Brazil Archives and Libraries

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Archives collect and preserve original documents of organizations
File:Discovery of the Land1.jpg
Discovery of the Land1.jpg
such as churches or governments. Libraries generally collect published sources like books, maps, and microfilm. This section describes the major repositories of genealogical and historical records and sources for Brazil.

If you plan to visit one of these repositories, contact the organization, and ask for information about its collection, hours, services, and fees. Some of that information may also be found on the Internet. You may need to obtain a letter of introduction from your embassy before visiting a repository.

Any civil registration records you need may be in a civil registry, district office (Cartório Distrital), or municipal archive (Cartório Municipal), and church records may be in a diocese or parish.

There are many repositories with genealogical information for Brazilian research:

  • National archives and libraries (arquivos e bibliotecas nacionais)
  • State archives (arquivos do Estado)
  • District and municipal civil registry offices (Cartório Distrital e Municipal do Registro Civil)
  • Diocese and parish archives
  • Libraries and archives of Portugal
  • Private and public libraries
  • Historical and genealogical societies

Records of genealogical value at district, state, and national archives include the following:

  • Church records
  • Civil registrations
  • Censuses
  • Court records
  • Military records
  • Emigration records
  • Land records
  • School records

The Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) and state and city public archives also have a large collection of published genealogies, manuscripts, histories, directories, maps, and newspapers.

Some helpful guides to federal, state, municipal, and church records are:

Catálogo dos Arquivos Brasileiros (Catalog of Brazilian Archives). Rio de Janeiro: Arquivo Nacional, 1977. (FHL book 981 A3b; film 1218975)

Guia Brasileiro de Fontes para a História da África, da Escravidão Negra e do Negro na Sociedade Atual: Fontes Arquivistas (Brazilian Guide of Sources for the History of Africa, Black Slavery and of the Negro in the Present Society). 2 vols. Rio de Janeiro: Arquivo Nacional, 1988. (FHL book 981 A3g) Volume 2 has information of the collections in the National Archives, in Rio de Janeiro.

National Government Archives and Libraries

Addresses for the national archives of Brazil and other national repositories are as follows:

Arquivo Nacional (National Archives)
Praça da Republica 173
RIO DE JANEIRO 20211-350
Tel Fax: (55)(21)2179-1228 or (55)(21) 2179-1273 (55)(21)2179-1275 (55)(21)2179-1276

Arquivo do Ministério do Exército (Archive of the Ministry of the Army)
Praça Duque de Caxias
20221-260 Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Arquivo da Marinha (Archive of the Navy)
Praça Barão de Ladário - Centro
Edif. do 1º Distrito Naval - Térreo
20091-000 Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Arquivo do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro (Archive of the Historical and Geographical Institute of Brazil)
Av Augusto Severo 8
20000 Rio de Janeiro, RJ

State Archives

In Brazil each state has its own archives that are separate from those of the national government. They serve as repositories for records about their particular area. Records of genealogical value at state archives may include the following:

  • Civil registrations
  • Censuses
  • Inventories and wills
  • Land records, including land grants (sesmarias)
  • Military records
  • Orphan records
  • Notarial records
  • Registers of foreigners
  • Slave records

The state archives of Brazil are open to members of the public who have proper identification and permission (that is, a letter of introduction from your country’s embassy, a university official, or another notable organization).

Following are the addresses of the state archives:

Arquivo Geral do Estado do Acre
Av. Epaminondas Jácome
nº 3047 - Centro - Rio Branco - AC
CEP. 69908-420
Tel/Fax: (0**68) 3224-3855

Arquivo Público de Alagoas
Praça D. Pedro II - 57 - Centro
57020-130 Maceió - AL
Tel.: (082) 3326-6722

Fundação Cultural do Estado de Amapá
Av. Ivaldo Veras s/nº - Jardim Marcozero
Macapá - AP - CEP. 68903-032
Tel.: (096) 3212-5125

Arquivo Público Estadual de Amazonas
Rua Bernardo Ramos, 265
69005-320 Manaus - AM
Tel.: (092) 3232-3878

Arquivo Público do Estado da Bahia
Ladeira de Quintas, 50 - Baixa de Quintas
40320-140 Salvador - BA
Tel.: (071) 233-4455/233-6231
Fax: (071) 233-5112/244-2747

Arquivo Público do Estado do Ceará
Rua Senador Alencar, 348 - Centro
CEP: 60030-050 - Fortaleza CE
Fone: (0xx85) 3101.2615

Arquivo Público do Distrito Federal
SAP, Lote 7 - Bloco 41 - NOVACAP
71215-000 Brasília - DF
Tel.: (061) 361-1454
Fax: (061) 233-2191

Arquivo Público Estadual do Espírito Santo
Rua Pedro Palácios, 76 - Cidade Alta
29015-160 Vitória - ES
Tel.: (027) 3223-7524
Fax: (027) 3223-2952

Arquivo Histórico do Estado de Goiás
Centro Cultural Marieta Telles Machado, Anexo 2 - Setor Central
Praça Dr. Pedro Ludovico Teixeira, 2 - Goiânia - GO - CEP. 74003010
Tel: (0**62) 3212-4606

Arquivo Público do Estado do Maranhão
Rua Nazaré, 218 - Centro
65010-410 São Luís - MA
Tel.: (098) 3232-4544/3238-1399

Arquivo Público de Mato Grosso
Centro Político Administrativo - CPA
Palácio Paiaguás - Bloco 3
78050-970 Cuiabá - MT
Tel.: (065) 313-3103
Fax: (065) 313-2253

Arquivo Público do Estado de Mato
Grosso do Sul
Av. Fernando Corrêa da Costa 559 - Centro
Campo Grande - MS - CEP. 79002-820
Tel.: (067) 382-5440

Arquivo Público Mineiro (Minas Gerais)
Av. João Pinheiro, 372 – Funcionários
Belo Horizonte, MG 30130-180
Telefax: (31) 3269-1060 / (31) 3269-1167
Internet: sec=5

Arquivo Público do Estado do Pará
Travessa Campos Sales, 273 - Comércio
66019-050 Belém - PA
Tel.: (091) 241-9700/4046
Fax: (091) 241-9097

Arquivo Administrativo da Paraíba
Rua Presidente Kennedy, s/nº -
subsolo - Paraíba - PB - CEP. 58042-100
Tel: (0**83) 3211-6259

Arquivo Público do Estado do Paraná

Rua dos Funcionários 1796
Cabral - 80035-050
Curitiba - Paraná
Telefone 41 3352-2299
Fax 41 3252-1728

Arquivo Público Estadual de Pernambuco
Rua do Imperador D. Pedro II
371-Santo Antônio
50010-240 Recife - PE
Tel.: (081) 224-0085/9848
Tel./Fax: (081) 224-0620

Arquivo Público e Museu Histórico do Piauí
Rua Coelho Rodrigues, 1016 - Centro
64000-160 Teresina - PI
Tel.: (086) 3221-5541

Arquivo Público Estadual do Rio Grande do Norte
Rua José Agnaldo de Barros 2872
Parque das Colinas
59065-000 Natal - RN
Tel./Fax: (084) 207-3351

Arquivo Histórico do Rio Grande do Sul
Memorial do Rio Grande do Sul
na Rua Sete de Setembro
1020- 2º andar, Centro
Porto Alegre-RS-Cep: 90010-191
Phone: (51) 3227.0883, 3221.0825

Arquivo Público do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul
Rua Riachuelo, 1031 Centro Histórico
90010-270 Porto Alegre - RS
Tel.Fax: 55(51) 3288-9100


Arquivo Público do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
Rua do Riachuelo, 287 Centro
20230-011 Rio de Janeiro - RJ
Tel.: (021) 232-6299
Tel/Fax: (021) 232-7338/221-7960

Arquivo Geral do Estado de Rondônia
Esplanada das Secretarias
Av. Farquar, s/n
78900-350 Porto Velho - RO
Tel.: (069) 222-2801/222-8397/221-8521

Arquivo Público do Estado de Roraima
Rua Miguel Lupe Martins, s/n - São Pedro
69306-490 Boa Vista - RR
Tel.: (095) 3621-3871

Arquivo Público do Estado de Santa Catarina
Av. Mauro Ramos, 1264 - Centro
88020-302 Florianópolis - SC
Telefone(s): (48) 224-6080; 224-0890; Fax: (48) 224-7019
E-mails: ;

Arquivo Público do Estado de São Paulo
Rua Voluntários da Pátria, 596 - Santana
02010-000 São Paulo - SP
Tel.: (011) 6221-4785

Arquivo Público Estadual de Sergipe
Praça Fausto Cardoso, 348 - Centro
49010-080 Aracaju - SE
Tel.: (079) 3179-1908

Arquivo Público Estadual de Tocantins
99000 Palmas, TO

Civil and District Civil Registry Offices

In Brazil, records created by the local government, including birth, death, and marriage records, are kept in the local registry offices (Cartório Municipal) or the district registry offices (Cartório Distrital). These records are available to the public. For more information about these offices and their records, see Brazil Civil Registration- Vital Records.

If records are not available through the Family History Library from the towns your ancestors were from, you may need to write to the registry offices in that area. For help writing a letter in Portuguese, see the Portuguese Letter-Writing Guide(36341).

