Recovering CHAM’s history


In 2023, one of the priorities of the new Digital Paradigm thematic line has been the organization and preservation of the institutional archive of the Centre for the Humanities (CHAM) as well as the research units that originated the centre.

In a first phase, the team’s efforts were concentrated on the reorganization and classification of the CHAM digital archive according to the "Consolidated List for the classification and evaluation of public information" ( issued by the General Directorate for Book, Archives and Libraries (DGLAB). CHAM is the first research unit in Portugal to apply this public information management reference in the classification of its current and archived documentation. This process has been closely monitored by DGLAB staff and has already allowed CHAM to offer important contributions that will be included in the next version of the classification table, thus adapting it more effectively to the procedures and needs of a research centre.

In the second phase of the project, the physical archive of the Centro de História da Cultura (1980-2013) and Centro de História d’Além-Mar (1992-2013) has been reorganised, catalogued and digitized. This work enabled to rediscover the history of the two units now integrated in CHAM as well as the beginnings of scientific research carried out at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (NOVA FCSH). To that extent CHAM is also leading the way by giving priority to the preservation of its archival heritage and the recovery of its institutional memory, the same year that NOVA University completes half a century of existence.

The workgroup responsible for this process – coordinated by Paula Ochôa, an integrated researcher at CHAM – is composed of Carla Vieira, also an integrated researcher at CHAM, and Mathilde da Silva, a Master's student at NOVA FCSH, with the support and collaboration of Helder Mendes, Science and Technology Manager at CHAM, Maria de Aires Carmo, from the Library and Documentation Division of NOVA FCSH, as well as Rita Gago and Madalena Bourbon Ribeiro, both from DGLAB.