Oliveira Lima Library

Coordinates: 38°55′58.7″N 76°59′52.0″W / 38.932972°N 76.997778°W / 38.932972; -76.997778
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The Oliveira Lima Library (also known as the Ibero American Library) is located at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. It was founded in 1916, when Brazilian diplomat and scholar Manoel de Oliveira Lima and his wife, Flora de Oliveira Lima officially donated their private library to the university after obtaining an agreement that the library would remain a separate, autonomous facility and that Manoel would be the first librarian.[1] The initial collection included 40,000 volumes of books[2] primarily focused on colonial Portuguese Brazilian history, literature and culture.[1] Many of the rare books are original sources, on Portuguese philology and etymology, which complement the other volumes in the collection.

After establishing the library and setting it up, it opened in 1923 with Manoel serving as librarian until his death in 1928.[3] Upon his death, Flora took over managing the collection. Under her direction, the collection grew to 58,000 volumes. In addition, it contains around 200,000 pages of correspondence; 6 dozen albums of newspaper clippings[1] of the couple’s various diplomatic posts which included Lisbon, Berlin, Washington, DC, London, Tokyo, Caracas, Brussels and Stockholm;[3] and around 600 works of art including engravings, maps, paintings, sculptures and watercolors. Some of the artwork includes a landscape of Pernambuco painted by Dutch artist Frans Post (1612-1680); a screen showing the Largo do Machado in Rio de Janeiro by Nicolas-Antoine Taunay (1755-1830); a bronze bust of Pedro I by sculptor Marc Ferrez (1788-1850); the only existing color copy of Rerum per Octenium in Brasilia by Gaspar Barleus (1584-1648); the first book in French about Brazil, La Singularité de la France Anthartique, by Franciscan priest André Thévet (1502-1590), among many others.[1]

In a digitizing project completed in conjunction with a partnership between Gale Cengage Learning and the library, most of the 19th- and 20th-century pamphlets in the collection have been digitized.[4] Some 17,000 Portuguese and Brazilian books and pamphlets are available in the digital collection.[5] According to restrictions imposed by the wills of the de Oliveira Limas, none of the materials may leave the premises. The Oliveira Lima Library is located in the underground level of Mullen Library[1] at 620 Michigan Avenue N.E., Washington, DC 20064.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Greenhalgh, Laura (18 June 2011). "Biblioteca em Washington recupera legado de Oliveira Lima" (in Portuguese). São Paulo, Brazil: Estadao. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  2. ^ Huguenin Pereira, Ana Carolina (2004). "A Escrita Feminina No Século XIX: As Cartas de Flora de Oliveira Lima e Eufrásia Teixeira Leite". Niterói (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Revista Genero, Universidade Federal Fluminense. 5 (1): 111–141. ISSN 2316-1108. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b Henrich, Nathalia (2021). O antiamericano que não foi: os Estados Unidos na obra de Oliveira Lima (in Portuguese). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. ISBN 978-65-5623-175-4.
  4. ^ "The Collections". Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Access to the Library". Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America. Archived from the original on 10 January 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2015.

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38°55′58.7″N 76°59′52.0″W / 38.932972°N 76.997778°W / 38.932972; -76.997778