“Doris Sloan: Geologist, Educator, and Environmental Activist,” oral history release

New oral history: Doris Sloan

Video clip from Doris Sloan’s oral history on living in the Bay Area, on deep time, and on thinking like a geologist:

Doris Sloan is a geologist and paleontologist who earned her PhD at UC Berkeley and who taught, wrote, and engaged in environmental activism and education throughout the Bay Area, across California, and beyond. Sloan and I recorded nine hours of her then 92-year life history at her home in Berkeley, California, in May 2022. Our four recording sessions resulted in a 162-page oral history volume that includes an appendix of photographs with family as well as documents from her efforts in the early 1960s to stop PG&E’s construction of a nuclear power plant atop Bodega Head, under which runs the seismic San Andreas fault. Today, the coastal outcrop of Bodega Head is preserved as part of California’s scenic 17-mile-long Sonoma Coast State Park.

Black and white photograph of Doris Sloan
Doris Sloan in 1963 as the Sonoma County Coordinator of the Northern California Association
to Preserve Bodega Head and Harbor (NCAPBHH).

Sloan’s involvement in the “Battle for Bodega Head” helped inspire her later career as a geologist and teacher—a career she began by returning to graduate school as a mother in her early forties with children still at home. Sloan overcame numerous challenges, including gender discrimination in what were then male dominated departments and academic fields, to earn her MS in Geology in 1975 and her PhD in Paleontology in 1981. Her dissertation was an ecostratigraphic thesis on the sedimentary fossils of tiny creatures that once lived the San Francisco Bay. For many years, Sloan taught research-driven senior seminars in Environmental Science at UC Berkeley as well as geology courses for UC Extension. She lectured on travel excursions and field trips around California and across much of the Earth. Sloan became a board member with Save the Bay and a founding member of Citizens for East Shore Parks. In 2006, she published with UC Press the popular California natural history guide, Geology of the San Francisco Region. In her rich oral history, Sloan discussed all of the above, with details on her formative childhood experiences, her environmental and anti-nuclear activism, her experiences as a female geology graduate student at UC Berkeley, as well as her diverse teaching career.

Black and white photo of a Doris Sloan as a child standing in front of three adults, including her father who is who wearing wading boots.
Doris Sloan, age 6 (front center), on a salamander egg collecting trip with father, Viktor Hamburger (right), and two of his graduate students in St. Louis County, Missouri, circa 1936.

Doris Sloan was born in October 1930, in Freiburg, Germany. At age four, she and her family fled Germany after the Nazis removed her father, preeminent embryologist Viktor Hamburger, from the faculty at the University of Freiburg because of his Jewish ancestry. Her family settled in Missouri after her father secured a faculty appointment at Washington University in St. Louis. As a young girl, Sloan accompanied her father and his embryology students on field research trips to collect salamander eggs. She also shared fond memories of youthful summers working in Woods Hole on Cape Cod at the Marine Biological Laboratory. Sloan attended Bryn Mawr College from 1948 to 1951, where she began attending Quaker meetings. Upon her mother’s deteriorating health, Sloan returned to St. Louis and graduated in 1952 from Washington University with a BA in Sociology. In that same year Sloan moved to San Francisco, California, with her then-husband, with whom she had four children. In 1957, she and her young family moved to Sonoma County, where she was neighbors with Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz. It was there in Sonoma County where, in the interests of protecting her children from nuclear radiation and preserving the beauty of the Sonoma Coast, that Sloan began her environmental activism that would, among other experiences, inspire her later career as a geologist and teacher.

Video clip from Doris Sloan’s oral history about her role in the “Battle of Bodega Head, Part 1:

Color image of Doris Sloan standing beside a wooden railing in front of a pond and green plants.
Doris Sloan at the now water-filled “Hole in the Head” on Bodega Head on Mother’s Day in 2022. Photograph by her daughter Christy Sloan.

Sloan detailed her engagements in the multi-year “Battle of Bodega Head” that, in 1964, successfully stopped PG&E’s construction of a nuclear power plant on Bodega Head. After being told by an official from California’s Office of Atomic Energy Development and Radiation Protection to let go of concerns about the forthcoming nuclear plant and “leave it to the experts,” Sloan enlisted in the activist organization called the Northern California Association to Preserve Bodega Head and Harbor (NCAPBHH)—a name others created and she described as “dreamt up on a Friday night after too many beers.” The Association included an eclectic mix of anti-nuclear citizen activists that included communist chicken farmers, libertarian land owners, conservative cattle ranchers, Bodega fisherman, UC Berkeley professors, Sierra Club members, and jazz musicians and songwriters. In her role as Sonoma County Coordinator of NCAPBHH, Sloan also collaborated with an internationally recognized geophysicist and geologist named Pierre Saint-Amand. Fortuitously, on a rainy and wind-swept day, Sloan accompanied Saint-Amand on a clandestine and consequential visit to the “Hole in the Head,” the site on Bodega Head where PG&E had already drilled a deep pit into granite rock to place its nuclear reactor. It was on that visit, while looking into that hole, that Saint-Amand and Sloan discovered evidence of the San Andreas fault running directly through the reactor’s containment site, a discovery that eventually halted further nuclear construction there.

Video clip from Doris Sloan’s oral history about her role in the “Battle of Bodega Head, Part 2:

Black and white image of Doris Sloan driving a station wagon full of balloons.
Doris Sloan driving with her children and many helium-filled balloons to a NCAPBHH event at Bodega Head on Memorial Day, 1963. (Original film negative slightly damaged.)

As Sloan recalled about their activist victory in the early 1960s, “to have a group of citizens win out over a major institution was really pretty unique. … Bodega was a very important story at the very beginning of a huge cultural shift for not only environmental matters on nuclear energy, but in so many other ways, too. Basically, citizen involvement at every level, from students to housewives. And to be a part of that, I look back on that and think, wow, how could anybody have been so lucky in so many ways?” The story of this citizen-led anti-nuclear activism has been told elsewhere, including in Oral History Center interviews with David Pesonen and Joel Hedgpeth, as well as by nuclear historians J. Samuel Walker and UC Berkeley alumnus Thomas Wellock. Sloan’s storytelling on her personal role in the “Battle of Bodega Head”—like launching over a thousand helium-filled balloons from Bodega Head to the accompaniment of live jazz playing “Blues Over Bodega”—adds both flourish and important details to the eventual successes of NCAPBHH.

Sloan’s involvement at Bodega Head played a crucial role in launching the next phase of her life as a geologist and teacher. After moving with her children to Berkeley in 1963, Sloan worked for the Friends Committee on Legislation, a Quaker lobbying group. Yet, by the early 1970s, Sloan’s long-standing fascination of nature, a desire to experience more of it, and her memory of discovering fault seams on Bodega Head led her to take UC Extension courses on geology taught high up in the Sierra Nevada’s Emigrant Wilderness by a remarkable UC Berkeley professor named Clyde Wahrhaftig. Wahrhaftig eventually became a significant mentor and friend to Sloan on her academic journey, as were UC Berkeley geologists Garniss Curtis and William B.N. (Bill) Berry. In her oral history, Sloan shares many joys from her field research and academic experiences at Berkeley, including mapping rock formations in California’s Mazourka Canyon, communing with ancient bristlecone pines in the White Mountains, learning about limestone deposition in Florida, a fascinating question about an imaginary dinosaur civilization from Walter Alvarez during her PhD oral examination, and her own work deciphering the sedimentary mysteries of fossils from mud under the San Francisco Bay. Sloan also shared some of the challenges she faced in the late 1970s as one of the few women in Berkeley’s geology and paleontology departments that, by her account, then included more than a few male chauvinistic dinosaurs.

Video clip from Doris Sloan’s oral history about Clyde Wahrhaftig, a UC Berkeley geologist, mentor, and friend:

Color image of Doris Sloan talking to adults who surround her.
Doris Sloan lecturing during a University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) field trip to the Marin Headlands in 2010. Photograph by John Karachewski.

