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National Library Building

The collection of the National library of Brazil laid the foundations of the old book shop of Joseph in Lisbon. Collection of books began to be re-drafted after the Royal library was consumed by fire that followed the Lisbon earthquake of 1 November 1755. King Jose I was assigned to organize at the Ajuda Palace new library, which became the Foundation of the current collection, and by 1807 had collected about sixty thousand books, manuscripts, printed books, engravings, maps, coins and medals.

This collection was moved to Brazil after the arrival of the Royal family in 1808. In haste the drawers were left in the Harbor in Portugal, and only in 1810 were transferred to Brazil. The library was originally housed in the rooms of the upper floor of the hospital of the Carmelites, near the Imperial Palace. Facilities were deemed not strong enough, so 29 Oct 1810(official date of the founding of the National library) the Prince Regent issued a decree, which ordered to build new premises for the Royal library. All the work was financed from the Royal Treasury.

Work on the construction of a new library building took place in 1813. In 1814 the library was opened to the public, and have used the Foundation exclusively scientists and students. The book collection was enlarged by purchases, donations, but mostly due to the "kickbacks" is a required deliver copies of all printed materials from the printing workshops of Portugal and Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian law on mandatory copy operates to this day, the national library must receive two copies of every book published in the country.

With the proclamation of the independence of Brazil in 1822, the Royal library became the property of the Empire, after the payment of compensation to the family of the king. In 1858, the library was moved to the pedestrian street in Largo da Feet, and located in a building that was designed with the features of the collection. But the constant growth of library collections was forced to implement the project on construction of headquarters that would meet all the requirements of the library. The cornerstone of the present building was laid on August 15, 1905, during the reign of Rodrigues Alves. The Grand opening was held on 29 October 1910.

National library building, whose design was developed by a military engineer Sousa Aguiar, built in the eclectic style. It is a combination of elements of neo-classical and art Nouveau, decoration, painters Eliseo Visconti, Henry and Rodolfo Bernardelli, Modesto of Brocos and Rodolfo Amadeo.

The facility acts as a large public library with a collection available to researchers. The main building serves around fifteen thousand users per month.