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.

OLL Blog – As Servinas na Oliveira Lima Library Parte II – Pablo Iglesias Magalhães

Seguimos com a segunda parte do texto do Professor Pablo Iglesias Magalhães sobre as Servinas da nossa coleção. Se você perdeu a parte I, pode encontrar o texto aqui 


As Servinas na Oliveira Lima Library 

Parte II: Serva entre o processo de Independência e o Segundo Império

Pablo Iglesias Magalhães

Professor dos cursos de História, do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Humanas e Sociais  e Vice-Diretor do Centro das Humanidades da Universidade Federal do Oeste da Bahia.

Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva faleceu no Rio de Janeiro em agosto de 1819. A tipografia já funcionava em sociedade com seu genro José Teixeira de Carvalho, desde junho daquele ano. A sua parte foi herdada pela viúva, Maria Rosa da Conceição Serva, e a oficina de impressão passou a se chamar Typographia da Viuva Serva, e Carvalho (1819-1827).  Diferente da sua primeira fase, na qual operou em uma conjuntura de prosperidade econômica e relativa tranquilidade política em Salvador, a empresa funcionaria em um período turbulento da História da Bahia, assinalado pela Revolução Constitucionalista (fev. 1821), a Guerra de Independência (1822-1823)  e a Revolta dos Periquitos (nov.1824), sendo que, nesta última ocasião, os prelos da Serva foram transportados à bordo da corveta Maria da Glória, para continuar imprimindo papéis do governo na Baía de Todos os Santos. 

Entre 1821 e 1822, a Serva deu prelo a uma série de papéis constitucionais, cujos raríssimos exemplares se encontram dispersos em bibliotecas públicas e coleções particulares no Brasil, Portugal e Estados Unidos. Esse conjunto ainda não recebeu a devida atenção pelos historiadores. Na OLL, há um exemplar das Reflexões sobre o decreto de 18 de fevereiro deste anno offerecidas ao povo da Bahia por Philagiosotero. O folheto com 11 páginas já começa registrando que “se o respeito ao Monarcha he nas Monarchias o primeiro dever do Povo, he tambem certo que huma justa consideração aos direitos do Povo he da obrigação do Principe, e qualquer ataque a estes direitos chama a resistencia legitima de huma Nação contra o mesmo Rey, que desconhece as suas funcções verdadeiras.” Philagiosotero é pseudônimo do paulista Antônio Carlos Ribeiro de Andrada Machado e Silva (1773-1845), que ficou preso por quatro anos na Bahia, por ter tomado parte na Revolução Pernambucana (1817).  Na OLL, ainda consta um exemplar da Relação dos Successos do Dia 26 de Fevereiro de 1821, escrita no Rio de Janeiro em 10 de Junho de 1821 e o controverso folheto Exame Analítico-Crítico da Questão: o Rei, e a Família Real de Bragança devem, nas Circunstâncias Presentes, Voltar a Portugal ou Ficar no Brasil? (1821).

A morte de Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva e as rupturas institucionais e comerciais entre Brasil e Portugal, produzidas pela Independência, interrompeu o fluxo de livros baianos para a Europa. A Typographia de Serva, influenciada por essas transformações, foi gradualmente convertida em uma tipografia nacional e imperial, particularmente a partir de 1828. Naquele ano, os dois filhos de Maria Rosa da Conceição, Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva (1802-1846) e José Antonio da Silva Serva (1808-1878), se associaram a sua mãe e criaram a Typographia da Viuva Serva e Filhos (1828-1836).  Com o encerramento das atividades da Typographia Nacional da Bahia (1823-1831), a Serva passou a cumprir a função de imprimir papéis do governo imperial e provincial. Os impressos baianos daquele período são mais raros do que os da primeira fase da Serva, pois a interrupção na sua exportação fez com que seus papéis circulassem apenas nos trópicos, ficando mais expostos à umidade e insetos. 

Pigault-Lebrun. Monsieur de Kinglin, ou : a presciencia Bahia: Na Impressão da viuva Serva, 1829. Oliveira Lima Library, The Catholic University of America.

