The collection

The photographic collection of emperor D. Pedro II

Iconography Division

The set composed of approximate 23 thousand photographs is an integrant part of the emperor D. Pedro II's particular library, donated by him in its majority to the National Library, after the proclamation of the Republic.

This amount of the emperor's library given to the National Library consists of 100 thousand items approximately: books, serial publications, maps, music partitions, drawings, prints, photographs and other printed and manuscript documents. By suggestion of the emperor D. Pedro II, it was called "Collecção. D. Thereza Christina Maria", in homage to the empress. It represents the biggest donation ever received by the National Library.

D. Pedro II gathered its photograph collection mainly through the services of many professionals - also granting some of them the title of "Photographo da Casa Imperal" [Imperial House Photographer] - besides acquiring foreign photographs, especially during his trips to the exterior. The result is the biggest and more including Brazilian and foreign photographic collection of the 19th Century existing in a public institution of our country.

It is composed of images referring to Brazil and the world in the 19th Century, that portray the reality of the period and reflects the personality of the emperor and his interests.

The international recognition of the cultural value of this collection was obtained in its registration in the UNESCO's International Register of the Memory of the World, in 2003. Thus, this collection became the first Brazilian documentary set to integrate this program of UNESCO.