such as the Congress on the Expansion of Portugal in the World, and serving on the Board of Directors of two major publications, The Americas and the Catholic Historical Review. We are aware that he was a significant mentor to at least one CUA history student, Karl M. Schmitt, whose photographic collection resides in the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives. Through various archived newspapers, we can tell that he organized exhibitions of Brazilian art or other materials depicting themes or subjects relevant to the library’s collections. Cardozo’s research and lecture activities led him on many occasions to travel across the United States, to Europe, especially Portugal, and to multiple countries in Latin America, including Brazil. His work earned him multiple awards, including the Benemerenti Medal in 1974, a medal awarded by the Pope in recognition of service to the Catholic Church.

Manoel Cardozo working at the Oliveira Lima Library.
Image source: “Manoel De Silveira Cardozo I.A.17-1.” The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives, The Catholic University of America.

Curatorship of the Oliveira Lima Library

         After the death of Manoel de Oliveira Lima’s wife and assistant librarian, Flora, in 1940, Cardozo took over the curatorship of the Oliveira Lima Library. As the child of Portuguese parents who had immigrated to California, a successful student at Stanford University, and the former mentee of the prominent Latin American scholar Percy Alvin Martin, Cardozo had the personal background, education, experience, and enthusiasm that made him an ideal candidate to care for Manoel de Oliveira Lima’s book collection and archival documents, and to establish it as a permanent part of the Catholic University Library for future generations of students and researchers.  

         His many tasks at the library included continuing to accession and catalog rare and modern books, organize the archives, and care for the many pieces of valuable artwork contained in the collection. Records and articles also show that he travelled internationally specifically to collect new books for the library.


         Something else Manoel Cardozo left behind that allows us to understand him and still influences researchers today is the writings he produced. While pursuing his academic career and serving as Oliveira Lima Library’s curator, Cardozo was also a prolific writer. His work encompasses a wide variety of topics and types of materials, including political, religious, diplomatic, and intellectual history, and pamphlets, journal articles, newspaper articles, and reviews of others’ works. Many of the materials he produced are available and searchable at the Oliveira Lima Library or in Mullen Library, or are otherwise available through the CUA catalog.

         A project by Oliveira Lima Library staff this fall to collect various materials about, by, or associated with Cardozo available through the CUA library has so far resulted in more than 230 items of which he was the main author or otherwise a contributor, over 70 newspaper articles with mention of him, and almost 75 items present within the Oliveira Lima Library with inscriptions by or to him, or stamps or other signs of ownership by him. Most of his writing was done in English, though occasionally he did write in or review works in Portuguese, demonstrating a knowledge of at least two languages. Some examples of his works include The Latest Word on Portuguese Orthography (1944), Oliveira Lima and the Writing of History (1954), and Slavery in Brazil as Described by Americans, 1822–1888 (1961), demonstrating a range of topics such as language, Manoel de Oliveira Lima himself, and slavery in society and history. Newspaper articles revealing his involvement in activities around campus and elsewhere include an article mentioning his role in the Foreign Students’ Association planning for a festival, (1954), another article mentioning him as moderator in a televised discussion among faculty members (1964), and a third article about him leading a summer school-affiliated tour through Latin America (1951). Representing a sample of books showing ownership by Cardozo, the book Antropologia e História (1954) contains an inscription by its author to Cardozo, Indice de Biobibliografia Brasileira (1963) contains a note saying it is a presentation copy by Manoel Cardozo to the library, and Latin America, A Modern History (1958) contains an ownership stamp, and possibly the personal notes of, Manoel Cardozo. These details help reveal or indicate what he found interesting or valuable, how he interacted with other professionals, and his activities as curator.

Manoel Cardozo at the Oliveira Lima Library in 1985.
Image source: The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives, The Catholic University of America.

While we will likely uncover much more information as our staff works further on this project and works through cataloging the Oliveira Lima collection, the accomplishments mentioned above offer a little insight into who Manoel Cardozo was as an individual, his passion for Latin American history and culture, and his dedication to providing CUA faculty and students, as well as those outside the CUA community, with more resources about these topics. 



OLL Blog – A 7 de Setembro Like No Other

On this September 7th, both the United States and Brazil are celebrating. In the United States, Labor Day is commemorated on the first Monday of September to honor workers and remember their contributions to society. The date became a national holiday in 1894 and throughout the years also became an informal marker for the end of summer. In 2020, this date coincides with Brazil’s Independence Day. 

Although this year’s celebrations are very different from years past due to the Covid-19 pandemic, both Brazilians and Americans have found ways to remember. Due to these circumstances, we were not able to host our annual exhibit at the Mullen Library to gather friends and colleagues. Nevertheless, we instead gathered virtually last month to officially mark the beginning of a collaboration between the Brazilian Senate and the Oliveira Lima Library that is wrapped in historical importance. The Senate’s Special Curatorial Commission, led by Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, has the mission to organize celebrations of the approaching 200th years of Brazilian independence. On August 17th, in a live meeting broadcast via the Senate’s Youtube Channel, Provost Aaron Dominguez and I met to sign the agreement with members of the Senate’s Special Curatorial Commision, including: Senator Randolfe Rodrigues; Vice President of the Senate Editorial Council and Secretary of the Commission Esther Bermeguy; Heloísa Sterling, historian and member of the Curatorial Committee; and Ilana Trombka, the director general of the Senate.