As servinas pós-1822 também ficam mais escassas na OLL. Há a segunda novela impressa na Bahia, Monsieur de Kinglin, ou a presciência de Mr. Le Brun. A primeira novela impressa na Bahia fora uma tradução da Atalá (1819), de Chateaubriand, que havia sido impressa pela primeira vez em Lisboa em 1810 e censurada pelas autoridades inquisitoriais portuguesas em 1812. Monsieur de Kinglin também não foi bem vista à época, por não estar de acordo com os padrões morais e religiosos vigentes, tendo, contudo, a peculiaridade de declarar ter sido publicada “Na Impressão da Viuva Serva”.  Até hoje só encontrei dois livros com essa declaração editorial, atribuindo-se exclusivamente à Maria Rosa da Conceição Serva, que é a primeira proprietária de uma casa editorial no Brasil. Poucas foram, contudo, as novelas impressas na Serva e quase todas, se não todas, traduções do francês para o português. 

Na OLL, uma obra da Serva e Filhos se destaca, até o presente, pelo critério da unicidade. São as Reflexões Criticas Sobre a Administração da Justiça em Inglaterra,  tanto no civel como no crime, e sobre o jury, n’uma serie de cartas a um amigo (1829). Não foi possível encontrar outro exemplar dessas Reflexões Criticas, mas ela foi ofertada no Catalogo nº 14, de 1930, da Livraria Coelho, de Lisboa, classificadas in-8º de 34-53-60 páginas, ao preço de 40$00, em brochura. A primeira edição foi tirada na Impressão Régia de Lisboa em 1826 e seu autor foi José Joaquim Ferreira de Moira (c. 1776-1829), apelidado de “Doutor Macaco”, pelo poeta Manoel Maria Barbosa du Bocage. 

Em 1836, a Typographia da Viuva Serva e Filhos se dividiu em duas oficinas, a primeira que continuou na Cidade baixa e outra no Pelourinho, em uma casa na Rua do Bispo, n.o 29, com o nome de Aurora de Serva e Comp. Essa segunda oficina foi administrada pelo filho mais velho do casal Serva. Intelectual modesto, editor competente e impressor talentoso, que, entre 1836 e 1846, conseguiu restabelecer o prestígio e a apurada qualidade gráfica das servinas, comprometida pela baixa qualidade editorial desde a Independência. Serva transferiu sua oficina, após a Sabinada (7 nov. 1837 – mar. 1838), para outra casa, na quina oposta ao Aljube, n.o 6. Essa casa, contudo, foi destruída por um incêndio na madrugada de 31 de agosto de 1840.   

Moira, José J. F. Reflexões Criticas Sobre a Administração Da Justiça Em Inglaterra, Tanto No Civel Como No Crime, E Sobre O Jury, N’uma Serie De Cartas a Um Amigo. Bahia: Serva, 1829. Oliveira Lima Library, The Catholic University of America.

Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva, filho, retornara para o mesmo prédio onde seu pai estabeleceu a imprensa na Bahia, no morgado de Santa Bárbara. Os livros impressos na última fase da oficina em Salvador (1839-1846) são preciosos. Na OLL existe um exemplar de um livro dessa fase, de autoria do próprio Serva, intitulada Exposição das razões que reclamão o tratado de commercio entre o Brasil e Portugal (1843), que foi oferecida a Associação Comercial da Bahia.  Serva, contudo, faleceu repentinamente aos 44 anos, solteiro e sem herdeiros. Sua mãe e irmão mais novo logo venderam a livraria. A Typographia de Serva encerrou seus trabalhos na Cidade da Bahia em 1846.