Sloan’s oral history also explores her ensuing years as a teacher, travel guide, author, and environmental activist. Sloan discussed several senior research seminars in Environmental Studies that she taught at UC Berkeley, some records of which are preserved in UC Berkeley’s Library including East Bay Parklands: Planning and Management (1978), Seismic Safety in Berkeley (1979), San Pablo Bay: An Environmental Perspective (1980), and Hazardous Substances: A Community Perspective (1984). Sloan recorded stories and samples from lectures she delivered in her UC Extension geology courses and in her field classes for numerous organizations, including the Oakland Museum, Sierra Club, the Point Reyes National Seashore Association, and the Yosemite Association. And she shared some of her travel experiences as a guide for Cal Alumni groups on journeys all across the Earth, from the Himalayas to Central Asia, and from South America to Scandinavia. Sloan also spoke about her local environmental activism as a board member of Save The Bay, as a founding member of Citizens for East Shore Parks, and on her friendship with Save The Bay co-founder Sylvia McLaughlin, including efforts to secure what is now named as McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.

Doris Sloan’s enlightening oral history records marvelous stories from the first ninety-two years of her remarkable life—from fleeing Nazi Germany to summers in Woods Hole; from raising children in northern California to stopping construction of a nuclear power plant on the San Andreas fault; from graduate school in her forties at UC Berkeley to lecturing across California and much of the world. I am honored to have become one of Doris’s friends, and I’m lucky for the opportunity to become one of her students. Now, with the publication of Doris Sloan’s oral history, you also have the chance to learn from her deep wisdom and experience.

Doris Sloan, “Doris Sloan: Geologist, Educator, and Environmental Activist” conducted by Roger Eardley-Pryor in 2022, Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2023.

Video clip from Doris Sloan’s oral history about the Bay Area’s complicated geology:

Color photograph of Doris Sloan and Roger Eardley-Pryor standing side-by-side
Doris Sloan with oral historian Roger Eardley-Pryor at her home in Berkeley, California, in May 2023.


The Oral History Center of The Bancroft Library preserves voices of people from all walks of life, with varying political perspectives, national origins, and ethnic backgrounds. We are committed to open access and our oral histories and interpretive materials are available online at no cost to scholars and the public. You can find our oral histories from the search feature on our home page. Search by name, keyword, and several other criteria. Sign up for our monthly newsletter featuring think pieces, new releases, podcasts, Q&As, and everything oral history. Access the most recent articles from our home page or go straight to our blog home.

PhiloBiblon 2023 n. 3 (May): NEH support for PhiloBiblon and the Wikiworld

Metropolitan Museum X.430.1, f. 1r
Metropolitan Museum X.430.1, f. 1r

We are delighted to announce that PhiloBiblon has received a two-year implementation grant from the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program of the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete the mapping of PhiloBiblon from its almost forty-year-old relational database technology to the Wikibase technology that underlies Wikipedia and Wikidata. The project will start on the first of July and, Dios mediante, will finish successfully by the end of June 2025.

The fundamental problem is to map the 422,000+ records of PhiloBiblon’s bibliographies with their complexly interrelated relational tables to the triplestore structure of Wikibase.  A triplestore relates two Items by means of a Property. Thus a Work is linked to an Author by the Property “written by.”

We received an NEH Foundations grant for this project in 2021, as described in detail in PhiloBiblon 2021 (n. 3): PhiloBiblon y el mundo wiki: propuesta de una colaboración. Over the course of the last two years, the pilot project team, consisting of Charles Faulhaber (PI), Patricia García Sánchez-Migallón and Almudena Izquierdo Andreu (doctores por la UCM); Berkeley undergraduate Spanish and data science majors (Julieta Soto, Serena Bai, Tina Lin, Cassandra Calciano, Martín García Ángel); Max Ziff (data engineer); and Josep Formentí (user interface programmer), has analyzed the data structures of PhiloBiblon’s ten relational tables (using BETA for the test cases) and worked out the procedures needed to convert them into triplestore structures.

Almudena and Patricia manually mapped more than 125 BETA records to FactGrid: PhiloBiblon as models for the automated processing of the rest. See for example the records for Alfonso X, BNE MSS/10069 (Cantigas de Santa Maria), and the 1497 edition of the translation of Boccacio’s Fiammeta. These models have been key for establishing the semantic relations between PhiloBiblon’s data fields and the Properties and Items in FactGrid. In many cases appropriate properties did not exist and it was necessary to create them. For example, something as simple as the Watermark property was needed in order to identify the various watermark types set forth in PhiloBiblon’s controlled vocabulary.

Julieta Soto and Martín García Ángel attacked the problem of creating almost 900 FactGrid records for the controlled vocabulary terms in BETA. This meant in the first place a search in FactGrid to make sure that an equivalent term did not already exist, in order to avoid creating duplicate records. Then they had to situate the term in the FactGrid ontology by specifying it as a “basic object” (e.g., fruit) or identifying it as a subclass of an appropriate basic object, for example facsímil impreso as a subclass of facsímil. At the same time they had to link the record to the code in PhiloBiblon, BIBLIOGRAPHY*RELATED_BIBCLASS*FAP, identifying a record in the Bibliography table as a print facsimile, thereby making it possible to search for such items.

The default viewer used in FactGrid, the same as that used in Wikidata, is not user friendly. Therefore Josep has created a prototype user interface, using data from the BETA Institutions table. We encourage you to play with it and tell us what you like or—more usefully—don’t like.

This change to Wikibase technology is designed to allow PhiloBiblon not only to take advantage of the linked open data of the semantic web, but also, and most importantly, to decrease sustainability costs. Because Wikibase is open-source software maintained by WikiMedia Deutschland, the software development arm of the Wikimedia Foundation, software maintenance costs for PhiloBiblon will be minimal in the future. This means that it will no longer be necessary to seek major grant support every five to seven years merely to keep up with technology change.

While this work has been going on, we have not neglected the vital process of cleaning up PhiloBiblon data in order to facilitate the automated mapping nor the equally vital process of adding new information to PhiloBiblon. For example,  Pedro Pinto, a member of the BITAGAP team, has recently discovered a “folha desmembrada” (BITAGAP manid 7862) from the Livro 4 of the chancery records of king Fernando I (1345-1383) (BITAGAP manid 3255), separated from the manuscript in the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo. The newly discovered dismembered leaf contains five previously unknown royal documents. It was being used as the cover of the “Livro de Acordãos, 1620-24,” in the archive of the Santa Casa de Misericórdia in Coruche, a small city in the Santarem district on the Tagus river northeast of Lisbon.

The recycling of  parchment leaves from discarded medieval manuscripts, presumably for more socially beneficial purposes, such as the protection of administrative records, was common in both Spain and Portugal in the sixteenth and seventeenh centuries. Such leaves have been the source of many unknown or poorly documented medieval texts. Perhaps the most spectacular example was Harvey Sharrer’s discovery in 1990 of the eponymous Pergaminho Sharrer (BITAGAP manid 1817), with musical notation for seven poems of king Dinis of Portugal (1279-1325). This had been used as the binding of a collection of notarial documents (Lisboa: Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo: Lisboa, Cartório Notarial de. N. 7-A, Caixa 1, Maça 1, livro 3).

Mariña Arbor Aldea
Arthur L-F. Askins
Vicenç Beltran Pepió
Álvaro Bustos Táuler
Antonio Cortijo Ocaña
Charles B. Faulhaber
Patricia García Sánchez-Migallón
Ángel Gómez Moreno
José Luis Gonzalo Sánchez-Molero
Almudena Izquierdo Andreu
Filipe Alves Moreira
María Morrás
Óscar Perea Rodríguez
Ricardo Pichel Gotérrez
Pedro Pinto
Maria de Lurdes Rosa
Nicasio Salvador Miguel
Martha E. Schaffer
Harvey L. Sharrer
Cristina Sobral
Lourdes Soriano Robles

Workshop: HTML/CSS Toolkit for Digital Projects

HTML/CSS Toolkit for Digital Projects
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2:10-3:30pm
Online: Register to receive the Zoom link
Stacy Reardon and Kiyoko Shiosaki

If you’ve tinkered in WordPress, Google Sites, or other web publishing tools, chances are you’ve wanted more control over the placement and appearance of your content. With a little HTML and CSS under your belt, you’ll know how to edit “under the hood” so you can place an image exactly where you want it, customize the formatting of text, or troubleshoot copy & paste issues. By the end of this workshop, interested learners will be well-prepared for a deeper dive into the world of web design. Register here.


