Library

About

The FCUL-Libraries network is made up of the Library (C4 Building) and the Extensions.

The Library's catalogue spans all of FCUL's areas of knowledge. 

It has a main reading room (C4 Building) with 124 seats, and three group study rooms:

  • 4.2.11 (28 seats);
  • 4.2.12 (24 seats);
  • 4.2.13 (28 seats);
  • 4.2.14 is fitted with equipment suited for the blind.

It also has three study rooms/students' spaces (4.3.33, 4.3.34 and 4.3.35) on Level 3 (must be booked).

 

History

It is difficult to accurately determine the origin of the current Library. It is, however, certain that its first document collection belonged to the Jesuit's Casa do Noviciado (House of the Novitiates) library, at the place that was then called 'Cotovia'.

This collection was continually improved upon and updated, for it was at the Casa do Noviciado that the Jesuit novitiates took their first steps in the Society of Jesus and that future missionaries leaving for the East were instructed. The collection was transferred, in 1761, to the at-the-time recently concluded Real Colégio dos Nobres, which received the entire collection of all the Society's libraries before the Jesuits were banned from Portugal and the Society abolished. Later, the public libraries of the Santo Antão (and other) Convents and the Casa de São Roque were also added to this collection.

On 4 January 1838, the Real Colégio dos Nobres (Royal College of Nobles) was closed by legal decree, and on 21 January the building it used to occupy was transferred to the Polytechnic School. The contents of that library were very likely those of the original Library.

In 1911, one year after the Republic had been declared, the "Foundations of the New University Constitution" established that a Faculty of Sciences would be set up in the University of Lisbon. It opened in the same building as the abolished Polytechnic School, and thus inherited all its assets, including the Library.

The Faculty of Sciences is thus heir to a valuable document archive of undeniable historical and scientific worth.

When the Library moved from its old installations on Rua da Escola Politécnica to Campo Grande in 1993, a protocol was established with the Science Museum Board, whereby any works produced up to 1936 would be stored there and made publicly available under the agreed terms.