It is with great pleasure that on this 198th Independence Day, the Oliveira Lima Library announces that with the signature of this cooperative agreement with the Senate’s Special Curatorial Commission, we will have an active role in the celebrations of the Bicentennial of Brazilian Independence in 2022. The Memorandum of Understanding’s stated purposes are to  establish a cooperative relationship between the Federal Senate and the Catholic University of America, aiming at the promotion of knowledge, preservation and dissemination of the personal collection that resulted in the library of the great Brazilian diplomat and historian Manoel de Oliveira Lima, and to establish a partnership in the organization of materials and contents to be exhibited at events related to the theme of the bicentenary, the publication of unpublished works or re-edition of works featured in the collection or other joint initiatives on specific topics of common interest.

Lima, O. (1922). O movimento da independencia, 1821-1822. S. Paulo [etc.]: Comp. melhoramentos de S. Paulo, Weiszfolg irmāos incorporado.
No. 6, O Brasileiro em Portugal: Lisboa 13 de Julho de 1822. Na Typographia Rollandiana. The Oliveira Lima Library Pamphlet Collection.

The projects are underway. Shortly, we will be announcing details on the publications we are preparing. New editions of Oliveira Lima’s books alongside edited volumes of long forgotten and hard to find works are being prepared. Finally, the well-known Independence Pamphlets Collection, which includes documents exclusively found in our collection, will be available for a wider audience in print.

This collaboration fulfills the mission of the Oliveira Lima Library as envisioned by its founder, Manoel de Oliveira Lima, who wished to establish in the United States an institution that would be a source of information for the study of the history of Brazil and a promoter of greater understanding between the two countries. By providing access to documents never before seen in Brazil, illuminating a pivotal moment in history and shedding light on voices of the unheard, we take another step in that direction. Although this is not the 7 de Setembro we had envisioned, we certainly do have a lot to celebrate. Feliz Dia da Independência!


OLL Blog – Tracing John Locke’s path to the Oliveira Lima Library

Tracing John Locke’s path to the Oliveira Lima Library

Henry Widener

Despite our living in the Digital Age,  Tumblr Share Your Shelf and articles such as the Washington Post’s These Books Spark Joy assert that a person’s bookshelf still has a lot to say about them. Peter Knox perhaps said it best: ‘Only a bookshelf can truly hold a reader’s history and future at the same time…Bookshelves are universal in that almost everyone has one, and unique in that no two collections are the same. They reflect much more than just the book-buying habits of their owner…” and can reveal our accomplishments, aspirations, associations, personal development, guilty pleasures, escapes, memories, interests and so much more.

The recognition of the deep connection between a person and their book collection is as old as the printed book itself. Just how intimately a book collector identifies with his collection can be observed most strikingly when that collector begins to sense the end of their bodily life approaching. Some collectors, such as Manoel de Oliveira Lima, desire to keep their collections entirely intact in perpetuity, somewhat of an attempt to communicate with posterity through a dialogue unadulterated by the passing of time. Other book collectors, whether by the constraints of economy, space or unsympathetic heirs, are forced to part with part or all of their books. Whatever their fate, book collections are inevitably linked to the memory of their former owners.

It is in this light that the personal library of John Locke has drawn attention from scholars. The most comprehensive study of the contents of Locke’s library is John Harrison and Peter Laslett’s The Library of John Locke (1971). This foundational text has served as a point of departure for an exploration into the intellectual influence of Locke’s library on his thinking, such as Richard Ashcraft’s John Locke’s Library: Portrait of an Intellectual (1969) and Ann Talbot’s The Great Ocean of Knowledge: the Influence of Travel Literature on the Work of John Locke (2010). Given Locke’s immense contribution to Modern Western thought, one might venture to say that the keener our knowledge of Locke’s personal library, the more we may understand about some of the thought processes that have influenced the world we live in today. 

However, Locke’s library as he knew it did not remain intact after his passing. In his will, John Locke divided his collection into two parts, the first going to his cousin Peter King, the other going to Francis Cudworth Masham, son of Sir Francis and Damaris Masham, on whose Otes estate Locke spent the last 13 years of his life after returning to England from his voluntary exile in the Netherlands. These two parts of Locke’s library, known respectively as the King and Masham moieties, would experience very different fates. The King moiety would eventually find its way to the Bodleian Library at Oxford, where Locke himself had studied and taught. The Masham moiety, following the course of the disintegrating funds of the Masham family’s decadent successors, would be gradually dispersed throughout the world via auctions and other sales, leading Harrison and Laslett to conclude, in an almost wistful admission of defeat, that “We shall never set our eyes on more than a score or two of the Masham moiety” (Harrison and Laslett, p. 61)

Figure 1 – François Pyrard’s ‘Voyage…’ (1679)

Various institutions have been doing their part to assuage the gloom of these Locke scholars. Just last year the New York Academy of Medicine revealed that its copy of De Miraculis Occultis Naturae (1581) was part of the Masham Moiety. Today, it is the Oliveira Lima Library’s honor to contribute to these efforts to bring the Masham moiety further into light. Though unbridled my giddiness might lead me to prattle on forever, I would like to briefly relate how OLL came to discover that it possesses one of John Locke’s books.

Several months ago – eons in pandemic terms – we here at OLL decided to comb through Ruth Holmes Bibliographical and historical description of the rarest books in the Oliveira Lima collection at the Catholic University of America (1926). If nothing else, we hoped to familiarize ourselves with the only description of the Oliveira Lima Library’s holdings published under the guidance of Manoel de Oliveira Lima himself, a greatly useful resource for the various projects on provenance currently underway here at OLL, such as research into our Camiliana

Figure 2 – The bookplate of Richard Palmer, Esq.