Please see bit.ly/dp-berk for details.

Workshop: By Design: Graphics & Images Basics

By Design: Graphics & Images Basics
Thursday, April 6th, 3:10-4:30pm
Location: Doe 223
Lynn Cunningham

In this hands-on workshop, we will learn how to create web graphics for your digital publishing projects and websites. We will cover topics such as: sources for free public domain and Creative Commons images; image resolution for the web; and basic image editing tools in Photoshop. If possible, please bring a laptop with Photoshop installed. (All UCB faculty and students can receive a free Adobe Creative Suite license: https://software.berkeley.edu/adobe) Register here.

Upcoming Workshops in this Series – Spring 2022:

  • HTML/CSS Toolkit for Digital Projects

Please see bit.ly/dp-berk for details.

PhiloBiblon 2023 n. 2 (marzo). Fuero parece, Real lo es: BH MSS 345 de la Biblioteca Histórica ‟Marqués de Valdecilla”

Mónica Castillo Lluch
Université de Lausanne

El manuscrito BH MSS 345, custodiado en la Biblioteca Histórica ‟Marqués de Valdecilla” de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, fue catalogado bajo los títulos ‟Libro del fuero que dio el Rey don Alfonso a la uilla de Sant fagunt” y ‟Fuero de Sahagún”, por comenzar su texto de este modo: ‟Este es el libro del fuero que dio el Rey don Alfonso a la villa de Sant Fagunt” (f. 4r, v. imagen 2). Como Fuero de Sahagún se encuentra hasta hoy (18 de marzo de 2023) en el catálogo de la Biblioteca de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid y hasta hace varios días así en PhiloBiblon, bajo BETA texid 2443 con el registro BETA cnum 9301.

Ahora bien, la catalogación de este códice como Fuero de Sahagún es errónea, pues el texto que contiene es el del Fuero Real, como anuncian inequívocamente los índices de sus cuatro libros (ff. 1v-3v) y como revela la lectura del texto. El códice procede del Museo-Laboratorio jurídico ‟Ureña” de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad Central (lleva su sello en diversos folios) y por ello sorprende que hasta hoy no haya sido identificado como testimonio del Fuero Real, lo que se comprueba consultando la nómina de manuscritos que ofrecen Martínez Diez en su edición (1988: 22-72) y Fernando Gómez Redondo y José Manuel Lucía Megías en el Diccionario filológico de literatura medieval española (2002: 11-15). Consecuentemente tampoco ha figurado hasta ahora este testimonio entre los que da PhiloBiblon del Fuero Real (BETA texid 1006), error que ya se ha corregido, enlazando el registro con el testimonio en BETA cnum 9301.

Dos razones explican la catalogación defectuosa: de un lado, el título de Fuero Real es moderno –de finales del siglo XV­-, y los códices antiguos no lo llevaban; en los pocos códices en los que aparece un título este es el de Libro del fuero, Libro del fuero de las leyes, Libro de las leyes, Libro de Flores o Flores (Martínez Diez 1988: 78-79 y BETA texid 1006). De otro, numerosos códices del Fuero Real se destinaron a localidades concretas (Martínez Diez 1988: 80-91), mediante la fórmula inicial de ‟Libro del fuero que dio el Rey don Alfonso a Burgos, Valladolid, Santo Domingo, Carrión… ”, lo que provoca confusión a la hora de identificar el texto, que se puede interpretar como fuero de esa villa (otro ejemplo del mismo tipo de error es que el códice de Filadelfia del Fuero Real (BETA cnum 3676) aparece como Fuero de Burgos en el CORDE; cf. Rodríguez Molina y Octavio de Toledo y Huerta 2017: 29).

Por desgracia al códice BH MSS 345 le faltan los últimos folios y, por tanto, la data, por lo que nunca sabremos si en la fórmula habitual ‟Este libro fue fecho e acabado en Valladolit por mandado del rey don Alfonso … días andados del mes de… era de 1293” figuraba la fecha de 18 de julio, la de 25 de agosto u otra de ese año 1255. Si nos atenemos al otro ejemplar que se ha conservado del Fuero Real destinado a Sahagún (esc. Z-II-8), que Martínez Diez (1988: 44) fecha de mediados del siglo XIV, y asumiendo que este fuera copia de BH MSS 345 –lo que está por probar–, esa fecha habría sido el 30 de agosto (o el 25, si hubo error de lectura, cf. Martínez Diez 1988: 83). En cualquier caso, merece la pena mencionar que el verdadero Fuero de Sahagún concedido por Alfonso X (BETA texid 2443 en PhiloBiblon) el 25 de abril de 1255, que se conserva en un privilegio rodado original (AHN, Clero Regular-Secular: car. 917, n. 13 BETA cnum 3569), en su dispositivo hace mención de que el rey otorga a la villa el Fuero Real como supletorio: ‟todas las otras cosas que aquí nõ son escriptas, que se judguen todos los de Sant Fagund, cristianos e judíos e moros pora siempre por el otro fuero que les damos en un libro escripto e seellado de nuestro seello de plomo” (texto apud BNE MSS/18128, f. 80v. Cf. Barrero García 1972: 404 y Martínez Diez 1988: 92 y 108).

¿Podría ser BH MSS 345 ese libro del Fuero Real escrito y sellado en 1255? Sin pretender dar una respuesta definitiva a pregunta tan importante en esta nota, cabe aquí al menos apuntar que rasgos textuales, codicológicos, paleográficos y diplomáticos de este códice revelan su antigüedad y hacen verosímil que pueda tratarse de un testimonio salido de la cancillería real en el verano de aquel año.

Desde el punto de vista textual, de confirmarse que BH MSS 345 es el arquetipo de Z-II-8, la calidad del texto de este último (‟ofrece un texto excelente del Fuero Real”, según Martínez Diez (1988: 45), y fue el testimonio elegido por la RAH para su edición de 1836) apuntaría a una fecha temprana de redacción. Entre los aspectos codicológicos y paleográficos que apoyarían la antigüedad del testimonio­­, podrían señalarse el intercolumnio partido para destacar las capitales, estas mismas capitales destacadas, las ocurrencias de d semiuncial interior ante vocal de trazo curvo o de r de martillo en los grupos br, pr (cf. Rodríguez Díaz, próxima publicación).

 1: F. 15v, en el que se aprecia el intercolumnio partido, las capitales destacadas, d semiuncial ante vocal curva en 4a, 7a, 16a, 18b y r de martillo tras b en 1b, 2b, 4b.
Imagen 1: F. 15v, en el que se aprecia el intercolumnio partido, las capitales destacadas, d semiuncial ante vocal curva en 4a, 7a, 16a, 18b y r de martillo tras b en 1b, 2b, 4b.

Pero hay otro elemento codicológico que nos interesa subrayar por su posible asociación más precisa con 1255. Sahagún era por aquel tiempo una villa de la merindad mayor de Castilla (Martínez Diez 1988: 110), como otras a las que posiblemente se les concedió de modo general el Fuero Real en la primavera de 1255 (Iglesia Ferreirós 1971: 950 y Craddock 1981: 384-385). Esto explicaría la intensísima actividad de la cancillería en el verano que siguió, durante el que se multiplicarían en ella los ejemplares del Fuero Real. Como ya se ha indicado, gran parte de esos libros iban destinados nominalmente a las villas (Martínez Diez 1988: 80), y para facilitar la producción en masa de estos se recurrió al método del formulario: se dejaba en blanco el espacio del nombre de la villa, que se rellenaría después. Esto explicaría que en ese punto del texto varios de los códices que se han conservado presenten el nombre sobre un raspado (Burgos en Z-III-13, siguiendo a Craddock 1981: 385) o anacolutos (Z-III-17, ibidem), así como quizá la gran variabilidad de las fórmulas genéricas (Martínez Diez 1988: 81). Pues bien, en el caso de BH MSS 345, su diseño se corresponde a todas luces con el de un formulario: se dejó ese hueco rellenado después con una letra de módulo superior a la del resto del texto, de diferente factura y con tinta de tono más oscuro. En cuanto a la rúbrica, ha de pensarse en una intervención posterior a la inserción del nombre de la villa destinataria, pues en ella no se aprecia el mismo fenómeno.