OLL Blog – As Servinas na Oliveira Lima Library – Pablo Iglesias Magalhães

 O objetivo do OLL Blog é informar sobre a Oliveira Lima Library e aproximar o público da nossa coleção. Além de destacar itens do acervo e informar sobre as nossas atividades, queremos através do blog apresentar resultados de pesquisas realizadas aqui na OLL. Hoje inauguramos a série de posts com convidados e convidadas que generosamente aceitaram o convite para compartilhar conosco seus trabalhos. Esta seção vai ser tão internacional como é a a OLL, refletindo a variedade de temas, idiomas e perspectivas que podem ser estudados através das fontes do nosso acervo. Por isso, os convidados ficam à vontade para escrever no idioma em que desejarem e com o auxílio de uma ferramenta de tradução automática, o texto fica acessível a um número maior de leitores. 

Espero que apreciem a primeira parte do texto do Professor Pablo Iglesias Magalhães sobre as nossas Servinas. A parte II será publicada na semana que vem. Não deixe de conferir!


As Servinas na Oliveira Lima Library 

Parte I: A Typographia de Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva

Pablo Iglesias Magalhães

Professor dos cursos de História, do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Humanas e Sociais  e Vice-Diretor do Centro das Humanidades da Universidade Federal do Oeste da Bahia.

A Typographia de Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva (1811-1819), estabelecida na cidade do Salvador, um dos centros comerciais mais dinâmicos no Atlântico sul, não pode ser compreendida, em sua origem, como uma tipografia baiana. Constitui-se, antes, em uma casa de impressão ultramarina cuja origem se encontra nas transformações políticas ocorridas no Império português no início do século XIX.  Ainda que parte da produção tipográfica da Serva, naquele período, fosse para ser consumida imediata e localmente, particularmente os periódicos, seus livros estavam inseridos em uma ampla rede comercial que, além das diversas capitanias do Brasil, os fazia alcançar livreiros e leitores na Europa, África e Ásia.  

A produção tipográfica da Serva, inicialmente, respondia, para além das demandas de uma cidade portuária, às transformações políticas, econômicas e intelectuais que tiveram lugar no Império português. O conjunto de servinas custodiado na Oliveira Lima Library (OLL) é especialmente representativo para compreender aquele contexto histórico. 

Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva nasceu em cerca de 1760, em Vila Real, capital da Província de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Freguesia de Cerva, do Conselho de Ribeira de Pena. Chegou à Bahia por volta de 1788 ou 1789, quando contava 27 ou 29 anos. Casou-se com Maria Rosa da Conceição (?- 1858), natural da Bahia. O comerciante tornou-se livreiro, instalando livrarias em Salvador e no Rio de Janeiro, onde negociava impressos portugueses e franceses. Em 1810, por sua diligência, foi publicado, na Impressão Régia do Rio de Janeiro, o primeiro catálogo de uma livraria no Brasil. Serva, naquele mesmo ano, passou a pleitear, junto ao governo português, permissão para estabelecer uma tipografia na Cidade da Bahia. Essa licença foi conseguida no início do governo de d. Marcos de Noronha e Britto (1811-1817), o oitavo Conde dos Arcos, que instituiu uma Comissão de Censura (1811-1821), cuja função era examinar os manuscritos remetidos para impressão. 

A 13 de maio de 1811, foi inaugurada a Tipografia de Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva, instalada, inicialmente, no Morgado de Santa Bárbara, que já abrigava a sua livraria.

Detalhe do Morgado de Santa Bárbara. Arquivo Público do Estado da Bahia, séc. XVIII.

A OLL possui os dois livrinhos de cunho liberal, de autoria de José da Silva Lisboa (1756-1835), impressos no primeiro ano da tipografia. Essas duas obras, que já haviam sido publicadas no Rio de Janeiro, tem por título Observações sobre a franqueza da industria, e estabelecimento de fabricas no Brazil e Observações sobre a prosperidade do estado pelos liberaes principios da nova legislação do Brazil.  Ambas estão alinhadas ao liberalismo econômico que começavam a ganhar força entre os intelectuais e políticos portugueses, especialmente pela circulação dos livros e traduções feitos por José da Silva Lisboa e seu filho Bento da Silva Lisboa, que verteram para a língua portuguesa os princípios econômicos postulados na obra do professor escocês Adam Smith (1723-1790).