Entry n.102 in Holmes for Voyage de François Pyrard, de Laval, contenant sa navigation aux Indes orientales, Maldives, Moluques, & au Bresil (1679), (Fig. 1) states that “the fine copy in the Lima Library belonged to John Locke, and bears his autograph.” I immediately rushed to our Gale database to inspect every single page of the Oliveira Lima Library’s copy. While I did see the bookplate of a Richard Palmer Esq. (Fig. 2) I was unable to find any other provenance markings, much less an autograph, that could establish previous ownership by one of Modernity’s preeminent thinkers. 

The Oliveira Lima Library’s previous cataloger seems to have reached the same results, for at the time, the book’s bibliographic record contained a note that the Oliveira Lima Library’s copy ‘supposedly’ contained John Locke’s signature. As other projects came about, I decided to file this tantalizing little conundrum away in hopes of someday getting back to it.

Months later, I opened David Pearson’s Provenance research in book history : a handbook (2019), which has become required reading at OLL for its straightforward yet in depth approach to provenance studies. In his chapter on inscriptions and manuscript additions, Pearson notes ‘a multiplicity of different marks and signs that can be used to detect the ownership of the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) is described in the published reconstruction of his library’ (p. 37) accompanied by a footnote directing readers to Harrison and Laslett.

Figure 3 – Entry n. 2411 in Harrison and Laslett.


My interest was piqued again. A bit of Google sleuthing put me in contact with Sarah Wheale, Head of Rare Books at the Bodleian Library, who not only confirmed to me that François Pyrard’s Voyage (1679) did appear in Harrison and Laslett’s inventory, entry n. 2411 (Fig 3), but  also attached Harrison and Laslett’s addendum on identifying Locke’s markings.

Figure 4 – Underlining on the last two digits of the publication year.

As I checked Harrison and Laslett’s addendum against the Oliveira Lima Library’s copy, my heart started beating quicker. Just as Harrison and Laslett state, on the title page the last two digits of the year of publication were underlined (Fig 4). Likewise, the page number on the last page of each of the book’s three parts was overlined. (Fig 5; Fig 6; Fig 7) After relating my findings to her through email, Sarah Wheale suggest I speak to Dr. Felix Waldmann, who confirmed that OLL’s Pyrard did previously belong to John Locke. At this point I was (figuratively) doing backflips!

Apart from all of the markings I had matched to Harrison and Laslett’s addendum, Dr. Waldmann pointed out that the bookplate of Richard Palmer, Esq. was further evidence of its having been part of the Masham moiety, for Palmer had been a creditor to the late Lord Masham and had thus taken possession of Masham’s library upon his death. Dr. Waldmann also provided me with a wealth of resources on Locke’s personal library, many of which I have cited here.

Figure 5 – Overlining on the final page of part 1

As a young professional, this incredibly gratifying process has given me firsthand experience of how exciting the field of bibliography and provenance studies can be, though they require a vast network of resources and often a meticulous attention to detail. It has also taught me some important lessons.

First of all, one should never hesitate to talk to colleagues in the field. It took me a good bit of time to build up the courage to send emails to the Bodleian Library, mostly out of fear that I might be bothering them with the pedestrian concerns of such a plebeian librarian as myself. However, I got over that fear by reasoning that there was potential mutual benefit to each of our institutions in locating another piece of John Locke’s library. To my delight, both Sarah Wheale from the Bodleian Library and Dr. Waldmann were incredibly helpful, vastly knowledgeable and just a joy to correspond with. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly express my gratitude to them both.

Figure 6 – Overlining on the final page of parrt 2

Secondly, I learned that one should think long and hard before rebinding their books. As I learned in conversation with Dr. Waldmann, OLL’s Pyrard may have been deprived of at least two other markings of Locke’s simply because it was rebound. For starters, John Locke’s unique shelf listing system – almost a dead giveaway for Locke provenance – is visible on the spines of all books from his library which have retained their original binding. Apart from the exterior of the book, rebinding can also alter the book itself. Oftentimes, and as is the case with OLL’s Pyrard, a book’s cover will be discarded and replaced with new endpapers once it has been rebound. This might explain the absence of Locke’s signature on OLL’s copy because, as Harrison and Laslett note, on the occasions that Locke did sign his books, his signature was always located on the back of the front cover. 

Figure 7 – Overlining on the final page of part 3

Lastly, and this has become somewhat of a mantra among myself and OLL Director Dr. Nathalia Henrich, just because the Oliveira Lima Library’s holdings are strongest on the subject of Luso-Brazilian history does not mean that they are only of use to students of Portugal and Brazil. The Americas, both broadly as an immense swath of land rich in natural and cultural resources and more specifically as colonies, were inextricably linked to their European metropoles and inflamed the imaginations of the most diverse array of people throughout Europe, moving the march of history on either side of the Atlantic. Furthermore, the product of a life’s worth of collecting by a dedicated bibliophile, the Oliveira Lima Library has much to offer the fields of provenance research and bibliography, areas of research which in turn give proof that every collection is unique and deserving of study. The digitization of one copy of a book may provide access to the general contents of an edition, but it is no substitute for the study of the book as artifact. I can think of no better testament to this than the Oliveira Library’s copy of François Pyrard’s Voyage, a 17th-century description of travels through the New World written by a Frenchman and formerly owned by one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment in England.


OLL Blog – Un acercamiento a la historia africana a través del Vocabulario de Bluteau – Andrea Guerrero-Mosquera

Un acercamiento a la historia africana a través del Vocabulario de Bluteau

Andrea Guerrero-Mosquera

Profesora en la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco

E-mail: guerrero.andrea10@gmail.com

Twitter: @Andreag1086

La Biblioteca Oliveira Lima posee una importante colección de libros raros, en los que se puede encontrar rastros de la histórica relación entre Brasil y África, y, no es para menos, la historia africana y brasileña comparten una historia común marcada por la trata de africanos.

