The Robert Howes donation on the Portuguese revolution and colonial wars

Cambridge University Library is grateful to Dr. Robert Howes for his donation of material on the Portuguese revolution of 1974 and the Portuguese colonial wars.

This donation significantly extends and complements our holdings on the history of the period, providing a good insight into the atmosphere and activism of the times.
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Photography in the Portuguese colonies (1860-1960)

Cambridge University Library has recently acquired a copy of O império da visão: fotografia no contexto colonial português (1860-1960), a volume organised by Dr. Filipa Lowndes Vicente, researcher at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS) of the University of Lisbon.

Dr. Vicente’s interest in photography started while researching Portuguese and British colonial India. Since its development in the second half of the nineteenth century, photography became a major form of visual communication and a powerful agent of social change. Recent research has shown that the study of colonialism requires photography to illustrate written sources. In the nineteenth century, photography helped increase the visibility of the colonies abroad. Continue reading

40 years of Portuguese freedom

Revolução_dos_Cravos

Image taken from Wikimedia Commons

Friday 25 April marks the 40th anniversary of Portugal’s “Carnation Revolution” (Revolução dos Cravos or simply 25 de Abril). This was arguably the moment at which modern Portugal began to take shape, as the revolution led to the overthrow of the authoritarian and conservative Estado Novo regime, the introduction of genuine democracy in the country, and the withdrawal of Portugal from its African colonies. The Carnation Revolution was so-named because no shots were fired and, to celebrate its success, carnation flowers were displayed in the muzzles of army rifles and on the uniforms of military officers.

The revolution began as a military coup by the Movimento das Forças Armadas, a group of lower-ranked, left-leaning Portuguese army officers who opposed Portugal’s lengthy, expensive and unpopular Colonial War – and, in particular, new government legislation to fast-track militia officers into higher military ranks to take part in this war. The movement was initially planned and enacted by officers such as Vasco Gonçalves – Portugal’s prime minister following the revolution and interviewed in Vasco Gonçalves: um general na revolução (classmark: 585:5.c.200.10) – and Amadeu Garcia dos Santos, whose memoirs were published as General Garcia dos Santos: memórias políticas: um pouco do que vivi (classmark: 585:5.c.201.16). Continue reading