Morgado de Santa Bárbara em Salvador, Bahia. Rodolfo Lindeman, c. 1885.

A criação da Escola de Cirurgia da Bahia (1808), com sua subsequente elevação à Academia Médico-Cirúrgica da Bahia (1816) e Faculdade de Medicina da Bahia (1832), levou à Typographia de Serva a dar prelo a produção intelectual do corpo docente daquela instituição. O primeiro livro de medicina impresso na referida capitania foi Elementos de Osteologia Practica (1812), de José Soares de Castro (1772-1849). Também de Soares de Castro há uma tradução das Memorias physiologicas, e praticas sobre o aneurisma, e a ligadura das artérias, por Jean-Pierre Maunoir (1768-1861).

O médico que mais obras publicou na Typographia de Serva foi Manoel Joaquim Henriques de Paiva (1752-1829), inconfidente português desterrado na Bahia. Na OLL existe um exemplar do seu primeiro livro baiano,  Da febre e da sua curação em geral: ou, Novo e seguro methodo de curar facilmente, por meio dos acidos mineraes, todas as especies de febre, originalmente impresso em alemão por Gottfried Christian Reich (1769-1848), traduzido em francês por Charles Chrétien Henri Marc (1771-1840) e, finalmente, para o português, circulando amplamente por gerações de estudantes luso-brasileiros. 

A literatura também esteve presente na primeira fase da Serva. Na OLL há exemplar de um best-seller da época, a rara edição baiana das três partes da Marilia de Dirceu (1812), do poeta inconfidente Tomás Antonio Gonzaga. A terceira parte é apócrifa e não pode ser atribuída a Gonzaga. De original, há um exemplar de a Parafraze dos Proverbios de Salomão (1815), do mineiro José Eloy Ottoni (1774-1851), poema de natureza maçônica e relativamente fácil de encontrar em boas coleções. Também há um exemplar da Relação do Festim (1817), que traz um conjunto de composições, da autoria de alguns personagens influentes da época, como José Francisco Cardoso de Moraes, Paulo José de Melo Azevedo e Brito e Ignacio José de Macedo.  De literatura clássica há a edição baiana da Arte Poetica (1818), de Quinto Horácio Flaco (65 a.C. — 8 a.C.), traduzida em verso português pelo médico e pedreiro-livre Antonio José de Lima Leitão (1787-1856).

Bivar, Diogo Soares da Silva e. Principios geraes, ou, Verdadeiro methodo para se aprender a lêr, e a pronunciar com propriedade a lingua franceza. Bahia: Na Typog. de Manoel Antonio da Silva Serva, 1811. Oliveira Lima Pamphlet Collection, Oliveira Lima Library, The Catholic University of America.

No mesmo ano em que foi inaugurada, a Typographia de Serva começou a produzir livros didáticos para atender a demanda do ensino ministrado pelos professores régios e pelos poucos colégios existentes em Salvador. Um dos primeiros manuais didáticos na Bahia tem por título Principios Geraes ou Verdadeiro Methodo Para se aprender a lêr, e a pronunciar com propriedade a Lingua Franceza, folheto anônimo com 22 páginas, do qual existe um exemplar na OLL. Apesar do anonimato, é notório que seu autor foi Diogo Soares da Silva e Bivar, então acusado de inconfidência em Portugal e preso desde 1810 no Forte de São Pedro, em Salvador. Bivar (1785 – 1865) foi um dos mais atuantes intelectuais nos primeiros tempos da imprensa bahiense, colaborando com o padre Ignacio José de Macedo (1764-1834) na redação de a Idade d’Ouro do Brazil. Além disso, Bivar tomou parte na redação da revista As Variedades, considerada a primeira revista do Brasil, publicada em 1812.  Foi também o autor do Almanaque da Bahia para 1812, o primeiro do gênero que se imprimiu no Brasil (1811). Bivar ousou, numa época em que francesia e jacobinismo eram sinônimos, publicar seu pequeno compêndio gramatical francês, tão bem recebido que o livreiro francês Rolland, radicado em Lisboa, imprimiu a segunda edição na capital portuguesa em 1820, com 32 páginas, também anonimamente.