Pero ¿qué podemos encontrar en la Biblioteca Oliveira Lima al respecto? Entre otras cosas, la Relaçam annual del jesuita Fernão Guerreiro (1605), De gedenkwaardige voyagie de Andrew Battell (1706), entre otros textos que nos permiten introducirnos e iniciarnos en la historia de África como lo es el texto de Olfert Dapper (1673). En esta ocasión, nuestro interés se centrará en este último texto en mancuerna con el diccionario de Bluteau.

Semanas atrás, la Dra. Nathalia Henrich nos mencionó: “No collection of literature of the Lusophone world worthy of its name is complete without the presence of Camilo Castelo Branco”; a lo que quisiéramos agregar, ninguna col

Bluteau, Rafael. Vocabulario portuguez…1716. Oliveira Lima Library, The Catholic University of America.

ección lusófona está completa sin el Vocabulário portuguez e latino de Bluteau (1716). Este reconocido erudito de la lengua portuguesa escribió ocho tomos de un diccionario lexicográfico que nos permite entender algunos aspectos relevantes del uso del portugués del siglo XVIII e incluso, de años anteriores.

La relación entre estos dos textos radica en que Bluteau cita, en varias ocasiones, el texto de Dapper (la versión francesa de 1686), en las que menciona algunas palabras que hacen referencia directa a África. Por ello, en esta ocasión, sólo mencionaremos dos vocablos: pombeiros y mandingas.

En la primera, hace referencia específicamente al comercio esclavista al mencionar que los portugueses en Angola les enseñaron a leer, escribir y contar a los pombeiros para que pudieran negociar en los pumbos(1720, 588) que estaban en sertão. Más adelante, hace referencia a Dapper (1686, 359) para anotar que los pombeiros solían estar fuera de “casa de seus senhores” años enteros dado que se encontraban “ocupados em comprar escravos, marfim, cobre, & outras mercancías” (Ibíd.). Esta definición en particular, no sólo nos ofrece el contexto geográfico: Angola; si no que, además testifica la trata negrera era realizada por mediadores que previamente habían sido “entrenados” para esa labor.

Este aspecto es muy importante a la hora de conocer parte de la historia de la trata negrera por tres razones: primero porque nos muestra que el comercio iba de la mano de otras actividades comerciales; segundo, porque nos ilustra el periodo que podría tardarse todo el proceso, lo que nos ubica, de una u otra manera en otra dimensión del proceso comercial que va más allá de lo popularmente se nos enseña en los libros de textos; y, tercero, nos reseña cómo se desarrolló la trata negrera en África central, actividad en la que estaban involucrados los europeos y sus mediadores, en este caso los pombeiros.

El segundo vocablo se aleja un poco del contexto esclavista y nos sumerge en la herencia africana en América. Cuando Bluteau intenta definir qué es Mandinga no se limita con ilustrar acerca del origen de este grupo de personas, sino que va más allá, y, retomando el texto de Dapper (1686, 245), los describe como grandes hechiceros (feiticheros) que, según Fromont (2020, 7), es una acepción derivada de un lusitanismo que los marineros portugueses acuñaron de la palabra “fetiche”, que a su vez fue un vocablo usado en Guiné para nombrar a los “ídolos”.

Posteriormente, hace referencia a las bolsas mandingas, elementos a los que otorga poderes de protección que “fazem impenetraveis às estocadas, como se tem experimentado nesta Corte, & neste Reyno de Portugal em varias ocasiones” (1716, 286).

Vendedoras con amuletos colgados al cuello y la cintura

Pero, ¿qué son las bolsas mandingas? Se dice que eran amuletos usados en el contexto atlántico portugués, e incluso se dice que llegaron al Caribe hispano y a la India. Estos elementos consistían en pequeños paquetes de tela cosida; podían contener semillas, cabellos y papeles con oraciones. Dichos amuletos eran usados como protección, y, en el caso de las personas esclavizadas, se sabe que las bolsas eran usadas como ayuda para evadir los abusos de los esclavistas y, también se usaron en cuestiones del “bien querer, es decir, en situaciones de tipo amoroso. También servían, como ya lo ha citado Bluteau, para evitar que las armas penetraran en el cuerpo ya fueran puñaladas o heridas de bala, y, asimismo, se usaban para evitar picaduras de serpientes.

Carlos Julião, Negras vendedoras de rua, (s.f.) Biblioteca Nacional de Brasil.

En líneas generales, las bolsas mandingas sirvieron a la población como forma de protegerse ante diversos eventos. Estos elementos hacen parte de la cultura material de la herencia africana, y su presencia es indiscutible en el mundo atlántico portugués, e incluso, más allá. De ahí la importancia de conocer su origen y su utilidad dentro de la población de origen africano.

Por todo lo anterior, en esta pequeña entrada quisimos explorar algunos aspectos de la historia de África que se pueden consultar en la Biblioteca Oliveira Lima, que, como se pudo ver en el texto, indagar sobre las culturas africanas en las colecciones de la biblioteca es factible. Lo anterior, teniendo en cuenta que el acervo documental es extraordinario, y, por medio de este, podemos acceder a algunos textos que nos pueden ayudar a entender el entramado comercial de la trata negrera y, al mismo tiempo, son textos que nos permiten comprender de dónde provenían algunas de las manifestaciones culturales africanas, cómo eran representadas en la literatura y cómo estas están enmarcadas dentro de un contexto narrativo particular: el de los viajeros.

