This web site is intended to help cataloguers and researchers identify
specific copies of the numerous documents contained in the Código
Brasiliense, and similar documents found elsewhere whether in bound collections
or as loose pieces. This is not an on-line exhibition, and our intention
is not, at this point, to affirm that a certain law was printed in Rio
de Janeiro rather than in Lisbon, or vice versa, or that a particular printed
version is a first or second edition. The main goal of this work is to
provide documentary material for future studies, and we look forward to
comments and suggestions from our visitors.
One can risk some hypotheses, however. Despite the fact that the Código
owned by the JCB is a “made up” copy (a bound volume assembled
by somebody sometime after 1808) and contains documents of different editions
and documents coming from different printing presses, it is probably true
that most of the 1808 documents were indeed printed in Rio de Janeiro,
despite the differences of type faces and the initial letters E, or they
were printed in Lisbon after 1811.
The second hypothesis is that the Biblioteca Nacional, the Instituto
Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro, the Arquivo Nacional and/or
the Biblioteca José Mindlin, all in Brazil, probably have bound
collections of these laws that are less random in their contents than the
JCB copy of the Código, and that these collections have the first
printing of these laws. If this is true such collections could serve as
a standard against which to measure other copies of these documents.
With regard to type faces, studies need to be made to determine the use
in Brazil of British type faces that travelled from England to Rio de Janeiro
via Portugal (see Impressão Régia) and the possible use of
type faces previously existent in Brazil, not to mention type faces from
other countries, such as Spain.
Paper, water marks, and provenance also deserve study.
As a first step, The John Carter Brown Library is making available only
the 1808 documents and the variant copies.
No other library that holds copies of the Código Brasiliense has
fully catalogued these items, at least not on-line.