Imagen 2: F. 4r, en el que se inicia el texto. En las ll. 1-3a figura el título del libro y en 7-8b se aprecia el hueco para la inscripción posterior del nombre de la villa.
Imagen 2: F. 4r, en el que se inicia el texto. En las ll. 1-3a figura el título del libro y en 7-8b se aprecia el hueco para la inscripción posterior del nombre de la villa.

Confirma el carácter de formulario el hecho de que en la ley de las iglesias juraderas (2.12.3, f. 33r), se dejaron 7 líneas en blanco (12-18a) para que se rellenaran después con precisión de la iglesia en cuestión en función de la villa a la que se destinaba (Martínez Diez 1988: 86-87). Parece ser la misma mano del f. 4r la que rellena esas líneas y lo hace con la mención de la iglesia de Santiago, una de las principales de Sahagún en aquel momento (cf. imagen 3).

Imagen 3: F. 33r, cuyas líneas 12-18a se dejaron en blanco para ser rellenadas después con el nombre preciso de la iglesia de la villa a la que se destinaba el fuero.
Imagen 3: F. 33r, cuyas líneas 12-18a se dejaron en blanco para ser rellenadas después con el nombre preciso de la iglesia de la villa a la que se destinaba el fuero.

Por último, cabe señalar que el pergamino de todo el códice está taladrado en su vértice inferior izquierdo para pasar los hilos de seda de los que colgaría el sello de plomo que lo validaría como emitido en la cancillería real (cf. imágenes 3 y 4). Este parece ser uno de los métodos habituales de aposición de sellos en los cuadernos y libros alfonsíes (Ruiz Asencio 1988: 153).

Imagen 4: F. 68r. En el vértice inferior izquierdo se ve el taladro para el sello pendiente.
Imagen 4: F. 68r. En el vértice inferior izquierdo se ve el taladro para el sello pendiente.

En definitiva, estimo que este testimonio del Fuero Real que viene ahora a sumarse a la lista de los que ya se conocían podría haber sido producido en 1255 a partir del original de la cancillería real. Corresponde ahora examinarlo en detalle desde un punto de vista estructural, paleográfico, codicológico y lingüístico para poder confirmar esta primera impresión. El trabajo en curso de Inés Fernández-Ordóñez y Elena Rodríguez Díaz (2021) sobre el manuscrito BNE MSS/7798 (BETA manid 3086), también recientemente identificado como un nuevo manuscrito antiguo del Fuero Real, podrá tener en cuenta BH MSS 345, evaluarlo a la luz del resto de la tradición manuscrita y valorar si se produjo, junto a otros de los testimonios conservados, como original múltiple. Entre estos podrían igualmente encontrarse los membra disiecta de un manuscrito custodiado en el Archivo de la Real Cancillería de Valladolid (BETA manid 5754) al que en este mismo blog dedicó Jerry Craddock un post en 2016 (The original manuscript of the Fuero real (Valladolid: Archivo de la Real Chancillería?).

Otra buena noticia es que la Biblioteca Histórica ‟Marqués de Valdecilla” está redactando actualmente un adendum a su catálogo y que rectificará el registro de este códice en breve, lo que ya ha sucedido en PhiloBiblon.

P.D. Precisamente a base de esta noticia de la profesora Castillo Lluch hemos podido rectificar los registros de PhiloBiblon, quitando el enlace de BETA cnum 9301 con el registro del Fuero de Sahagún (BETA texid  2443) para enlazar este testimonio correctamente con el registro del Fuero real (BETA texid 1006). [Charles Faulhaber]


Barrero García, Ana María (1972), ‟Los fueros de Sahagún”, AHDE 42, 385-597.

Craddock, Jerry (1981), ‟La cronología de las obras legislativas de Alfonso X el Sabio”, AHDE 51, 365-418.

Fernández-Ordóñez, Inés y Rodríguez Díaz, Elena (2021), ‟Un manuscrito del siglo XIII del Fuero real”, comunicación presentada en “Alfonso X y el poder de la literatura (1221-2021)”. Congreso internacional, Iemyrhd, Universidad de Salamanca, 2021 (22-24 de noviembre).

Gómez Redondo, Fernando y Lucía Megías, José Manuel (2002), ‟Fuero Real”, en Alvar, Carlos y Lucía Megías, José Manuel, Diccionario filológico de literatura medieval española: textos y transmisión, Madrid, Castalia, 11-15.

Iglesia Ferreirós, Aquilino (1971), ‟Las Cortes de Zamora de 1274 y los casos de corte”, AHDE 41, 945-72.

Martínez Diez, Gonzalo (1988), Leyes de Alfonso X. II. Fuero Real (edición y análisis crítico), Ávila, Fundación Sánchez Albornoz.

Rodríguez Díaz, Elena (próxima publicación), ‟Elementos para fechar los códices leoneses y castellanos según los manuscritos datados (ss. XII y XIII)”, en Ángeles Romero Cambrón (ed.), La ley de los godos. Estudios selectos, Peter Lang.

Rodríguez Molina, Javier y Octavio de Toledo y Huerta, Álvaro (2017), ‟La imprescindible distinción entre texto y testimonio: el CORDE y los criterios de fiabilidad lingüística”Scriptum digital. Revista de corpus diacrònics i edició digital en Llengües iberoromàniques 6, 5-68.

Ruiz Asencio, José Manuel  (1988), ‟Estudio paleográfico”, en Gonzalo Martínez Diez, Leyes de Alfonso X. II. Fuero Real, Ávila, Fundación Sánchez Albornoz, 133-59.

PhiloBiblon 2023 n. 1 (fevereiro). Escrita de história, memória e gestão de um grupo familiar da nobreza portuguesa, séc. XV-XVI: descoberta, recuperação e estudo de manuscritos inéditos

Mª de Lurdes Rosa, Margarida Leme, Fábio Duarte e Miguel Ayres de Campos
Instituto de Estudos Medievais
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

É com gosto e entusiasmo que partilhamos a descoberta de uma crónica nobiliárquica quinhentista, há muito perdida, e de dois inventários de arquivo de família com ela relacionados, e igualmente apenas há poucos anos recuperados – sendo o seu estudo integrado um trabalho inédito em curso.


O manuscrito da crónica nobiliárquica quinhentista, conhecido como Descendência e linhagem dos Castelo-Branco (doravante Crónica), está datado de 1588 e contém um longo texto de 261 fólios, em escrita elegante e cuidada. Em cento e dezasseis capítulos narra a história e a genealogia de um grupo familiar da nobreza portuguesa, os Castelo-Branco, estando dedicada a um dos seus expoentes ilustres na época, Duarte Castelo-Branco, conde do Sabugal, meirinho-mor e vedor da Fazenda. Encontra-se nas mãos de um colecionador privado, Doutor Miguel Ayres de Campos, que a cedeu de forma generosa ao projeto VINCULUM para ser estudada e editada.

Este projeto, financiado pelo European Research Council, tem com o objetivo o estudo do funcionamento das instituições de morgados e capelas (vinculação), em Portugal e seus territórios atlânticos, em perspetiva comparada com outros reinos do sul da Europa[i]. A forma como os grupos sociais que recorriam ao estabelecimento de vínculos para reforço da sua riqueza identitária e simbólica é uma das áreas de estudo  de projeto VINCULUM, na qual materiais como as narrativas genealógicas e familiares tem grande relevo. Por acréscimo, o grupo familiar dos Castelo-Branco, que se organiza em diversos núcleos fortes, ricos e influentes na Corte portuguesa desde inícios do século XV, permite um dos mais interessantes estudos de caso do projeto.

