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Visiting Old Libraries: Scientific Books in the Religious Institutions of Early Modern Portugal

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Knowledge of libraries and book collecting is a preliminary task for the characterisation of scientific culture and practice. In the case of Iberia, and especially Portugal, this is still a desideratum. This paper provides a first global look at this issue. In early modern Portugal religious institutions organised impressive collections of books, by far the largest in the country. These libraries not only served the religious institutions themselves, but also supplied books to lesser libraries, such as the University Library of Coimbra and the Royal Library. The Portuguese book market mirrored the purchase and selection of books made by religious congregations. This was also true for the circulation of scientific books, which depended above all on the interests, choices and cultural relations of these most peculiar book collectors.

Affiliations: 1: University of Lisbon


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