We have around 225 books published in Portugal before 1601 and acquire both contemporary and antiquarian material.
About the collection
Publications of all dates on all subjects in the humanities and social sciences are represented.
What is available online?
As a result of mass digitisation projects, in particular the ongoing British Library Google Books digitisation project, access to a growing number of Portuguese out-of-copyright digitised books is available free of charge. To find them search Explore the British Library and then refine your result list by Access Options: Online.
What is available in our Reading Rooms?
The British Library's online catalogue, Explore the British Library, can be used to search for Portuguese printed material and order it to a Reading Room.
Most post-1850 Portuguese printed books and periodicals can be ordered to any of our Reading Rooms, usually within 70 minutes, although an increasing amount of material is held at our Boston Spa site in Yorkshire and may take up to two days to arrive.
Pre-1850 material can be consulted in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room, while newspapers, maps and manuscripts are available in their own respective Reading Rooms. All the reading rooms have some reference works on open shelves, including bibliographies, catalogues, dictionaries and general reference works.
A large number of digital resources are also available through the Reading Room PCs. Staff are available to offer bibliographic and other basic research assistance.
There is a specialist printed catalogue of our early holdings: