Digital Archive António Manuel Hespanha

Sources for the History of Portuguese Law

The Digital Archive António Manuel Hespanha aims to make available the main body of work of Portuguese legal literature of the XIX century and first half of the XX century, through electronic publishing.

In the selection of the works, preference was given to those produced in the academic field, although the collection also includes other complementary legal materials of a different nature (codes, repertories, collections of legislation or “piecemeal” legislation, collections of court decisions, parliamentary debates on legal matters, some works of legal dissemination). Produced under CEDIS (Centre for Research & Development on Law and Society) and research projects also founded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), other institutions have competed for its implementation by making available the originals to be reproduced and digitized.

 Among them we highlight the National Library, the John Paul II Library of the Portuguese Catholic University, the Library of the Legal Institute of the University of Coimbra, the Library of the School of Law of the University of Lisbon, the General Library of the University of Coimbra, the Municipal Library of Figueira da Foz, the Library and Parliamentary Historical Archive and the Library of the Ministry of Finance. 

So far hundreds of doctrinal works, draft legislation, parliamentary debates, legislative pieces, and about 20 volumes of jurisprudence have been published adding to these numbers a few dozen indexes, repertories, constitutional texts and foreign sources. This collection will be expanded in the future either through the publication of works already digitized but not yet dealt with, or through the selection of other works and materials to be digitized. Some of the biographies of the authors of the published works remain to be completed although most of them are already available with the respective work. The coordination of this project was carried out by António Manuel Hespanha and Cristina Nogueira da Silva, researchers from CEDIS and professors from the School of Law of the University of Lisbon. The processing of the work, as well as the elaboration of the bio-bibliographical file, has been carried out by students of NOVA School of Law, from 2006 until the present day (among others, Joana Mota, Jonas Gentil, Luís Cabral de Oliveira, Ana Paula Lourenço, Raquel Galvão, Raquel Lemos, Tiago Cristóvão, Vera Martins, Soraia Gonçalves, João Amoedo, Anilda Veiga, Verónica Catana, Fátima Dias, Ana Filipa Silva, Janaína Bueno).


  • To obtain the complete list of documents you should use the search option “All works”. In this list, the texts with explicit author will appear sorted alphabetically by their name (first name, surname). In order for the texts of the same author to appear together in the list, we have standardized their name and added, whenever possible, the dates of birth and death. In the case of texts without an explicit author, we have prefixed the acronym (s/A). For legal texts or similar, the reference to the date (AAA/MM/DD) begins, which is why they appear first in the list. In the case of texts of a legal nature or similar relating to constitutions or codes, we have anteposed to their title the indication of the constitution or code to which they refer. The same applies in the case of administrative reforms, criminal reforms or judicial reforms.
  • Word searches (isolated or followed, but not interpolated) can be made in the name of the author or in the title, using either the Windows “Quick Search” or the locate command (CTRL + F) on the page that displays the general list of works available.
  • Searches may also be made by “area of law” (constitutional criminal law works, etc.) and by “type of work” (jurisprudence, collection of doctrinal legislation, etc.).

This work will continue in the coming months if resources are available. We welcome suggestions and corrections from users. We are aware that there is still a lot of work to be done to improve this bank of texts. As resources are scarce, we have set as a priority to make as many texts as possible available, leaving it to later to complete other elements of the Database (such as biographical and bibliographical sheets).

Unless otherwise indicated, legislative items are reproduced from the publication which at the time served as the official journal.

Unless otherwise indicated, parliamentary papers are reproduced from the minutes of the respective chamber of parliament.

Some more commonly used abbreviations:

(s/A) – No indication of author

s/d – No date

DCD – Journal of the House of Representatives

DCP – Journal of the House of Worthy Peers of the Realm

DCGECNP – Journal of the General and Extraordinary Courts of the Portuguese Nation.

DG – Government Gazette

p.(pp.) – pages.

v – Volume.

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