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Catalogue of the Orlando Ribeiro’s personal library


The scientific works of the private library of Orlando Ribeiro were held in three different rooms of the house of Vale de Lobos. The offprints, the periodical issues and the books more rarely used were stored in the so-called “basement”, at the lower floor of the house. These 8674 works were already present in the first edition of the Site, in 2004. The works held at the main floor of the house were organized in two groups, those of the “entrance”, dedicated to historical themes and those of the “study room”, focused on geographical and reference books.

The call numbers of the “basement” works start with ‘ORC’. They are now all held in the Geographical Room annexed to the Library of the Faculdade de Letras of the Lisbon University (BFLUL). The works of the main floor were divided in two series of call numbers: ‘OR’ and ‘OR/SD’. The call number ‘OR’ indicates the 2801 books that are already preserved in the Geographical Room. The works marked ORC and OR will be soon included in the SIBUL, the union catalogue of the University of Lisbon libraries, in order to facilitate its use and diffusion. The call number OR/SD marks the 1427 works that are still held in Vale de Lobos. They are reference books and those more directly used by Suzanne Daveau in her own research. In the future they will join the rest of the library, in the University. In the meantime, users interested in these books can ask permission to access by directly contacting Suzanne Daveau (

In order to show, as exactly as possible the thematic organization of the original library, in Vale de Lobos, the call numbers of the works of the “entrance” and of the “study room” are based on the collocation they had on the shelves. For example, the work Sesmarias Medievais Portuguesas, by Virginia Rau, with the call number OR/SD-M6-41, is still held in Vale de Lobos and was in the bookcase M of the “entrance”, being the number 41 of the 6th shelve. Another example, the work O Povo Português, by Bento Carqueja, with the call number OR-B4-8, is held in the Geographical Room of the BFLUL and was formerly placed in the bookcase B of the “study room” of Vale de Lobos, dedicated to the Geography of Portugal, being the number 8 of its 4rth shelve.

The private scientific library of Orlando Ribeiro encompasses 13 389 titles, 7491 of which are books [monographs], 5467 are offprints and 382 are periodical issues, with a variable number of copies.

According to the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC), the subject distribution in the library is as follows: 40% of the titles are on geography, 30% on historical topics, 12% on other humanities subjects and 10% on geology.

The predominant languages are Portuguese (52%) and French (28%), followed by Spanish (8%), English (6%), Italian (4%) and German (2%).

About 49% of the works were published in Portugal, 19% in France, 6% in Spain, 5% in Brazil, 4% in Italy, 3% in Germany, 2% in Great Britain, 1% in both the USA and Senegal.

The majority of the works of the Library were published during the 20th century (90%) and, more precisely, during the five decades from 1940 to 1990 (77%), coinciding with the period of Orlando Ribeiros’s scientific activity.