Rio de Janeiro:

The National Library

The National Library

The National Library of Brazil is the largest library in South America and the seventh largest in the world, and its collection includes about 9 million copies. The first classes of the history of science and art in South America were organized here in due time, while today there are works on the digitization of books and works.

The library began its history in 1755, when Lisbon suffered a major earthquake. Due to the damage done and the fear of repeated earthquakes, Portugal decides to transfer a large part of the work from its Royal Library to Brazil. The first volumes were transferred in 1810, and the rest were transferred in 1811. The original facilities where the books were placed were considered inadequate for the books they kept, so they started looking for a new building in which the library collection could be housed. The Portuguese prince issued a decree according to which the royal family would finance such an endeavor.

Work on the new library began in 1813 when the entire collection of books was transferred to Brazil. After its founding, the library significantly expanded its collection, with donations. After the Portuguese royal family left Brazil in 1821, Brazil declared independence and annexed the library to the new state. In fact, the library became part of an agreement signed between Brazil and Portugal, with Brazil paying a certain amount for what was left in Brazil and belonged to the royal family of Portugal.

As the library's collection continued to grow through donations, purchases, the purchase of rare art collections at auctions and in bookstores around the world, a new building was needed to meet the needs of the library.

Today’s National Library building, whose project is signed by military engineer Sousa Aguiar, has an eclectic style and features decorations by artists such as Eliseu Visconti, Henrique and Rodolfo Bernardelli. The building is located in the heart of Rio, along with the National Museum of Fine Arts as well as the National Theater

The library is open for visits from Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm
Guided visits in English and Spanish are free, from Monday to Friday, at 2 pm

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