Uma característica comum aos vários núcleos, entre os quais o dos Conde do Sabugal, foi a atenção aos arquivos e às práticas de gestão de informação das casas e das propriedades; uma outra, o cultivo das belas-letras e de vários tipos de saberes técnico – científicos. A literacia jurídica e contabilística permitiu-lhe aceder por gerações a cargos cimeiros da corte, ligados ao direito e à gestão do reino e dos bens régios, desde a Casa do Cível à vedoria da fazenda, passando pelo meirinhato-mor. A influência política dos Castelo-Branco permitiu que assumissem posições de relevo também no interior dos conselhos e juntas que auxiliaram monarcas portugueses e espanhóis. Entre os vários ramos, avultam senhores que cultivavam saberes como a astronomia, matemática e genealogia. A título de exemplo, tenha-se em consideração que Martinho, primeiro conde de Vila Nova de Portimão, foi íntimo do humanista italiano, residente em Lisboa, Cataldo Sículo; que no espólio fúnebre de um dos seus netos, morto em Alcácer Quibir, se encontrava “um livro de Luis de Camões” e um outro de Ludovico Ariosto; e que Manuel de Castelo-Branco, segundo conde de Vila Nova, foi autor de um livro com árvores genealógicas da aristocracia portuguesa, impresso em 1625, e de uma relação manuscrita acerca da história da sua linhagem.

A Crónica de que agora se trata espelha bem a riqueza de informação circulante no grupo, quanto ao seu passado e ao seu presente. São inúmeros os documentos e os livros citados, pelo que se vê de uma primeira análise. O conhecimento dos arquivos da família era especialmente prezado, e o estudo da Crónica será enriquecido com o de dois outros manuscritos, descobertos no âmbito de um dos projetos antecessores do VINCULUM, o projeto INVENTARQ[ii].

Também em mãos privadas, e generosamente disponibilizado para estudo, em 2015, ao grupo ARQFAM[iii] e, agora, ao projeto VINCULUM, é o Livro da Fazenda do Senhor Conde Meirinho-Mor e rendimento dela e dos seus papeis e outras lembranças. Códice in 4º, de 293 páginas numeradas, encadernado em pele, datado também de 1588, fez parte do Arquivo da Casa de Óbidos onde terá entrado pelo casamento da condessa de Sabugal e Palma com o 2º conde de Óbidos, em 1669. No arquivo da Casa terá permanecido mesmo depois de ter sido entregue, já no século XX, ao marquês de Santa Iria herdeiro dos condes de Óbidos. Está agora nas mãos de um colecionador privado, Arquiteto Jorge Brito e Abreu. Apresenta com a Crónica muitas semelhanças materiais, desde logo o tipo de letra; o seu restauro total, a finalizar em 2023, permitirá a leitura de páginas muito danificadas, e uma analise cuidada.

Já o Tombo do Cartório da Casa de Vila Nova de Portimão, atualmente à guarda do Centro de Documentação do Museu Municipal de Portimão, após compra no mercado livreiro, é proveniente da dispersão do arquivo da Casa de Abrantes pelos proprietários, ao longo da segunda metade do século XX. Ao que tudo indica, foi mandado fazer pelo segundo Conde de Vila Nova de Portimão, com sua direta intervenção; a redação final datará dos primeiros anos do século XVII, mas a empreitada deve ter começado nas últimas décadas da centúria anterior – o que o coloca em provável contemporaneidade com os dois documentos Sabugal. Foi editado e estudado por um dos atuais membros da equipa do projeto, Fábio Duarte, na sua tese de mestrado[iv], no âmbito de  programa ARFAM, a decorrer na Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da U. Nova de Lisboa desde 2010 e da área de formação em Arquivística Histórica da mesma instituição.

Portada do Tombo do Cartório do Casa de Vila Nova de Portimão

Embora não se saiba, igualmente, quem foi o responsável pela elaboração do Tombo do Cartório, note-se que esta, como as outras iniciativas já referidas, foi acompanhada de perto pelos membros da família Castelo-Branco e levada a cabo num breve intervalo de tempo. Não deixa de ser curioso apontar que, concomitantemente, em 1609, Gaspar Coelho Aranha, prior da vila da Atalaia, terminava a mando do terceiro conde de Sortelha, D. Luís da Silveira, genro do segundo conde de Vila Nova, a composição da Tabuada do cartório da Casa de Sortelha[v]. Aqui, uma vez mais, a reorganização de um arquivo familiar surgia a par da veiculação de uma ideia de memória nobiliárquica e da defesa do património conservado e transmitido durante gerações. O cura arquivista faz uma sugestão que poderá parecer estranha, ou megalómana, mas que afinal reflete a extrema importância conferida aos documentos familiares: o Conde deveria estabelece em Góis, vila principal entre as suas propriedades, um arquivo que albergasse os seus preciosos originais. Este arquivo chamar-se-ia, nem mais nem menos, do que «Torre do Tombo de Goez», e o cura relembra que o segundo conde, avô do atual, mandara fazer uma coleção de grande “tombos” semelhantes aos dos reis, onde registaram os seus bens e direitos. Num contexto alargado, estas composições e reorganizações de arquivos – que, como veremos, irão servir a Crónica – testemunham claramente de uma prática de escrita de gestão e de história-memória-genealogia dos Castelo-Branco e famílias afins, na qual avultam alguns longuíssimos testamentos que são, na verdade, “tratados de domesticidade”, contendo instruções aos sucessores sobre gestão política, económica, religiosa e afetiva das Casas e dos homens e mulheres por elas abarcados.[vi]


Se para os dois inventários de Arquivo, as autorias – que se colocam, de resto, de modo diverso do que para um texto literário – estão parcialmente esclarecidas, quanto à Crónica tal não sucede ainda. No momento atual, colocamos mesmo a hipótese de 1588 ser a data não da redação, mas sim de uma cópia, feita para Duarte de Castelo-Branco, mesmo se o texto está dedicado àquele titular. O Prólogo pede vénia de erros de copista que não sabia ler latim, pelo que foi escrito após um exame da cópia, que teve aliás outros acrescentos e retificações expressamente referidos no Prólogo. Este terá sido por copiado após finalizado, incluindo a advertência quanto aos erros, pelo mesmo calígrafo do resto, e colocado no caderno inicial do livro.

Outros indícios apontam para escritas em diversos momentos, ou incorporações de outros textos. No capítulo 57 escreve-se “…foraõ aas mujtas moradas de casas da famosa rua Nova de Lisboa que ora são do meirinho moor dom Duarte de Castelbranco e lhe rendem mais de hum conto de reis”. A menção a Duarte Castelo-Branco é algo indireta, não se parecendo com outras que lhe são feitas como promotor da Crónica; sobretudo, não é referido como chamam “Conde”, título que já detinha em 1588.

Indubitável e impressionante é a quantidade de obras e documentos citados, bem como a qualidade da informação deles tirada, com frequência citações diretas. Transmite a clara noção que alguém estava a trabalhar num arquivo. Dizendo muitos dos capítulos ricos em citações documentais respeito a outros ramos que não os Sabugais, é forte a hipótese de uma empresa conjunta, ou pelo menos abertura dos vários arquivos. D. Manuel de Castelo-Branco, conde de Vila Nova de Portimão, acima referido, poderá ter sido nela central, pela sua mestria e fama como genealogista.

Já a entrega do trabalho em si ao um certo Luís Ferreira de Azevedo, que circula desde o século XIX, a partir de uma nota manuscrita de autor não identificado, no manuscrito, parece-nos pelo menos questionável. É conhecido pela entrada que lhe dedica Barbosa Machado na Biblioteca Lusitana (III: 94), a quem se deve de resto quase todas as informações que dele existem. Terá sido cronista-mor por um pequeno intervalo de tempo no início do séc. XVII e guarda-mor da Torre do Tombo. Na verdade, lendo o elenco de obras dado por Barbosa Machado, nada parece garantir que a Crónica dos Castelo-Branco se identifique com o trabalho aí citado. O que efetivamente se lhe atribui são genealogias de uma série de famílias, entre os quais os Castelo-Branco, “de quem dizia ser descendente”, o que parece indicar um trabalho produzido num espírito inteiramente diferente do da Crónica[vii].


Estão por fazer os estudos dos percursos destes valiosos documentos. Terão feito parte da enorme quantidade de documentação de constituição e de gestão produzida pelos vários grupos familiares acima referidos, e outros semelhantes, ligados entre si por matrimónios fortemente endogâmicos que se concentraram ao longo dos séculos 17 e 18 em duas grandes Casas – Abrantes e Santa Iria. Os arquivos destas foram dispersos durante as duas centúrias seguintes, e estão hoje na sua maioria conservados em arquivos públicos e privados – embora exista ainda muito por descobrir, como prova os achados de que agora falamos.

