JCBL Home Introduction The Codigo Impressao Regia Index of Laws Information

Purpose back

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.