In 1996, 1998 and 2000, the investigator-in-charge of this project prepared and published the Dicionário de Imprensa Periódica Literária do Século XX (Lisbon, Grifo Editorial, 3 volumes). We now propose to develop, with a team of researchers from an interdisciplinary background, a dictionary that will inventory, analyze and systematize the periodical press of the seventeenth, eighteenth and the early years of the nineteenth century, the press published in Portugal under the Old Regime.
The periodical press is a key tool for understanding society. Paul Valéry compared it to a fertile lab where experiences with undeniable cultural value are made. In fact, literary, historical, artistic, scientific and philosophical movements often had its genesis, maturation and public life through the disseminating and theorizing role of newspapers and magazines. For example, we recall Les Temps Modernes, La Révolution Surréaliste, La Gazette Littéraire de l’Europe, Le Journal des Savants and La Nouvelle Revue Française, considered nowadays heritage of world culture.
Thus, the periodical press is an important source for researchers of humanities and exact sciences who wish to dwell on the pulse of Portuguese society during the Old Regime. However, despite its importance, the periodical press of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is virtually inaccessible. Indeed, we don’t always have complete collections, with various issues spread across various national libraries and archives; on the other hand, some are in poor condition and therefore it’s not possible to analyze them without damaging them irreversibly. On the other hand, there is no comprehensive and thorough study about the Portuguese periodical press of the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. These are some of the compelling reasons for writing this dictionary.