The Library, occupying the largest and most prestigious room in the building, is one of the most significant Enlightenment Libraries in Europe, with around 36,000 volumes amassed through royal commission. It is 85 meters long and 9,5 meters wide, built in the form of a cross and paved with multicolored limestone floor and Rocaille shelves.
Some rare works furnish its shelves to this day, as incunabula (books printed until 1500) like the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493), and other precious books as the Theatrvm Orbis Terrarvm by Ortelius (1595), the famous Nuremberg Chronicle and the firts enciclopidiae - known as Diderot et d'Alembert.Also, a nucleus of scores from musicians such as João de Sousa Carvalho or Marcos Portugal, composed expressly to be played on the Basilica's six organs.
Attesting its importance, a Papal bull of Pope Benedictus XV, from 1745, allows this Library to shelter the Index of prohibited books and forbids under excommunication “to anyone of any state or condition, in any time or in any way, to take, remove or lend from the Library without the permission of the Portuguese King, any printed books or manuscripts inhere stored”.
The Library is open to researchers, historians or scholars, whose object of study justifies the access to this collection.
A previous appointement is recommnded.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
from 09.30 to 13.30h and 14.00 to 16.00h
Telf.: (351) 261 817 550 ext. 23
Teresa Amaral (Librarian)
Mafalda Nobre (Assistant)