Quanto à Crónica, dados até agora recolhidos permitem saber que fez parte da coleção do arquiteto bibliófilo Jose Maria Nepomuceno e vendida no leilão da mesma, em 1897, a Francisco Arthur da Silva, editor e livreiro[viii]. O catálogo não fornece, lamentavelmente, qualquer indicação sobre a proveniência e não se sabe, pois, como Nepomuceno a adquiriu. Terá feito parte do Arquivo e da Biblioteca da Casa de Óbidos, Palma e Sabugal, cujas histórias de constituição e dispersão estão também por fazer[ix]. O arquivo estaria ainda numa fase de vitalidade em 1836, quando é feito um extenso inventários dos seus milhares de documentos; encontra-se nele o Livro da Fazenda do Senhor Conde Meirinho-Mor (p. 416) mas não a Crónica, o que poderá simplesmente explicar-se pelo facto deste tipo de documentos serem antes conservados nas bibliotecas das Casas. A investigação preliminar conduzida nos inventários de livros existentes no Arquivo da Casa de Sta. Iria não produziu resultados.

Um escasso ano depois do leilão de Nepomuceno, em 1898, Francisco Arthur da Silva irá colocá-lo de novo em leilão, com o valor, a crer na indicação lateral, de 6.500 reis; não terá sido arrematado, pois o Apêndice mostra que ficou para o próprio[x]. A cópia do pequeno extrato existente na Biblioteca Pública de Évora e dado a conhecer por Rafael Moreira em 2022[xi], permite saber que o Arquiteto Nepomuceno a deixava consultar a amigos; desta consulta resultou a dita cópia parcial[xii]. Entre a venda por Francisco Arthur da Silva e o recente aparecimento em leilão, de 2016, há um hiato total.

Deve por fim mencionar-se uma sua versão abreviada num arquivo de família hoje depositado na Casa de Sarmento, em Guimarães. Intitulada Epílogo do livro da linhagem: dos de Castelobranco, é obra de um certo Bernardo Amaral Castelo-Branco. Provém do arquivo de uma casa da região vimaranense, a Casa do Costeado, e (ao contrário do que indica o catálogo online) foi feito já em 1610 – se bem que claramente por alguém que teve acesso à cópia da Crónica que agora nos ocupa.


A Crónica e o Livro da Fazenda estão a ser alvo de trabalhos de restauro conservação, e serão posteriormente digitalizados para disponibilização pública. Fazem parte de um conjunto mais vasto de documentação cujo restauro e digitalização foram custeadas pelo projeto VINCULUM. A Crónica será apresentada, em conjunto com os restantes manuscritos, num seminário a realizar na FCSH.NOVA, a 28 de Abril de 2023, organizado pelo projeto, e de cujos resultados informaremos o blog!

[i] Entailing Perpetuity: Family, Power, Identity. The Social Agency of a Corporate Body (Southern Europe, 14th-17th Centuries) – ERC Consolidator grant 819734 .
[ii] Inventários de arquivos de família, sécs. XV-XIX: de gestão e prova a memórias perdidas. Repensando o arquivo pré-moderno EXPL/EPH-HIS/0178/2013 .
[iii] Arquivos de familia, Arquivos de comunidade(s). Arquivística, História, Herança cultural.
[iv] Fábio DUARTE, Herdar, Legar e Registar: o arquivo e o Tombo do Cartório da Casa de Vila Nova de Portimão. Degree: MA in History – specialization in Modern History and History of the Discoveries. FCSH-UNL, 2022.
[v] Análise em Maria de Lurdes ROSA, Penser et organiser les archives de famille, entre histoire et archivistique. In: Les archives familiales dans l’Occident médiéval et moderne: Trésor, arsenal, mémorial [en ligne]. Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, 2021 (généré le 16 septembre 2021).
[vi] O testamento do segundo conde é talvez o mais exemplar, e está publicado (ROSA, op. cit. p. 72); mas os testamentos manuscritos inéditos dos Castelo Branco são de idêntico talhe.
[vii] Neste aspeto não podemos, portanto, concordar com a atribuição feita por Rafael MOREIRA, O casamento da Infanta D. Beatriz em Sabóia (1521) e a mais antiga alusão a Gil Vicente. In: Anais de História de Além-Mar 21 (2020): 349-82 (p. 352-53).
[viii] Francisco Arthur da Silva (ed.), Catalogo da livraria do distincto bibliografico e bibliophilo José Maria Nepomuceno (…).  Lisboa: Empreza Editora de Francisco Arthur da Silva, 1897 (lote 2187).
[ix] Margarida LEME– O Arquivo Costa no Arquivo Óbidos Palma Sabugal. In ROSA, Maria de Lurdes (org.) – Arquivos de família, séc. XIII-XX: que presente, que futuro?. Lisboa: IEM; CHAM; Caminhos Romanos, 2012, pp. 279-90. O arquivo foi disperso entre 1995 e 2004;  tendo a maior parte sido adquirida em 1995, pelo ANTT, onde se encontra atualmente com o nome de Casa de Santa Iria.
[x] Francisco Arthur da Silva (ed.), Catalogo de uma boa colleçáo de livros raros, curiosos e manuscriptos de varias procedencias. Lisboa: Empreza Editora de Francisco Arthur da Silva, 1898 (lote 1124).
[xi] MOREIRA, O casamento.  A descoberta do manuscrito integral da Crónica permitirá corrigir algumas das hipóteses deste artigo, decorrentes da versão disponível ao autor.
[xii] Foi também vendido no leilão de 1898 (catálogo cit. supra, lote 1099, p. 107), no qual é identificado como “cópia de letra moderna” do manuscrito genealógico dos Castelo-Branco.

PhiloBiblon 2023 n. 1 (February) Texts of history, memory and management by a family group of the Portuguese nobility, 15th-16th century: discovery, recovery and study of unpublished manuscripts

Mª de Lurdes Rosa, Margarida Leme, Fábio Duarte e Miguel Ayres de Campos

Instituto de Estudos Medievais
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

It is with pleasure and enthusiasm that we share the discovery of a long-lost 16th-century noble chronicle and the inventories of two related family archives, both of them only recently recovered – their integrated study is an innovative work in progress.


The manuscript of the 16th-century noble chronicle known as Descendência e linhagem dos Castelo-Branco (hereinafter Crónica), dated 1588, contains a long text of 261 folios, in elegant and careful script. In one hundred and sixteen chapters, it narrates the history and genealogy of a family group of Portuguese nobility, the Castelo-Brancos, and is dedicated to one of its illustrious members of the period, Duarte Castelo-Branco, Count of Sabugal, meirinho-mor and vedor da Fazenda of the kingdom of Portugal. It is owned by a private collector, Doutor Miguel Ayres de Campos, who has generously loaned it to the VINCULUM project to be studied and edited.

This project, funded by the European Research Council, aims to study the functioning of the institutions of primogeniture (morgados) and chantry (endowed) chapels (vinculação/entailment) in Portugal and its Atlantic territories, in comparison with the same institutions in other kingdoms of southern Europe.[i] The way in which social groups used the establishment of vínculos/entails to reinforce their identity and symbolic wealth is one of the study areas of the VINCULUM project, in which materials such as genealogical and family narratives have great relevance. In addition, the Castelo-Branco family group, which comprised several strong, wealthy and influential nuclei at the Portuguese Court from the beginning of the 15th century, will be one of the most interesting case studies of the project.

A common feature of the various nuclei, including that of the Count of Sabugal, was the attention given to archives and the information management practices of the various houses and estates; another was the cultivation of the fine arts and various kinds of technical and scientific knowledge. Legal and accounting literacy allowed different members of the group to gain access for generations to top positions at court, linked to law and the management of the kingdom and royal property, from the House of the Civil Court to the treasury and the meirinhato-mor. The Castelo-Branco’s political influence allowed them to assume important positions within the councils and boards that assisted and advised Portuguese and Spanish monarchs. Among the various branches were lords who cultivated fields such as astronomy, mathematics, and genealogy. A few examples: Martinho, first Count of Vila Nova de Portimão, was a close friend of the Italian humanist and Lisbon resident, Cataldo Sículo; in the estate of one of his grandsons, killed at the battle of Alcácer Quibir, there was “a book by Luis de Camões” and another by Ludovico Ariosto; Manuel de Castelo-Branco, second Count of Vila Nova, was the author of a book with family trees of the Portuguese aristocracy, printed in 1625, and a handwritten account of the history of his lineage.