OLL Blog – Unveiling the Camiliana at the Oliveira Lima Library

Castello Branco, Camillo. A Senhora Rattazzi. Porto: Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron, 1880.
Castello Branco’s A Senhora Rattazzi (1880), part of OLL’s Camiliana.

Portuguese writer Camilo Castelo Branco (1825-1890), is considered one of the most important writers of his generation. His unmistaken style granted him an avid readership and a place in the heart of bibliophiles interested in lusophone literature. Castelo Branco lived as intensely as he wrote. His 1862 novel Amor de perdição (Doomed Love: a Family Memoir), famously inspired by his love affair with a married woman, was written during his imprisonment for adultery and became a bestseller. He was one of the few able to live off of his craft in his time. Castelo Branco wrote novels, plays, essays and poems. He also worked as a translator, translating French and English books to Portuguese. The irresistible force of love is a constant subject of his works, as much as social prejudice and the many forms of moral corruption, leading to stories that often end up in tragedy. Not all of them, though. There is also redemption, achieved through a great deal of suffering, and plenty of comedy. 

As a writer and translator, Castelo Branco had a prolific career, producing over 260 books until his death in 1890.  Although not entirely confined by the canon of Romanticism, he remained a stark critic of the Realist style represented by Eça de Queiroz. The two men were the most prominent examples of the main literary trends in the 19th century.  The importance of Castelo Branco in that context can not be overstated.

No collection of literature of the Lusophone world worthy of its name is complete without the presence of Camilo Castelo Branco. Manoel de Oliveira Lima, passionate bibliophile and book collector since the early age of 14, was very aware of that. Educated in Lisbon, he undoubtedly read and studied Castelo Branco’s works during his formative years. Later, an already seasoned scholar and book collector, he decided to build his very own Camiliana which would become part of the Oliveira Lima Library. Comprising more than 300 volumes, including original works, translations, catalogues from book sellers, Camiliana catalogues, compilations of correspondence, anthologies, and even books that belonged to Camilo Castelo Branco, is still a treasure to be unveiled. 

Castelo Branco, Camilo. Catalogo da preciosa livraria do eminente escriptor Camillo Castello Branco: contendo grande numero de livros raros ..., e muitos manuscriptos importantes, a qual será vendida em leilão. em Lisboa, no proximo mez de dezembro de 1883 ... sob a direcção da casa editora de Mattos Moreira & Cardosos. Lisboa: Typ. de M. Moreira & Cardosos, 1883.
Catalogue of a book auction in Lisbon that sold part of Castelo Branco’s private collection

The idea of revealing Oliveira Lima’s Camiliana to the world had already been in my plans for quite some time when a serendipitous encounter with Fabiano Cataldo, Professor of the School of Librarianship at the Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) in Brazil, transformed it into a project. Prof. Cataldo researches and teaches on the management of Special Collections in Libraries and has extensive experience organizing specialized catalogues. More recently, he has been interested in the study of book provenance. That interest prompted him to start a project in 2018 with colleagues from Brazil, Argentina, the United States and the United Kingdom, to map other similar projects, carry out an extensive review of concepts, and to study forms of identification and description of provenance marks. Ever since becoming a member of the Projeto “A Eloquência dos Livros: marcas de proveniência Bibliográfica”, the plan to organize a specialized catalogue of the Camiliana took a more defined shape. With the collaboration of Prof. Cataldo,  we developed a plan to study the collection within the framework of the field of provenance studies. The final product will be a printed catalogue of our Camiliana, possibly accompanied by an electronic version. The bibliographic records will also be accessible via our online catalogue.   

Denis, Jean F, Pierre Pincon, and Guillaume F. Martonne. Manuels Roret - Nouveau Manuel De Bibliographie Universelle. Tome I. Paris, a la Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, 1857.
Castelo Branco’s signature in one of the books acquired in the Lisbon book auction by Oliveira Lima that are now part of the OLL collection.

