National Historical Museum (Brazil)
|National Historical Museum|
The National Historical Museum outer patio
|Town or city||Rio de Janeiro|
The National Historical Museum of Brazil (Portuguese: Museu Histórico Nacional), was created in 1922, and possesses over 287,000 items, including the largest numismatic collection of Latin America. The architectural complex that houses the museum was built in 1603 as the St James of Mercy Fort; earlier structures date back to 1567, erected by order of King Sebastian I of Portugal. In 1693, the Calaboose Prison, for slaves, was built. In 1762, the Casa do Trem was added as a depot of weapons and ammunition. The last additions are the War Arsenal (1764) and the Barracks (1835).
Created in August 1922, by decree of President Epitácio Pessoa the National Historical Museum starts its activities in October, integrating the Centennial Exhibition, in two special rooms of the Casa do Trem (Ammunition Depot).
During 75 years of continuous activities, the Museum assembled the largest collection under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and has become an important center of culture, occupying gradually all the architectural complex of the Calaboose Point, where the Santiago Fort was once situated.
As the first Brazilian museum to run an official museology course, it served as a starting point for the formation of other important local museums, thus becoming internationally known in the 1940s.
Today, the museum complex occupies an area of 20,000 m2. It holds over 287,000 items, displayed in more than 25 permanent and non-permanent exhibits.
The museum library alone has over 57,000 titles, many dating back as far as the 15th century, and 50,000 documents and photographs.