The Role of the Brazilian National Library in the Promotion of Public Access to Debret’s Works

By Dulce Maria Baptista.

Published by The International Journal of Books, Publishing, and Libraries

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 14, 2016 $US5.00

Debret’s paintings and drawings are well known not only for their artistic relevance but also as valuable sources of information on the colonial period of Brazilian history. Urban and rural landscapes, cultural, political, and social relationships, as well as the suffering imposed by slavery, have been magnificently portrayed by the artist who witnessed this early period in the shaping of Brazilian identity and culture. This article discusses the role of the Brazilian National Library in providing public access to Debret’s legacy. In the world of print materials that prevailed until the first half of the last century, books were the main focus of libraries. Having in view that nowadays libraries focus their work not only on books—as textual records—but on all kinds of materials—sound, image, multimedia, etc.—and the technological advances that enable public access to all types of information resources, it is argued that in this particular case, the Brazilian National Library works both as an information service and as a virtual gallery.

Keywords: National Library, Brazil, Debret

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 14, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.33-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 14, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 873.109KB)).

Dulce Maria Baptista

Professor, Information Science Faculty, University of Brasília, Brasília, DF, Brazil