The Ajuda Library Logo


Ajuda National Palace Logo          Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage Logo          Portuguese Government Logo





// COLLECTIONS // Photography


Music Image



The Ajuda Library has a valuable photographic collection composed of around 3,000 items. It covers the period from practically the moment when the art first emerged – the mid-19th century – to the middle of the 20th century. It is divided into albums and sundry photographs on a variety of topics, and together forms an important set of documents.
We do not know exactly how the collection came into existence, but we can say that part belonged to the royal family, inasmuch as there are various inscriptions dedicated to Portuguese monarchs, both in albums and on single photographs. The great majority of the photographs are in black-and-white (in a few cases, subsequently coloured with watercolours) and are printed on paper.

The diversity of the subject matter of this collection – it ranges from views and monuments of Portuguese and European cities, portraits and scientific expeditions to travels and gold jewellery among others – is matched by that of the European photographers and photographic studios, such as Count Hans Wilczek, Luigi Motabone and Henri Tournier.
From Portugal we have contributions from various foreign photographers who lived and worked in the country, like A. Fillon, J. Plessix, Emílio Biel, M. Fritz, Wenceslau Cifka and Francesco Rocchini, as well as some native Portuguese photographers who embraced this art early on, such as Mariano de Carvalho, Augusto Bobone, Henrique Nunes, Joaquim Possidónio da Silva and Miguel Novais.

Reference works:

  • Catálogo da Colecção de Fotografia