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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Macau: city of commerce and culture


Street signs in Macau (picture taken by Joanne Koehler).

Fifteen years have now passed since Macau became a Special Administrative Region of China. This small, densely populated city was the first European colony established in East Asia, and reverted to Chinese sovereignty on December 31, 1999, after 400 years of Portuguese rule. In 1513, the explorer Jorge Álvares became the first European to reach China by sea – as documented in Jorge Álvares, o primeiro Português que foi à China (1997.10.460) – and traders from his home country of Portugal began to settle in Macau during the 1550s.

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Portuguese studies


New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : Portuguese studies

Published by the MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association), Portuguese studiesis a “biannual multi-disciplinary journal devoted to research on the cultures, societies, and history of the Lusophone world”.

Most accessed article in the Last 3 years: Oscar Wilde, Fernando Pessoa, and the Art of Lying by Mariana de Castro.

A fragment from En veu alta, the choreographer Carolyn Carlson’s dance inspired by the poems of Fernando Pessoa.  Visit also Pessoa Plural, a journal of Fernando Pessoa studies, one among many Portuguese resources featured on the Modern & Medieval Languages, Dept of Spanish and Portuguese web pages.

Access Portuguese studies via the ejournals@cambride A-Z or via this link. (Note that online access starts with Vol. 17 (2001).  Archival access (back to vol. 1) is included in the JSTOR Arts & Sciences XI Collection to which the University does not yet…

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40 years of Portuguese freedom


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

All the roads that lead to Cabo Verde

Sandy panorama in Boa Vista (Image taken from Wikimedia Commons)

Sandy panorama in Boa Vista (Image taken from Wikimedia Commons)

New acquisitions in Portuguese language at the University Library are not limited to material published in Brazil or Portugal. The Library also aims to actively collect books published elsewhere in the Portuguese-speaking world. With a population of little more than 500.000 people, print runs from Cape Verde are bound to be short. Therefore, buying material from these remote islands is not an easy task, as is also the case with acquisitions from the Francophone areas (see our post on acquisitions from Haiti for example).

Despite the infinite advantages that the internet offers to librarians today, it is often not really straightforward to know who publishes what, let alone to be able to get a copy of it. So one can understand why in the past the Library purchased very few imprints from Cape Verde. The earliest book in our holdings is  Antologia temática de poesia africana: Cabo Verde, São Tomé e Príncipe, Guiné, Angola, Moçambique,  published in Praia in 1980 (classmark: 745:23.d.95.111-112). Continue reading