We are currently in the early stages of the project, which consists of the inventory of the collection. In completing this phase of the project, the aid of our team at the Oliveira Lima Library has been unvaluable. Cataloguing and the itemized description of the books will follow, with a special focus on the provenance marks, of course. Unfortunately, our work schedule has been affected  by the ongoing pandemic. We are doing our best to keep working while being safe. Although we are working exclusively from home and Prof. Cataldos’ visit will not be possible in the summer as previously planned, we are aiming to come up with creative solutions and keep the work going. We hope to be able to announce updates soon. Stay tuned for news on the project! 

OLL Blog – Brazilian Incunables?

The word ‘incunable’ comes from the Latin incunabula, which means ‘swaddling clothes’ or ‘cradle’. In the context of books, the term refers to the printed word in its infancy, which began with Gutenberg’s invention of movable type some time around 1450 and was first manifested in 1455 by Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible. Starting in Mainz, printing presses with movable type quickly spread from Germany to all of Europe throughout the 15th century: Spain in 1474, England in 1476 and Portugal in 1487. Strictly speaking, the period of incunables ends in Europe in 1501, a date by which many of the trappings of a printed book as we know it today – title page, numbered pages, illustrations and, importantly for catalogers, publication information – had been firmly established in European printing.

Montalboddo’s ‘Paesi Nouamente Retrouati….’ (1507)

However, beyond this restricted sense the word incunable is often adjectivized to describe early printing in a specific geographic or cultural area. In Margaret Bingham Stillwell’s opinion, it is eminently proper to speak of incunabula in the context of the Americas because both Gutenberg and Columbus “altered the course of history more effectively than anyone since the birth of Christ.” (p. x) This seems especially apt when we consider that history itself is nothing more than the documentary record of human memory and furthermore, that during the Age of Exploration the printed word was essential to publicizing the so-called discoveries of the various European powers in the New World, both enabling them to stake their claims and igniting the imaginations of rival European monarchs with the possibility for commerce and evangelism and goading them into the fray of imperial conquest.

We may thus initiate the period of American incunables with Columbus’ arrival in the Americas and the subsequent publication in 1493  his Epistola Cristofori Colom… In 1500 the first Europeans, led by Pedro Álvares Cabral, set foot on the land that would come to be called Brazil. The first printed account of Cabral’s voyage is to be found in Fracanzano da Montalboddo’s Paesi Nouamente Retrouati…. in Venice in 1507. It is the oldest printed book in the Oliveira Lima Library’s holdings.

As Stillwell notes, throughout the 16th century the majority of works on the Americas were still being printed in Europe, but by 1700 “the art of bookmaking…had become an established and influential factor in colonial life” in both North and South America. For many bibliographers, the various independence movements in the colonies during the late 18th and early 19th centuries mark the end of early printing in the Americas.

‘Warhafftige Beschreibunge aller und mancherley sorgfeltigen Schiffarten…’ (1567)

So when did printing begin in Brazil? How long did its period of early printing last? The answer to this question, like that of so many others, is deceptively complex and provides one of a host of examples of Brazil’s truly unique and cosmopolitan development.

Rocha Pitta’s ‘Historia da America Portugueza’ (1730)

The history of printing in Brazil offers a peculiar example within the context of the other European colonies in the New World, for whereas printing presses appeared within decades of the establishment of colonies in Spanish and English America, none would be officially recognized in Brazil until the arrival of the Portuguese court to Rio de Janeiro in 1808, a full 300 years after the arrival of Europeans in Brazil.

That is not to say that this Portuguese colony did not pique the interest of learned Europeans throughout its first three centuries of existence, nor that the inhabitants of Brazil did not publish works during the colonial period. The Oliveira Lima Library’s holdings provide a wealth of material as evidence to the contrary, such as Hans Staden’s Warhafftige Beschreibunge aller und mancherley sorgfeltigen Schiffarten… published in Frankfurt am Main in 1567 and Sebastião da Rocha Pitta’s Historia da America Portugueza, desde o anno de mil e quinhentos de seu descobrimento, até o de mil e setecentos e vinte e quatro, the first history of Portuguese America written by a Brazilian, published in Lisbon in 1730. Yet the fact nevertheless remains that it took 300 years for printing to be officially established in Brazil. Why is that?

