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Arquivo Nacional

Page history last edited by Paul Keenan 11 years, 8 months ago

Date of tip: 15 February 2007  

Source: Camillia Cowling; camilliainmadrid@hotmail.com 


Location: Praça da República, 173, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ- 20211- 350. Tel (55 21) 2179 1273.


How to get there: The archive is located on the western side of the Praça da República in central Rio, a couple of minutes’ walk from the Central metro & train station. Numerous bus routes also stop nearby.


Language: Portuguese  


Getting started: Gaining access to the archive is relatively simple. Bring a  photo ID of some kind – passport, student ID. You do a quick registration process and can then use the archive as you like. You shouldn’t need any letters – although it’s always good to have them just in case.


Opening Hours: For consulting documentation, 8.30 - 17.45. It’s best to order documents earlier on in the day if you can.


General working conditions: There are machines available for internet access and consultation of the various databases. Microfilm facilities are located downstairs (along with the card catalogues). Other materials can be located using the printed catalogues in the consultation room. Staff are helpful and friendly; the person who can probably best orientate you is Sátiro Nunes. Lighting is fine. There is air conditioning (sometimes cold). There is sometimes a shortage of power points for plugging laptops in; it might be a good idea to bring an adaptor, and even an extension lead, to facilitate things. There is a library, whose collections can be consulted in the general archive consultation room on the database – ask the staff.


Consultation: Technically there is a limit on the number of volumes you can request, but staff are fairly flexible, and if you need to do a quick check of multiple documents try explaining that, to see if they can accommodate you. Document ordering: get a member of staff to explain the relevant catalogue volumes to you (there is a room with printed catalogues but there are also multiple ficheiros which you can ask to see around also); locate the document, fill in a slip; generally you wait about half an hour for documents to arrive; documents can be kept for around a week.


Policy on technology: Lap tops? Digital cameras? Scanners are allowed?

I didn’t try either scanning or digital photography when I was there (2004), but laptops are straightforward: ask about filling in a laptop form, which will get you (straight away) a permission slip which you bring with you whenever you want to bring a laptop in.


Particularities: There isn’t any provision of food for researchers, but there is now a canteen place where staff go to heat up their meals, and you can bring lunch and eat it in there. Water, a coffee machine, are available at the entrance to the sala de consultas. There is a good, quick and reasonably cheap buffet restaurant called Mundo Verde on Rua Santana – turn left onto Santana from Azeredo Coutinho and it’s a couple of minutes down on the right hand side (it’s about 10 minutes’ walk from the archive).

As with Rio generally, take as many sensible safety precautions as you can – don’t carry more cash / cards / documents than you need, keep valuables hidden and on your person if you have to carry them at all, and back your work up if you’re using a laptop.


How to apply for classified files: I didn’t work with classified files.


Contact name in case of questions regarding classified files:  Try Sátiro Nunes: satiro@arquivonacional.gov.br or check the archive’s website.


Etc: Basically the Arquivo Nacional is a great place to work and has a wealth of brilliant documentation.


Places to Stay: I stayed in Pousada Casa Áurea (Rua Aurea 80, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro 20240-210, tel + 55 21 2242 5830; casaaurea.com.br). Sta. Teresa is a lovely, quiet, “bohemian” neighbourhood up the hill from Lapa and so very central but also feels very much like a small, peaceful community. Buses and “kombis” (privately-run, cheap minibuses) go up and down the hill all the time and will take you straight to the archive. 

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