Bibliografía citada

AHU, Fundo do Conselho ultramarino, Série Angola, Cx. 8, D. 959. Consulta do Conselho Ultramarino ao rei D. Afonso VI sobre o requerimento dos oficiais da câmara e moradores de Angola.

Battell, Andrew. De gedenkwaardige voyagie van Andries Battell van Leigh in Essex, na Brasilien : en desselfs wonderlijke avontuuren, zijnde gevangen gebragt van de Portugijsen na Angola, alwaar en waar ontrent [sic] hy by-na 18. jaren gewoond heeft. Ao. 1589. en vervolgens. Te Leyden: By Pieter Van der Aa, 1706.

Bluteau, Rafael. Vocabulario portuguez, e latino, aulico, anatomico, architectonico, bellico, botanico … autorizado com exemplos dos melhores escritores portuguezes e latinos e offerecido a El Rey de Portugal D. Joaõ V. Coimbra, No Collegio das Artes da Companhia de Jesu, 1716.

Bluteau, Rafael. Vocabulario portuguez, e latino, aulico, anatomico, architectonico, bellico, botanico … autorizado com exemplos dos melhores escritores portuguezes e latinos e offerecido a El Rey de Portugal D. Joaõ V. Coimbra, No Collegio das Artes da Companhia de Jesu, 1720.

Dapper, Olfert. Die Unbekante Neue Welt, oder, Beschreibung des Welt-teils Amerika, und des Sud-Landes. Darinnen vom Uhrsprunge der Ameriker und Sudländer und von den gedenckwürdigen Reysen der Europer darnach zu.  Wie auch von derselben Festen Ländern, Inseln, Städten, Festungen, Dörfern, vornähmsten Gebeuen, Bergen, Brunnen, Flüssen und Ahrten der Tiere, Beume, Stauden, und anderer fremden Gewächse; Als auch von den Gottes-und Götzen-diensten, Sitten, Sprachen, Kleider-trachten, wunderlichen Begäbnissen, und so wohl alten als neuen Kriegen, ausführlich gehandelt wird Zu Amsterdam: Bey Jacob von Meurs, auf der Keysersgraft, in der Stadt Meurs, 1673.

Fromont, Cécile. “Paper, Ink, Vodun, and the Inquisition: Tracing Power, Slavery, and Witchcraft in the Early Modern Portuguese Atlantic.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion Vol. 88, No. 2, 2020, pp. 460-504.

Guerreiro, Fernão. Relaçam annal das cousas que fezeram os padres da Companhia de Iesus nas partes da India Oriental, & no Brasil, Angola, Cabo Verde, Guine, nos annos de seiscentos & dous & seiscentos & tres, & do processo da conuersam, & christandade daquellas partes, tirada das cartas dos mesmos padres que de là vieram Em Lisboa: Per Iorge Rodrigues, Impressor de liuros, 1605.

OLL Blog — My path to librarianship and the Oliveira Lima Library

Earlier this month, Fine Books & Collections posted an interview with me as part of their series Bright Young Librarians. While my tendency toward self-deprecation would lead me to question those qualifiers – months of sheltering-in-place I has got me feeling particularly dim and old – I was nevertheless thrilled to be featured in a publication of such note among my colleagues. It was a wonderful chance to speak about both the work Dr. Nathalia Henrich and I have been doing at the Oliveira Lima Library and the circumstances that brought me here. In the interest of highlighting the immense value of our collection and our role in maximizing that value, I’d like to take this opportunity to expand a bit on my remarks.

Apart from my love of history, what most drew me to the the field of librarianship was the social commitment of the library, the idea that the guarantee of access and use of library materials should be the driving force behind the development and implementation of theory and practice. To me, that idea is best expressed in the concept of stewardship. As Sharon Farb puts it, stewardship is, among other things, ‘service on behalf of users and on behalf of society.’ As library professionals such as Daniel Greenstein and Meg Bellinger have noted, while the Digital Age has challenged us to rethink our notions of preservation and ownership, it has also offered us opportunities to think of documented cultural memory in terms of interconnected networks, where the movement and exchange of knowledge takes precedence over the mere guardianship of materials.

This idea of stewardship has greatly eased my own personal anxieties and insecurities as a professional still relatively wet behind the ears. I often agonize over just the right content and structure of catalog records, wading through the mire of numbers and codes. In publishing a new record to our online catalog, I hope to create something laudable and unassailable by my peers. While these are certainly worthy goals, they should never get in the way of access. If I am uneasy about a record I have just created, I can rest assured that by making available to the public materials previously unknown, I am starting a conversation that will never end. Whatever gaps in my knowledge will be filled by those who come to use our collection. Nothing, certainly not my work as a cataloger, is written in stone. Beyond that, if our society’s current discussion has taught me anything, monuments to the past neither are nor should be protected from serious conversations.

In a way, this last point informs the work of Dr. Henrich and I. To be sure, we have been bestowed with the responsibility of keeping alive the memory of Manoel and Flora de Oliveira Lima; we are not, however, in the business of apotheosizing their memory nor the materials in their collection. The purpose of our work is to offer our holdings to the scrutiny of those wishing to undertake the serious and responsible endeavor of scholarship, regardless of their academic titles and honors. I find this in keeping with the legacy of Dr. Oliveira Lima, a man who was neither diffident in debate, intransigent in his political and social views, nor lacking in humor, even when it came to the caricatures of himself which often exaggerated his corpulence.