Diocese and Parish Archives

There are two archdiocese in Brazil, each of which has many records of genealogical and historical value for its regions:

Arquivo da Cúria Metropolitana
Av. República do Chile, 245 (Catedral)- Centro
20031-170- Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Tel.: (021) 292-3132
Fax: (021) 221-8093


Arquivo da Cúria Metropolitana
Av. Nazaré, 993- Ipiranga
04263-100- São Paulo, SP
Tel.: (011) 826-0133
Fax: (011) 825-6806

Some dioceses of the Catholic Church have gathered copies of local parish church records into the diocese archive. For records not available through the Family History Library, you can write to these archives and request brief searches of their records. For additional information, see Brazil Church Records.

Catholic Church records less than 100 years old are usually kept by the local parish, which may also have earlier records. It is possible to write to local parishes and church archives for information. See Brazil Church Records for more information.

A few records for other church denominations are found in the Family History Library Catalog. For records of other church denominations, write directly to the church by consulting a local telephone directory, or check the Genealogia no Brasil web site at:

Libraries and Archives of Portugal

Some pre-1822 sources for Brazil are also available in libraries in Portugal. Check the Family History Library Catalog under "Portugal," or contact these libraries and ask about their collection, hours, services, and fees:

'Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo
Alameda da Universidade
1649-010 LISBOA
Telf.: +351 21 781 15 00
Fax: +351 21 793 72 30
e-mail geral:

Arquivo Histórico Militar(Historical Military Archive)
Largo do Caminho de Ferro, 12
1100-105 Lisboa
218 842 563 Fax: 218 842 514
Internet: Arquivo Histórico Militar website

Biblioteca e Arquivo Central de Marinha(General Archive of the Navy)
Praça do Império
1400 - 206 Lisboa
Tel.: 213658520
Fax: 213658523
Arquivo Geral da Marinha website

Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino (Historical Oversea Archive)
Calçada da Boa-Hora, 30 (Palácio de Ega)
1300-095 Lisboa
Phone: 351+213616330

Biblioteca da Ajuda (Library of Assistance)
Palácio da Ajuda
1300 Lisboa
Tel / Fax 351 21 363 85 92

Biblioteca Nacional (National Library)
Campo Grande 83
1749-081 Lisboa
Tel.: 217-982-000
Fax: 217-982-138

For information on records of Brazil in Portugal, see:

Almeida, Eduardo de Castro, Inventário dos documentos relativos ao Brasil existentes no Arquivo da Marinha e Ultramar de Lisboa (Inventory of documents relating to Brazil that exist in the Marinha and Utramarino archives). 8 vols. Rio de Janeiro, 1913–1938.

Private and Public Libraries

Brazilian libraries have collected published sources such as local histories, phone directories, maps, newspapers, and genealogies. See Brazil Genealogy for information about compiled family histories.

The National Library has an extensive collection of manuscripts and published sources. For information, write to:

Fundação Biblioteca Nacional (National Library Establishment)
Av. Rio Branco 219-239
20040-008 Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Tel 55 21 3095 3879
Fax 55 21 3095 3811

Other useful libraries include:

Instituto Genealógico Brasileiro
Rua Sete de Abril, 230
01044-000 São Paulo, SP
Tel.: (11) 257-4840

Universidade de São Paulo
Cidade Universitária
Armando de Salles Oliveira
CP 8191
05508-900 São Paulo
Fax: (11) 815-2142

Many of the archives, museums, libraries, and universities of Brazil can be found on the Internet at:

Historical and Genealogical Societies

In Brazil there are organized historical and genealogical societies. Some societies maintain libraries and archives that collect valuable records. For more information, see Brazil Societies.

Inventories, Registers, and Catalogs

Many archives have catalogs, inventories, guides, or periodicals that describe their records and how to use them. If possible, study these guides before you visit, or use the records during your visit so you can use your time more effectively. See:

Catálogo dos arquivos brasileiros (Catalog of the Brazilian archives). Rio de Janeiro: Arquivo Nacional, 1977. (FHL book 981 A3b; film 1218975)

A guide to the archives and libraries for slavery records in Brazil is:

Guia brasileiro de fontes para a história da África, da escravidão negra e do negro na sociedade atual: fontes arquivistas (Brazilian Guide of Sources for the History of Africa, Black Slavery and of the Negro in the Present Society). 2 vols. Arquivo Nacional: Departamento de Imprensa Nacional, 1988. (FHL book 981 A3g) This guide describes the records in federal, state, and ecclesiastical archives.


The GLOBE Archive is a service that allows access to the digital version of all pages and material in the Journal GLOBE published since its first edition in July 29, 1925.

The Jornal do Brasil Newspaper has a trial version of the Official Centennial Collection of Brazil online.