Records of the Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Paraibano

The Collection contains bound and separate manuscript and printed documents written in Portuguese and Latin. The majority of the documentation pertains to government administration during the colonial, imperial, and republican periods in Paraíba, Brazil, although there are also geography books and missals. The documents include notarial registers of donation, obligation, mortgages, and land sales; letters of manumission (1660-1665); royal orders (1765-1821); government correspondence (1757-1825); notarial registers (Livros de Notas) (1799-1862); courts (1816-1876); emancipation of slaves (1881-1884); political parties (1911-1917); registers of sesmarias (land grants) (1781-1783); a funeral homily dating from 1786; the letter patent (carta patente) of Lourenço Martins dos Santos (1801); books on the geography of Brazil (1860-1909) and assorted 19th-century missals.

The Instituto Histórico e Geografico Paraibano (Paraiba's Historical and Geographical Institute) was founded on September 7, 1905, as a civil entity whose aim was to rescue memory and tradition. Its objective was to foment local history and identity, particularily in Paraiba. Its activities resulted in the creation of a rich archive that is essential for historical reserarch. The digitized documentation corresponds to that of the Collection of Colonial, Imperial, and Republican Documents (CDCIR) and of the Collection of Rare Books. The material was donated to the institution.

Materials in this collection present different degrees of conservation. Only one volume underwent restauration, and backing ("velatura," or the use of Japanese paper and starch paste to reinforce weak or brittle paper) has jeopardized visibility of the content. Documents can be yellowing and crumpled, contain stamps, inadequate intervention (tape), fungae, notation not produced by original author, water stains with loss of content, acidity spots, teared, brittled, or other damages; there are missing folios and in some cases a cover has been added (not the original one), all of which compromise the readibility of these sources.

Creator (Author): Monarchs (king, queen, and prince regent); Lisbon's Overseas Council (Conselho Ultramarino de Lisboa); Desembargo do Paço (Portugal); Paraíba Government; Noraty publics from the Parishes of Pombal, Vila de Sousa, and Cidade da Paraíba.