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Main Reading Room


Opening hours

Monday to Friday, 9.30am -  7.30pm
Saturday, 9.30am - 5.30pm


Tel. 21 798 2000
Fax 21 798 2138
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General Collection


The General Collection is the BNP’s largest, with more than 3 million items, most of which are Portuguese publications. It covers the period from the 16th to the 21st centuries.

Initially composed of the holdings of the Library of the Royal Board of Censorship and the libraries of convents that were abolished in 1834, the collection is divided into sections of monographs by major topic, a set of special collections that have been donated to us over the years, and a huge collection of 50,000 Portuguese periodical titles and around 240 foreign ones.

The General Collection systematically contains everything that has been published in Portugal and provided to the Library under the Legal Deposit system since 1931. It also includes the theses and other academic works produced at Portugal’s universities, which have also been subject to mandatory legal deposit since 1986.


The General Reading Room is located on Level 1. It offers seating for 240 and an extensive collection of reference works, which are organised by discipline. Any holder of the Reader’s Card is free to access this collection on a self-service basis. For the terms and conditions of use, see the General Access Regulations and the Document Reproduction Regulations.


Research offices
Next to the General Reading Room, the National Library of Portugal has 12 offices that are available on request for use by researchers who require special conditions in which to undertake continuous work. See Pricelist.