OLL Blog – Visual Depictions of Amazonian Boundary Commissions – Jeffrey Erbig

Visual Depictions of Amazonian Boundary Commissions

Jeffrey Erbig

Assistant Professor

University of California Santa Cruz

Department of Latin American & Latino Studies

Within the walls of the Oliveira Lima Library there sits a unique collection of watercolors attributed to Spanish mapmaker Francisco Requena y Herrera. The watercolors depict Luso-Hispanic mapping expeditions commissioned under the 1777 Treaty of San Ildefonso to draw a border between Brazil and Spanish South America. Requena was the ranking official of a Spanish mapping team sent to the Amazon, one of many that stretched the ten-thousand-mile border. His watercolors are perhaps the only visual records that portray the labors of the boundary commissions and were likely part of Manoel de Oliveira Lima’s original donation to the library. Oliveira Lima reportedly purchased them in 1914 from Dutch poet and essayist, Martinus Nijhoff, who in turn had acquired them in Spain (Smith, 33). If this account holds true, then Requena most likely brought them with him upon his 1795 return to Spain. Meanwhile, Requena’s maps are scattered across libraries in the United States and Europe, and while some include the same figures as the watercolors, most omit them entirely (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Francisco Requena, Mapa geográfico de la mayor parte de la América Meridional, 1796. Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center Collection.

Beyond being a unique media, Requena’s watercolors are significant for the information they present. Whereas the boundary commissions’ maps provide little indication of the labor involved in their production, these watercolors affirm what is more readily apparent in the diaries of demarcation officers, the expeditions’ account books, and administrative records of the spaces through which they traveled. They demonstrate complex sociocultural interactions that go far beyond Luso-Hispanic diplomacy or scientific knowledge (Siquiera Bueno and Kantor, 253-61). More specifically, they point to the actions of Indigenous and African Americans in response to Iberian efforts to partition the continent. Whereas several dozen diplomats, geographers, cosmographers, astronomers, engineers, and other royal officials produced the expeditions’ documentary corpus, each of the dozens of mapping teams included as many as several hundred guides, contracted laborers, slaves, and armed escorts. Moreover, they traveled through lands claimed and controlled by Indigenous peoples, who alternatively offered resistance or aid (Costa, 117-23).

Take for example the ninth watercolor in the series, titled Cascadas del Río Cuñaré (Fig. 2). From left to right, Requena identifies “Indios Omaguas” rowing a canoe full of provisions, Portuguese officers surveying the landscape with the support of numerous laborers, and Requena himself consulting with an Indigenous man while an African descendant interpreter conversed with two Native women. The image alone provides few details to explain the scene, but in his correspondence, Requena recounted having consulted with Omaguas men and women via a guide (prático do país) named Fernando Rojas. According to Requena, Omaguas communities maintained deep ties to nearby Franciscan missions, trading frequently with them in captives and in goods, and ostensible animosity toward the Portuguese (Quijano Otero, 192-93). Rojas, along with Juan de Silva, were Black men who had reportedly escaped slavery in the Brazilian captaincy of Pará, were fluent in nearby Indigenous languages, and had become principal guides for the Spanish demarcation teams (Roller, 119-20).

Fig. 2: Francisco Requena, Cascadas del Río Cuñaré. Oliveira Lima Library, The Catholic University of America.

Cascadas del Río Cuñaré captures much of what I found in the research for my book, Where Caciques and Mapmakers Met: Border Making in Eighteenth-Century South America, and for that reason I chose it as the cover image. While Requena’s teams and their Portuguese counterparts surveyed the Amazon, most of the expeditions worked farther south, in the Pantanal (Mato Grosso, Paraguay, and Bolivia) or in the grasslands and forests of southeastern South America (Santa Catarina/Rio Grande do Sul, Argentina, and Uruguay). By situating the southern expeditions within a deeper spatial history of this last region, I found that Native peoples engaged the boundary commissions with their own territorial imaginaries. Rather than part of an ever passing landscape or mere informants, as Iberian mapmakers depicted them to be, Indigenous peoples engaged the boundary commissions to advance their own interests. Guaraní mission-dwellers tend to garner the most attention in this regard, due to a three-year war that they waged against Spanish and Portuguese armies in response to the first attempt at partition. Yet all throughout the purported border, sovereign Native nations asserted their own claims, a fact that forces us to reframe border-drawing not merely as interimperial politics, but rather as interethnic affairs.



Costa, Maria de Fátima. “Viajes en la frontera colonial: Historias de una expedición de límites en la América Meridional (1753-1754).” Anales del Museo de América 16 (2009): 113–126.

Quijano Otero, José María. Límites de la República de los Estados-Unidos de Colombia, vol. 1. Sevilla: Francisco Alvarez y Cía, 1881.

Roller, Heather F. “River Guides, Geographical Informants, and Colonial Field Agents in the Portuguese Amazon.” Colonial Latin American Review 21, no. 1 (2012): 101–126.

Siquiera Bueno, Beatriz Piccolotto, and Iris Kantor. “A outra face das expedições científico-demarcatórias na Amazônia: o coronel Francisco Requena y Herrera e a comitiva castelhana.” In Oliveira, Francisco Roque de, ed. Cartógrafos para toda a Terra: Produção e circulação do saber cartográfico ibero-americano. Lisboa: Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, 2015, 243–64.

Smith, Robert C. “Requena and the Japurá: Some Eighteenth Century Watercolors of the Amazon and Other Rivers.” The Americas 3, no. 1 (1946): 31–65.


OLL Blog – Entre Manhattan e Rio de Janeiro: O caso do periódico O Novo Mundo (1870-1879) – Alessandra Carneiro

Capa de O Novo Mundo com a imagem de Manhattan com a ponte do Brooklyn ao fundo: vol IV, nº43, 23/04/1874. Hemeroteca Digital, Biblioteca Nacional.

