Madeira LibrariesActivities 

Madeira Libraries

Library/Documentation Center – Contemporary Art Museum

The museum has a small library/documentation centre, which is open to whoever is interested. In this documentation centre are gathered publications and editions, like newspapers, catalogues, books, postcards, cut paperwork and magazines, which are common in its main theme, that is, contemporary art. For each artist represented in the museum’s collection it was organised an individual related folder.

Regional Public Library

The Regional Public Library is a dynamic institution, with an essentially patrimonial and erudite feature but equally accessible to the general population. It is regulated and lays on certain principles such as universality, plurality and impartiality, always respecting different points of view that can be scientific, philosophical, political, cultural or religious. The equality in terms of access to information and the support in education through lifetime makes the Regional Public Library a precious instrument of info-inclusion, literacy and cultural development of individuals and of society as a whole. With a great variety of cultural offers, it can simultaneously be a pleasant and attractive area, where you will really feel pleased to be in.

Foreign Culture’s Library

The Foreign Culture’s Library exists essentially as a result of donations and assembles several reading rooms, such as: Simon Bolivar, American Culture Corner, Zwanayo, Sir Winston Churchill, France, Germany and Italy. The Library is a public institution that counts with the support of the embassies from the countries represented. The existing divisions of the library combine diverse areas of knowledge. The diversity of cultures is a plus for the reader’s cultural enrichment. Great part of the collections includes ancient and contemporary documentation.

John Dos Passos Library

The Cultural Centre John Dos Passos intention is to pay a tribute not only to the Portuguese-descendant and writer, John Dos Passos, but to all emigration. In addition to the scientific investigation department, which intention is to study subjects related to the writer John Dos Passos and his vision on the United States of America, the centre’s main goal is to develop cultural activities within the ambit of literature.

Library/Documentation Center – Quinta das Cruzes Museum

The Library is focused on decorative arts, containing in its assets specific documentation related to sculpture, painting and museology. The aim of the library is to function as a study background of the collections that exist in the museum. It has its own individual area available to investigators and collectors and the study in their museological area.

 Library Specialized in Cultural Heritage

The Cultural Heritage Services(CHS)have been carrying out a specialized library in this area, with the aim at supporting research carried out by the technical scholars, as well as, providing information to students and professionals.

Study Center Of Atlantic History Library

The Atlantic History Study Centre (CEHA) was established by the regional decree law nº 20/85 of September 17th, under the scope of the Regional Secretariat of Tourism and Culture. It is an institution of scientific investigation which aims at the coordination of the research and to make known the history of the Atlantic Islands.

Madeira’s Parliament Library

The building where Madeira’s Parliament operates was inaugurated on December 4th, in 1987. To the ceremony attended the highest local and national entities. The Parliament’s library is located on the 1st floor, where the former customs agency use to be. It is now in a restructuring process.

Municipal Library of Funchal

The municipal library was established by town hall deliberation dated from the 8th of December of 1838. Having initiated its wide bibliographic collection with the ‘Encyclopedie Méthodique’, presently it has about 150 000 volumes. Also part of its valuable assets collection are books, magazines and documents of great bibliographic importance for Madeira. Funchal’s municipal library carries out an important role as being the secure room where several document collections are preserved. These are, above all, useful for historians and researchers from the diverse areas of knowledge.

Calouste Gulbenkian Municipal Library

Considering that it was a remarkable event in the librarian area, on the occasion of its opening the municipal library Calouste Gulbenkian had an enormous amount of visitors. Three major points caught the public’s eye: free access to books, book loans and a service completely free of charge. The Gulbenkian libraries had a particular characteristic – their attendance comprehended people from different ages and social standings, from children to adults. The libraries also had a diversified documental basis and comprehended different areas of knowledge, from entertainment reading to a more intellectual type of reading.

Municipal Library of Calheta

The cultural area has been an important and constant subject of concern for the municipal administration. After purchasing the Calouste Gulbenkian libraries in several parishes of Calheta, the administration also organizes different and various events, as well as cultural activities related to reading throughout the year. Presently, the municipality is also proud of hosting and counting with the Centre of Arts Casa das Mudas, where the Municipal Library of Calheta is established.

Municipal Library of Ponta do Sol

The Municipal Library of Ponta do Sol is a public service that intends to make easier the access to culture, information, education and entertaining and make it available to everyone, in order to maximise the cultural level and quality of life of Madeiran people. Being also a centre of educational resources, its main goals are: to stimulate the pleasure of reading and to encourage and develop the understanding about the World we live in; to create conditions to the fusion of literary, scientific and artistic creations, simultaneously ensuring the development of the individual’s capacity of criticism; to preserve, to value and to promote the written patrimony, focused on local assets, which will contribute for the reinforcement of the region’s cultural identity; to promote and publish documents and updated useful information, in various forms, concerning different areas of knowledge, thus, fulfilling the needs of users and different social groups.

