The Directorate General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) has a number of documentation services that, due to their richness and diversity, are an important asset in an information and knowledge society. As the DGPC is responsible for developing and implementing policies in different heritage areas, rich and updated bibliographic holdings are vital for producing knowledge and providing information services to the community.
The DGPC owns over 25 libraries and documentation centres, most of which have public access, spread across its central services, museums and monuments. Together they account for over 300 000 bibliographic records.
These archival holdings are distributed according to the type of collection and/or type of heritage space they are in. There are general themes such as Museology that can be found at the Conservation and Museum Library and in practically all museums libraries. The same applies to the Heritage theme which is mainly housed at the Heritage Library, but also in most monument libraries. Archaeology is well represented at the Archaeology Library and at the libraries of the Archaeology and Conímbriga museums.
Emphasis should be placed on the fact that the DGPC has 2 important heritage libraries: the Ajuda Library and the Convent of Mafra’s Library. They are housed in monuments bearing significant heritage value – the Mafra Library stands among the world’s most beautiful libraries –, besides holding rare collections that earned them an international reputation.
In an attempt to boost its documentation services, the DGPC is developing a Network of Museums and Heritage Libraries. This network aims to maximize existing human and material resources based on a policy of cooperation and sharing of resources and tools such as a computerised catalogue. The objective of the network is to develop a collective catalogue of all museums and heritage libraries, improve work methodologies and promote these resource centres for use by the community. Set up in 2014 with 16 libraries, of the 25 libraries of DGPC, this network had integrated the remaining ones in 2016.
20 of DGPC Libraries have catalogs available in: http://bibliotecas.patrimoniocultural.pt/