The Crónica reflects the wealth of information circulating in the group about its past and present. It cites numerous documents and books, as a preliminary analysis has shown. Knowledge of the family archives was especially prized, and the study of the Crónica will be enriched by that of two other manuscripts, discovered within the scope of one of VINCULUM’s predecessor projects, the INVENTARQ project[ii].

Also in private hands, and generously made available for study in 2015 to the ARQFAM group[iii] and now to the VINCULUM project, is the Livro da Fazenda do Senhor Conde Meirinho-Mor e rendimento dela e dos seus papeis e outras lembranças (Book of the Estates and property of the Lord Count Meirinho-Mor, his income, papers and other mementos). A codex in 4º, with 293 numbered pages, bound in leather, also dated 1588, it formed part of the House of Óbidos Archives, where it probably entered through the marriage of the Countess of Sabugal and Palma to the 2nd Count of Óbidos in 1669. It remained in the Óbidos archives even after they passed in the 20th century into the hands of the Marquis of Santa Iria, heir of the counts of Óbidos. It is now owned by a private collector, the architect Jorge Brito e Abreu. It has many material similarities with the Crónica, such as the script; the restoration of severely damaged pages, to be completed in 2023, will make possible a careful analysis.

The Tombo do Cartório do Casa de Vila Nova de Portimão, currently in the custody of the Centro de Documentação do Museu Municipal de Portimão, after purchase from the book trade, comes from the dispersal of the House of Abrantes archive by its owners during the second half of the 20th century. It was apparently commissioned by the second Count of Vila Nova de Portimão, with his direct intervention; the final redaction dates from the early 17th century, but the work must have begun in the last decades of the previous century – which makes it probably contemporary with the two Sabugal documents. It was edited and studied by one of the current members of the project team, Fábio Duarte, in his master’s thesis as part of the ARQFAM program,[iv] which has been underway at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at the Universidade Nova of Lisbon since 2010, and the training program in Historical Archival Studies at the same institution.

Portada do Tombo do Cartório do Casa de Vila Nova de Portimão

Although it is also not known who was responsible for preparing the Tombo do Cartório, it should be noted that this, like the other initiatives already mentioned, was closely monitored by members of the Castelo-Branco family and carried out in a short period of time. It is also interesting to note that, at the same time, in 1609, Gaspar Coelho Aranha, the prior of the village of Atalaia, was completing the Tabuada do cartório da Casa de Sortelha (Table of contents of the Cartulary of the House of Sortelha), ordered by the third Count of Sortelha, D. Luís da Silveira, son-in-law of the second Count of Vila Nova.[v] Here, once again, the reorganization of a family archive went hand in hand with the propagation of an idea of noble memory and the defense of a heritage preserved and passed down for generations. The archivist makes a suggestion that may seem strange, or megalomaniac, but which ultimately reflects the extreme importance attached to family documents: the Count should establish in Góis, the main town among his estates, an archive that would house his precious originals. This archive would be called the “Torre do Tombo de Goez,” and the chaplain recalls that the second Count, grandfather of the current Count, had ordered a collection of large “tombos,” cartularies, similar to those of kings, in which they recorded their properties and rights. In a broader context, these compositions and reorganizations of archives – which, as we shall see, underpin the Crónica – are clear evidence of a practice of management by writing, and history-memory-genealogy of the Castelo-Branco and related families, which includes some very long wills that are, in fact, “treaties of domesticity,” containing instructions for successors on the political, economic, religious and affective management of the Houses and the men and women they encompassed.[vi]


If for the two archival inventories, the authorship – which is different from that of a literary text – is partially understood, this is not yet so for the Crónica. At the present time, we even hypothesize that 1588 is the date not of composition but of a copy made for Duarte de Castelo-Branco, despite the fact that the text is dedicated to him. The Prologue asks for forgiveness for the errors of a copyist who could not read Latin – which points to the fact that it it was written after the rest of the text, which has other additions and rectifications expressly mentioned in the Prologue. This initial part was thus probably copied after the Crónica was finished, with the warning about the errors, by the same scribe as the rest, and placed in the book’s initial gathering.

Other indications point to writings at various times or the incorporation of other texts. In chapter 57 one finds “…foraõ aas mujtas moradas de casas da famosa rua Nova de Lisboa que ora são do meirinho moor dom Duarte de Castelbranco e lhe rendem mais de um conto de reis.” […there were many dwellings in the famous Rua Nova of Lisbon that now belong to the merinho mor lord Duarte de Castelobranco and bring him in as rent more than 100,000 reis]. The reference to Duarte Castelo-Branco is somewhat indirect, not like others that mention him as promoter of the Crónica; above all, he is not mentioned as “Count,”  title he already held in 1588.

Undoubtedly impressive is the quantity of works and documents cited as well as the quality of the information taken from them, often direct quotations. It conveys the clear notion that someone was working in an archive. As many of the chapters rich in document citations concern branches other than the Sabugais, the hypothesis of a joint venture, or at least consultation of various archives, is strong. D. Manuel de Castelo-Branco, Count of Vila Nova de Portimão, mentioned above, may have been central to it, given his mastery and fame as a genealogist.

In contrast, the attribution of the text to a one Luís Ferreira de Azevedo, which originated in note in an unidentified hand on the manuscript and has been circulating since the 19th century, seems to us at least questionable. Ferreira de Azevedo is known by the entry dedicated to him by Barbosa Machado in the Biblioteca Lusitana (III: 94), to which we owe almost all the information known about him. He might have been chronicler-major for a short time in the early 17th century and head keeper of the Torre do Tombo. In fact, reading the list of works given by Barbosa Machado, nothing seems to identify the Crónica with the titles cited. What is effectively attributed to him are genealogies of a series of families, among them the Castelo-Branco family, “from whom he claimed to be descended,” which seems to indicate a work produced in an entirely different spirit from that of the Crónica.[vii]


Studies of the provenance of these these valuable documents have yet to be undertaken. They would have formed part of the enormous quantity of documentation produced by the various family groups mentioned above and others like them, linked together by strongly endogamous marriages, which came to be concentrated in the 17th and 18th centuries in two great Houses – Abrantes and Óbidos. Their archives were dispersed over the following two centuries and are today mostly preserved in public and private archives – although there is still much to be uncovered, as proven by the discoveries we are discussing now.

As for the Crónica, data gathered so far allows us to know that it came to be part of the collection of the bibliophile architect Jose Maria Nepomuceno and was sold at his auction in 1897 to Francisco Arthur da Silva, publisher and bookseller.[viii] The sale catalogue unfortunately gives no indication of provenance and it is not known, therefore, how Nepomuceno acquired it. It must have been part of the Archive and Library of the House of Óbidos, Palma and Sabugal, the histories of whose constitution and dispersal are yet to be written.[ix] The archive was still active in 1836 when an extensive inventory of its thousands of documents was made; in it can be found the Treasury Book of the Lord Count Meirinho-Mor (p. 416) but not the Crónica, which can be explained quite simply by the fact that this type of documents were kept in the House libraries, not the archives. Preliminary research conducted on the book inventories in the Casa de Santa Iria Archive, however, was fruitless.

A year after Nepomuceno’s auction, in 1898, Francisco Arthur da Silva put the Crónica up for auction again, with a reserve price, according to the handwritten note on the margin of the auction, of 6.500 reis; it seems that it did not sell, since the Appendix shows that it was left to the owner.[x] The copy of the small extract held in the Biblioteca Pública de Évora and published by Rafael Moreira in 2022, allows us to know that Nepomuceno used to let friends consult the Crónica[xi]; which was apparently the source of this partial copy.[xii] There is a total gap between the sale by Francisco Arthur da Silva and the Crónica’s recent appearance at auction in 2016.