Van Baerle’s ‘Rerum per octennium in Brasilia’ (1647)

At the risk of nuance, the lack of publishing houses in colonial Brazil can be attributed to two major factors. The first was the Portuguese crown, which jealously guarded the benefits of the mercantilist system which maintained Lisbon as the center of political, economic and cultural power of Portugal’s immense and far flung empire. Though this apprehension on the part of the Portuguese metropole was shared by Spain, Portugal’s policies seemed particularly restrictive of the production or entry of books into its colony. The second force at play was that of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, whose censorial power focused on ensuring that no publication run afoul of the Inquisition’s moral strictures.

Despite these eminently unfavorable conditions, three attempts were made at establishing printing houses in Brazil prior to 1808. The first was initiated by the Dutch during their brief reign over northeastern Brazil in the 17th century. It was fruitless, for Pieter Janzsoon, the printer hired for the task, died weeks after his arrival in Brazil in 1643. While unsuccessful in producing any books inside of Brazil, Dutch rule did produce many accounts of Brazil published in Europe, including Caspar van Baerle’s wonderfully illustrated Rerum per octennium in Brasilia… printed in Amsterdam in 1647.

A second attempt at establishing a press was made in Recife, Pernambuco, though the only evidence of its existence lies in two royal orders, the first from 1706 and the second from 1747, to seize the press’s materials.

The last and only successful attempt at printing in Brazil before 1808 was undertaken by Antonio Isidoro da Fonseca, who, for reasons as of yet uncertain, departed Lisbon in 1746 to found a publishing house in Rio de Janeiro. This daring endeavor would last a mere two years, from 1747-1749, producing a few pamphlets and the first book ever printed in Brazil, Relaçaõ da entrada que fez o excellentissimno, e reverendissimo senhor D. Fr. Antonio do Desterro Malheyro Bispo do Rio de Janeiro. According to Jerônimo Estrada de Barros (2012), the Oliveira Lima Library’s is one of less than ten known copies in the world.

‘Relaçaõ da entrada…’ (1747)

The arrival of the Portuguese court to Rio de Janeiro in 1808 led to the founding that very same year of Brazil’s first officially sanctioned publishing house and resulted in an explosion of books in the colony. Indeed, between 1808 and 1822, the Impressão Régia (Royal Publishing House) “would print nearly 1,500 books and over 700 laws, decrees, alvarás, royal letters, etc” an output which exceeded that of its counterpart in Lisbon. (Gauz, p. 43) Among the Oliveira Lima Library’s many books and pamphlets printed by the Impressão Régia during the waning years of the colonial period is Reflexões sobre alguns dos meios propostos por mais conducentes para melhorar o clima da cidade do Rio de Janeiro, the first book printed by the Impressão Régia in 1808.

‘Reflexões…’ (1808)

By 1822, Brazil had all but achieved independence. No longer beholden to the colonial metropole or the censorship of the Inquisition, publishing would greatly expand, marking the end of the period of early printing in Brazil and the beginning of a period of growth in the book industry in which academics and bibliophiles such as Manoel de Oliveira Lima surely must have reveled.


Borba de Moraes, Rubens. Bibliographia brasiliana: rare books about Brazil published from 1504 to 1900 and works by Brazilian authors of the Colonial period. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center Publications, 1983.

Estrada de Barros, Jerônimo Duque. Na oficina de Antônio Isidoro da Fonseca: levantamento e análise das obras produzidas pelo primeiro tipógrafo da América portuguesa. Fundação Biblioteca Nacional, 2012

Gauz, Valéria. Early Printing in Brazil.

Stillwell, Margaret Bingham. Incunabula and Americana, 1450-1800: a Key to Bibliographical Study. New York: Cooper Square, 1961