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date: 01 December 2022

Digital Resources: Brazilian Legal Historylocked

Digital Resources: Brazilian Legal Historylocked

  • Emilio Peluso Neder MeyerEmilio Peluso Neder MeyerFederal University of Minas Gerais
  •  and Maria Guiomar da C. FrotaMaria Guiomar da C. FrotaFederal University of Minas Gerais

Summary

Digital resources for Brazilian legal history in the early 21st century cover an essential range of subjects. Official or institutional websites dominate the archives that allow users to research diverse themes, from the administration of the Portuguese colonies to the documents produced by truth commissions. Many of them are open access, fostering the democratization of the archives. To assess the most relevant ones, one must consider funds, collections, documents, and their accessibility and usability, as well as the limits for accessing Brazilian historical legal documents on the internet. Researchers of Brazilian legal history must consider the dominance of official narratives that can neglect the interpretations of other actors such as minorities.

The colonial period is covered by digital resources with archives that were produced in Spain or Portugal but also by the Brazilian National Library and National Archives. The Historical Archives of the House of Deputies presents relevant resources for the period of the Brazilian Empire. The First and Second Republics historical periods count on collections of judicial rulings provided with easy and free access. The period of partial democratization between 1946 and 1964, the Brazilian dictatorship of 1964–1985, and the Third Republic that came after the Brazilian 1988 Constitution are part of a significant number of digital resources also easily accessible.

Presupposing the necessity of effectiveness to the right of access to information, the process of digitalization of legal resources was consolidated and became a general practice. It dominated a wide range of institutional archives. Nonetheless, researchers must be aware of governmental limits, revisionist theories, and insufficient funding for Brazilian legal digital resources.

Subjects

  • History of Brazil
  • Digital Innovations, Sources, and Interdisciplinary Approaches
  • Legal and Constitutional History

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