Finally, we should mention the existence of an abridged version of the Crónica in a family archive now held at Casa de Sarmento. Entitled Epílogo do livro da linhagem: dos de Castelobranco (Epilogue of the book of the lineage: dos de Castelobranco), it is the work of a certain Bernardo Amaral Castelo-Branco. It comes from the archive of a house in the Guimarães region, the Casa do Costeado, and (contrary to what the online catalog indicates) was made as early as 1610 – clearly by someone who had access to the copy of the Crónica.[xiv]


The Crónica and the Livro da Fazenda are undergoing conservation work and will later be digitized for public availability. They are part of a larger set of documents whose restoration and and digitization were sponsored and funded by the VINCULUM project. The Crónica will be presented and studied, along with the remaining manuscripts, in a seminar to be held at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, on April 28, 2023, organized by the project, and of whose results we shall inform the blog!

[i] Entailing Perpetuity: Family, Power, Identity. The Social Agency of a Corporate Body (Southern Europe, 14th-17th Centuries) – ERC Consolidator grant 819734.
[ii] Inventários de arquivos de família, sécs. XV-XIX: de gestão e prova a memórias perdidas. Repensando o arquivo pré-moderno. Project EXPL/EPH-HIS/0178/2013.
[iii] Arquivos de familia, Arquivos de comunidade(s). Arquivística, História, Herança cultural.
[iv] Fábio DUARTE, Herdar, Legar e Registar: o arquivo e o Tombo do Cartório da Casa de Vila Nova de Portimão. Degree: MA in History – specialization in Modern History and History of the Discoveries. FCSH-UNL, 2022.
[v]  Studied in Maria de Lurdes ROSA, Penser et organiser les archives de famille, entre histoire et archivistique. In: Les archives familiales dans l’Occident médiéval et moderne: Trésor, arsenal, mémorial [en ligne]. Madrid: Casa de Velázquez, 2021 (généré le 16 septembre 2021).
[vi] The second count’s will, perhaps the most exemplary, is published (ROSA, Penser. p. 72); but the Castelo Branco’s unpublished handwritten wills are of identical style.
[vii] In this aspect we cannot therefore agree with the authorship attribution made by Rafael MOREIRA, O casamento da Infanta D. Beatriz em Sabóia (1521) e a mais antiga alusão a Gil Vicente. In: Anais de História de Além-Mar 21 (2020): 349-82 (p. 352-53).
[viii] Francisco Arthur da Silva (ed.), Catalogo da livraria do distincto bibliografico e bibliophilo José Maria Nepomuceno (…). Lisboa: Empreza Editora de Francisco Arthur da Silva, 1897 (lote 2187).
[ix] Margarida LEME– O Arquivo Costa no Arquivo Óbidos Palma Sabugal. In ROSA, Maria de Lurdes (org.) – Arquivos de família, séc. XIII-XX: que presente, que futuro?.Lisboa: IEM; CHAM; Caminhos Romanos, 2012, pp. 279-90. The archive was dispersed between 1995 and 2004 and most of it was acquired in 1995, by the ANTT, where it is currently located under the name of Casa de Santa Iria.
[x] Francisco Arthur da Silva (ed.), Catalogo de uma boa colleção de livros raros, curiosos e manuscriptos de varias procedencias. Lisboa: Empreza Editora de Francisco Arthur da Silva, 1898 (lote 1124).
[xi] MOREIRA, O casamento. The discovery of the full manuscript of the Crónica will allow us to correct some of the assumptions in this article, which arose from the version available to the author.
[xii] It was also sold at the Silva 1898 auction (catalog cited above, lot 1099, p. 107), in which it is identified as a “modern handwritten copy” of the Castelo-Branco genealogical manuscript.

Workshop: “Can I Mine That? Should I Mine That?”: A Clinic for Copyright, Ethics & More in TDM Research

“Can I Mine That? Should I Mine That?”: A Clinic for Copyright, Ethics & More in TDM Research
Wednesday, March 8th, 11:10am-12:30pm
Online: Register to receive the Zoom link
Tim Vollmer and Stacy Reardon

If you are working on a computational text analysis project and have wondered how to legally acquire, use, and publish text and data, this workshop is for you! We will teach you 5 legal literacies (copyright, contracts, privacy, ethics, and special use cases) that will empower you to make well-informed decisions about compiling, using, and sharing your corpus. By the end of this workshop, and with a useful checklist in hand, you will be able to confidently design lawful text analysis projects or be well-positioned to help others design such projects. Consider taking alongside Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects. Register here.

Upcoming Workshops in this Series – Spring 2022:

  • By Design: Graphics & Images Basics
  • HTML/CSS Toolkit for Digital Projects

Please see bit.ly/dp-berk for details.

Text Analysis with Archival Materials: Gale Digital Scholar Lab

Text Analysis with Archival Materials: Gale Digital Scholar Lab

Text Analysis with Archival Materials: Gale Digital Scholar Lab
Thursday, February 16th, 2:00-3:00pm
Online: Register to receive the Zoom link

The Gale Digital Scholar Lab is a platform that allows researchers to do text data mining on archival collections available through Gale (see list below). During this session we’ll cover the workflow for using the Lab, focusing on the Build, Clean, and Analyze steps. We’ll review curating and creating a content set, developing clean configurations, applying text data mining analysis tools, and exporting your Lab results. We’ll also review new Lab updates and explore the Lab Learning Center.

Primary source collections available in Gale include: American Fiction, 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection, American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990, American Fiction, Archives Unbound, Archives of Sexuality & Gender, British Library Newspapers, The Economist Historical Archive, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Indigenous Peoples: North America, The Making of Modern Law, The Making of the Modern World, Nineteenth Century Collections Online, Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers, Sabin Americana, 1500-1926, The Times Digital Archive, The Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive, U.S. Declassified Documents Online

This event is part of the UC-wide “Love Data Week” series of talks, presentations, and workshops to be held February 13-17, 2023. All events are free to attend and open to any member of the UC community. To see a full list of UC Love Data Week 2023 events, please visit: https://bit.ly/UC-LDW

Related LibGuide: Text Mining & Computational Text Analysis by Stacy Reardon

Workshop: Publish Digital Books & Open Educational Resources with Pressbooks

Publish Digital Books & Open Educational Resources with Pressbooks
Wednesday, February 8th, 11:10am-12:30pm
Online: Register to receive the Zoom link
Tim Vollmer 

If you’re looking to self-publish work of any length and want an easy-to-use tool that offers a high degree of customization, allows flexibility with publishing formats (EPUB, PDF), and provides web-hosting options, Pressbooks may be great for you. Pressbooks is often the tool of choice for academics creating digital books, open textbooks, and open educational resources, since you can license your materials for reuse however you desire. Learn why and how to use Pressbooks for publishing your original books or course materials. You’ll leave the workshop with a project already under way! Register here.

Upcoming Workshops in this Series – Spring 2022:

  • Can I Mine That? Should I Mine That?: A Clinic for Copyright, Ethics & More in TDM Research
  • By Design: Graphics & Images Basics
  • HTML/CSS Toolkit for Digital Projects

Please see bit.ly/dp-berk for details.

Coming Soon: Love Your Data, from Editathons to Containers!

UC Berkeley has been loving its data for a long time, and has been part of the international movement which is Love Data Week (LDW) since at least 2016, even during the pandemic!  This year is no exception—the UC Berkeley Libraries and our campus partners are offering some fantastic workshops (four of which are led by our very own librarians) as part of the University of California-wide observance.

Love Data Week 2023 is happening next month, February 13-17 (it’s always during the week of Valentine’s Day)!

University of California 2023 Love Data Week calendar with UC Berkeley offerings

UC Berkeley Love Data Week offerings for 2023 include:

GIS & Mapping: Where to Start

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon (you can also dip into Wikidata at other LDW events)

Introduction to Containers

Textual Analysis with Archival Materials

Getting Started with Qualitative Data Analysis

All members of the UC community are welcome—we hope you will join us!  Registration links for our offerings are above, and the full UC-wide calendar is here.   If you are interested in learning more about what the library is doing with data, check out our new Data + Digital Scholarship Services page.  And, feel free to email us at librarydataservices@berkeley.edu.   Looking forward to data bonding next month!