Municipal Library of Ribeira Brava

“A second and determinant way of striving against the existing unfairness regarding access (…) to knowledge through the internet (…) is through public libraries. To all of those who are far off education, the library might be a way of overcoming the existing economic barriers…” The library has recently opened to the public, but it used to be known as the Ribeira Brava Cinema. Today, and after being totally rebuilt, it is where the municipal library is located. It is full of works and documents available to everyone. However, the autarchic delegates allowed the construction of the present library as they were also sensitive to questions related to culture and literacy. This was the only project approved in the Region under the scope of the Public Libraries National Network, supported by the Chief Department of Book and Libraries, formerly know by Portuguese Institute of Books and Libraries.

Municipal Library of Câmara de Lobos

The Municipal Library of Câmara de Lobos is a cultural and leisure activity area that constantly invests in the satisfaction and personal development of its attendants. We aim to actively participate in the socio-educational community, providing different services associated to information as well as stimulating educational and leisure activities. Our purpose is to educate for culture and, consequently, to citizenship. However, awareness and conscious of local government representatives, from the period, towards these issues of culture and literacy, allowed the construction of the existing library, the single root project approved in the region within the Public Libraries National Network, supported by the Chief Department of Book and Libraries, formerly know by Portuguese Institute of Books and Libraries.

Municipal Library of Machico

In 1964, the library of Machico was established in the 1st floor of the town-hall by initiative of the Calouste Gulbekian Fundation. A resident of Machico, D. Carolina da Conceição de Ornelas Afonso, undertook the responsibility as the library’s administrator. On September 14th of 1964, the Calouste Gulbenkian Municipal Library n. º 74 is established. After some years, the library started to struggle with difficulties in responding to the reader’s needs and having as main goal to provide an excellent service the attendants, it was transferred to the left wing on the ground-floor of the town-hall. Since 2008, the Municipal Library of Machico is set in a very worthy area, the Forum Machico, and in the service of all community.

Municipal Library of Santa Cruz

This area was incorporated within several properties that were built in Madeira in the XIX century. The “Quinta do Revoredo” was the property of a middle class English family who used it as a country-house. In 1988, it was acquired by the Town Hall of Santa Cruz with the purpose of creating a cultural forum. In 1993, it was established as the House of Culture of Santa Cruz, the first in Madeira.

Municipal Library of Santana

In 1997, the Town Hall suffered some enlargement works under the responsibility of the architect José Maurílio Teixeira Machado. This was a very modern repair work which included the construction of the Noble Hall and the Municipal Library. Since January 2010, the Library is set in the House of Culture of Santana.

Municipal Library of São Vicente

The municipal library of São Vicente is a cultural service provided by the Town Hall of São Vicente. The library has a documental collection available with the purpose of facing the information and organisation needs of the local and regional community. Its operational conduct is ruled according to the institution’s regulation laws.

Municipal Library of Porto Santo

In 1960, Porto Santo’s first public library was established through a protocol between the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Town Hall of Porto Santo. By that time the collection’s total amount was of 4 000 books. From 1982 the library started to work full time. Nowadays, its documental fund consists on books, video tapes, CD-Rom’s, regional newspapers. The existing collection is growing and it aims at fulfilling the users’ needs.

Documentation Centre Porta 33

The Porta 33 – Contemporary Art Association Quebra Costas was established in Funchal in 1989. It is a private cultural association, with no financial purpose, declared as an association of Public Utility by the Local Government. The association Porta 33, as a non-profitable association, functions also as an art gallery allowing the association to incite the collection of contemporary art. The Porta 33 is supported by the Regional Government and, time to time, by the Luso-American Foundation for Development, by the town hall of Funchal and some business organizations based on the Autonomous Region. From 1997 to 2004, the Porta 33 was supported by the Contemporary Art Institute / Ministry of Culture.

Information and Documentation Center/Youth Shop

The Information and Documentation Centre/Youth Shop of Funchal is a division of the Regional Department for Youth and Sports and a public organization under the tutelage of the Regional Secretariat for Education and Human Resources.

Fernando Augusto Theatre Library 

The theatre is a public service of national importance. It is an expression of social and cultural reality of a community, a transformation agent, and as such, should be encouraged. Consequently, the awareness of the necessity to offer cultural instruments of the theatre’s knowledge to the region, in the sense of services rendered to the community, Funchal’s Experimental Theatre (TEF) / Theatrical Company, opened on the 30th of November 2005, the Theatre library Fernando Augusto. The library gathers the asset collected throughout the years by the Experimental Theatre and a theatre library with about 1500 book from the asset of Fernando Augusto which belongs to the actor Élvio Camacho and was gently assigned to Funchal’s Experimental Theatre.

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