Entre Manhattan e Rio de Janeiro: O caso do periódico O Novo Mundo (1870-1879)

Alessandra Carneiro

Doutora em Letras pela USP

Um veículo de informação e cultura que promova o american way of life no Brasil não soa incomum no mundo globalizado do século XXI, mas não deixa de despertar interesse e curiosidade quando se trata do século retrasado. O Novo Mundo: Periodico Illustrado do Progresso da Edade foi publicado pela primeira vez em 24 de outubro de 1870 e desde 2012 pode ser consultado na Hemeroteca digital da Biblioteca Nacional do Rio de Janeiro. No entanto, manusear um original do periódico é um privilégio que pude ter na Oliveira Lima Library, em 2013, durante meu estágio de doutorado sanduíche financiado pela Capes/Fulbright, nos Estados Unidos. O tamanho grande, a beleza das imagens e o bom estado de conservação de O Novo Mundo impressionam e, sem dúvida, tornam o trabalho com ele muito mais prazeroso.

 Editado em língua portuguesa entre 1870 e 1879, o jornal era impresso em Manhattan e enviado mensalmente aos seus assinantes no Rio de Janeiro. Inicialmente, o fluminense José Carlos Rodrigues mantinha o periódico sozinho, ocupando-se de todas as funções necessárias para a produção e circulação, mas, posteriormente, importantes intelectuais brasileiros contribuíram para a folha, como o poeta maranhense Sousândrade. As matérias de O Novo Mundo (ONM) eram bastante diversificadas, visto que os seus 108 volumes publicados abordam, por exemplo, literatura, política, protestantismo, economia, ciências etc. Era declarado que o escopo do periódico não era publicar notícias atuais, mas discutir os princípios, a política e o progresso da república estadunidense. Assim, o seu intuito era um só: oferecer ao Brasil um exemplo de nação próspera na América que pudesse lhe servir de exemplo de modernização.

 Vale ressaltar que nessa época o Brasil ainda era uma monarquia escravocrata e essencialmente agrária, ao passo que os Estados Unidos – uma república livre e democrática após a Guerra de Secessão (1861-1865) – atravessavam um período marcado pela expansão econômica, além da acelerada urbanização, industrialização e inovação tecnológica. Desse modo, o periódico incentivava a ida de brasileiros aos EUA para conhecer o seu modelo de prosperidade in loco. Nesse sentido, ONM publicava assiduamente propaganda das oportunidades de formação acadêmica existentes nos EUA, tendo Rodrigues, inclusive, assumido a tarefa de guiar e aconselhar estudantes brasileiros recém chegados em Nova York, muitos dos quais se dirigiam à Universidade de Cornell para estudar Engenharia.

Edifício do New York Times onde também ficava a redação de ONM: Vol.4, nº45, 23/06/1874. Pág 162. The Oliveira Lima Library, The Catholic University of America.

Foi também possivelmente incentivado por Rodrigues que Sousândrade mudou para NY em 1871 levando uma de suas filhas para estudar (CARNEIRO, 2016). O poeta contribuiu com algumas publicações assinadas no periódico e manteve anonimamente a coluna Notas Literárias. Ele foi nomeado vice-presidente de ONM em 1875, permanecendo no cargo até 1879. Sousândrade corroborou uma das constantes do jornal que era criticar abertamente o Império brasileiro por meio de publicações concernentes abolição da escravidão.  Por exemplo, em novembro de 1871 foi publicada uma correspondência do poeta intitulada ironicamente A emancipação do Imperador, que refletia sobre a divulgação distorcida da promulgação da Lei do Ventre Livre de 28 de setembro daquele mesmo ano. Uma notícia publicada no jornal Herald de NY atribuía a Dom Pedro II o mérito pelo protagonismo ruma à abolição da escravidão, ao que Sousândrade reagiu ferozmente argumentando que não era iniciativa do Imperador, mas um clamor do povo que ele prudentemente ouviu e que inclusive ameaçava a monarquia. 

No mesmo tom crítico, na edição de março de 1872 saiu o artigo O Estado dos índios no qual Sousândrade condenava o descaso do Império brasileiro pela situação degradante em que viviam os nativos das comunidades ribeirinhas do Amazonas. O argumento do poeta nesse artigo era que o governo deveria investir mais em missionários e educadores capacitados para atuarem junto aos autóctones porque, se bem preparados, eles seriam trabalhadores livres mais adequados à substituição do trabalho escravo, na iminência do seu fim. Para endossar sua opinião sobre a colonização do sertão brasileiro utilizando os próprios nativos, Sousândrade cita no mesmo artigo o naturalista amigo de Rodrigues Charles Frederick Hartt, professor na Universidade de Cornell, que teria voltado do Amazonas há pouco e concluído que o índio seria melhor elemento de população que os imigrantes europeus, pois seriam mais inteligentes que, por exemplo, os irlandeses que emigravam para os

Colégio do Sagrado Coração, instituição de ensino católica voltada para meninas onde estudou a filha de Sousândrade, Maria Bárbara. Vol. II, nº14, 24/11/1871, pág. 25. Hemeroteca Digital, Biblioteca Nacional.


Além de Sousândrade, outros homens de letras importantes contribuíram para a revista de Rodrigues, como o engenheiro André Rebouças, Salvador de Mendonça (nomeado cônsul geral do Brasil em NY em 1876) e o ilustre Machado de Assis. No caso deste último, houve uma única publicação feita sob encomenda de Rodrigues no volume de março de 1873: Notícia da atual literatura brasileira – Instinto de Nacionalidade; mas que causou impacto pelo seu posicionamento crítico ao romantismo brasileiro e à dependência ao referencial cultural europeu ainda em voga no Brasil. Considerando o afinamento de Rodrigues com as ideias aventadas por Machado, já se argumentou que a importância de ONM para a literatura brasileira se daria por constituir um suporte relevante da transição entre as tendências literárias românticas para a realista-naturalista/parnasiana no Brasil. (ASCIUTTI, 2010). 

Portanto, O Novo Mundo congregou brasileiros empenhados em assimilar o que consideravam o caminho que levaria o Brasil retrógrado à modernidade. Esses homens de letras não eram, entretanto, passivos à ideia de americanização da nação, pois antropofagicamente (salvaguardado o anacronismo do termo) buscavam no estrangeiro conhecimentos e ações que pudessem beneficiar o país de modo a torná-lo uma potência socioeconômica na América do Sul que fizesse par com os Estados Unidos. No século XIX, um projeto geopolítico desse calibre para a América configurava-se um contraponto inédito ao poder europeu, por isso a importância de ONM.


CARNEIRO, Alessandra da Silva. O Guesa em New York: Republicanismo e Americanismo em Sousândrade. 2016. 214 f. Tese (Doutorado em Literatura Brasileira) – Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, 2016.

ASCIUTTI, Mônica Maria Rinaldi. Um lugar para o periódico O Novo Mundo (Nova York,1870-1879). Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras Clássicas e Vernáculas). São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo, 2010.

OLL Blog – Reflections on my first semester as OLL Copy-Cataloger – Erin Mir-Aliyev

This Spring semester has been challenging in many ways that we could not have anticipated when 2020 started. The changes have been immense.  Nevertheless, as a community we grew stronger together, adapting, facing and overcoming new obstacles in order to provide our students with the best of us. As we reach the end of the term and reflect on what we have done, I invited our graduate research assistant at The Oliveira Lima Library, Erin Mir-Aliyev, to share her thoughts on her experience . 

Erin is a graduate student in the Library and Information Science Department at The Catholic University of America and the first recipient of the Flora de Oliveira Lima Fellowship for Graduate Students in Library and Information Science. The fellowship honors Manoel de Oliveira Lima’s wife, a bibliophile in her own right who took charge of the library after his passing and left an unequivocal imprint on it. 

 Reflections on my first semester as OLL Copy-Cataloger

Erin Mir-Aliyev  

Master of Science in Library and Information Science – The Catholic University of America

Flora de Oliveira Lima Fellowship for Graduate Students in Library and Information Science – The Oliveira Lima Library

OLL books waiting for their catalog record to be found in OCLC.

Working as a graduate research assistant for the Oliveira Lima Library this spring has been a rewarding experience. Not only have I started to apply first hand in my work what I have been learning in my classes; I have gotten to work in a special collection focusing largely on resources containing information about history and culture, something that allows me to incorporate my social sciences interests and undergraduate degree in anthropology into my library career.

There were many different tools and software programs I’d heard about in my Fall classes, but not having worked in a library since high school, I was not in a position in which I got the chance to use them. As a visual and tactile learner, I was concerned that I was not truly grasping what was being taught. Since beginning to assist the Oliveira Lima Library with processing its collection late last Fall, I have noticed there are three areas in particular where I have learned a lot already and begun to grow more confident: accessing and using OCLC Connexion and Alma, and understanding MARC21.

OCLC Connexion

OCLC is a global library cooperative which provides a tool, OCLC Connexion, through which libraries can create and share their bibliographic records with other libraries. It allows copy-catalogers to find already-existing bibliographic records for their collection’s materials so that librarians don’t have to repeat work that has already been done. Before shadowing a cataloger, I had not realized how long creating one bibliographic record from scratch can take – often over an hour per record. OCLC Connexion has made it possible for me to discover and import into Alma bibliographic records for about 500 books since January, some of which are not very common. As a result, we have been much more efficient than we otherwise would have been at incorporating materials into the library. Going through this process has also allowed me to better understand which elements of a record are the most important for identifying it.


Alma is a cloud-based platform that allows libraries to manage their catalog by importing and editing bibliographic records found in OCLC. So far, I have completed this process for hundreds of books, as well as creating holding and item records for them. My understanding of the differences between a work, expression, manifestation, and item (as expressed by FRBR) has increased greatly as a result of going through this process. These differences are reflected in the differences between bibliographic, holding, and item records for a specific book. 


MARC21 is a set of international standards for digital formatting of intellectual and physical traits of bibliographic materials, in my case, books. It struck me as very complicated and difficult to understand while in class, and I have been slowly memorizing the various field codes and formats for descriptions. Copy-cataloging for OLL is a more detail-oriented process than for a lot of collections due to the rare and unique nature of many of its materials, as individual books often contain inscriptions, signatures, or other markings and materials left by people significant to the history of the collection. The MARC fields most significant for cataloging of OLL resources are some fields also commonly used by general collections such as 100 (Main Entry – Personal Name), 245 (Title Statement), and 260 (Publication Information). However, culturally, historically, or biographically important information also needs to be included in the record; other fields like 561 (Ownership and Custodial History), 562 (Copy and Version Identification), and 590 (Local Note) focus on books’ rare and unique traits. This is where I am able to record details about who or what institution previously owned a book, or autographs and bound-in items like letters.

Detail of a book with the OLL stamp.
Example of a book inscribed by Brazilian poet Vinicius de Moraes to OLL’s former Curator Manoel Cardozo in 1963.

As I continue to work into the next semesters, I look forward to being able to learn even more, such as copy-cataloging for books written in other languages, how to classify and manage archival materials, and how to handle, categorize, and catalog artworks.