Reading room regulations

The documents stored in the CP Document Centre and Historical Archive are national heritage and are therefore a collective heritage.

This means that CP is responsible for its conservation, safety and access, but these responsibilities also involve all the users.

These regulations lay out the rules that define the objectives. On the one hand, we have to avoid situations that make it difficult for researchers and other users to do their work, making access as easy as possible, but on the other hand we also have to ensure the records are protected and there have to be the same rules for everyone.

As you will see, these rules hold CP and the users equally responsible. If you follow these rules you will be contributing towards making access to the documents easy and ensuring they are kept safe and in a good state of repair.

The following rules should be followed on a daily basis.

There can, however, be leeway to grant exceptional access whenever justified and authorised by the department managers so long as this does not put the integrity of the artefacts in risk.

1.1. Any Portuguese or foreign national aged over 18 has access to the CP Document Centre and Historical Archive reading room.

1.2. The reading room is open Tuesday to Thursday from 09:00 to 13:00, (if scheduled in advance).

1.3. The room has six places for readers.

2.1. If they want to consult any documents, readers must fill in a form and show their citizen's card or other valid ID.

The details on the form are confidential and are solely for internal use and statistics. 

2.2. If readers want to consult a document they should complete a requisition form in legible hand writing. 

2.3. The use of the reading room and the frailty of the artefacts means that any actions that could damage the contents or harm the users is forbidden.

2.4. The following rules must be obeyed:

  • handle the documents carefully so they are not damaged in any way;
  • only use pencils or propelling pencils.

The readers are responsible for all the documents they receive until they are returned and checked by the staff.

Under no circumstance can the readers write in the documents or take them out of order. They cannot put opened books one on top of another, fold pages, bend binders, lick their fingers to turn over pages or handle the documents in any way that could damage them.

2.5. Readers must respect the order of the documents they are given and handle them with the greatest care.

2.6. If the readers note any anomaly while they are consulting the documents, they must inform the staff immediately and only the staff can make any corrections.

Documents in a poor state of conservation are only available under special conditions.

They can only be seen upon special authorisation.

3.1. Limitations may be put on taking copies or scans depending on the state of the documents.

Manuscripts, old books and original documents cannot be photocopied.

3.2. Copies of complete works or restricted documents are subject to regulations regarding copyright etc. and any other rights or obligations on the data, works, provisions or other details in a data base; security, confidentiality, personal data protection and private life; access to public documents.

3.3. Any use of copies in documents for publication, research work, exhibition or commercial use requires authorisation from the Board. 

The following forms may have to be completed depending on the final use of the documents requested by the users:

  • Request for images and CD recording;
  • Declaration of liability;
  • Requisition for internal consultation;
  • Requisition for external consultation;
  • Request for photocopies.

The request for copies must state the name of the documents.

3.4. Readers will be asked to leave two copies to be added to the artefacts of the Document Centre and Historical Archive for property rights. 

3.5. The price of copies are given in the Reading Room Price List.

4.1. Any readers who do not comply with these rules will be asked to leave immediately.

4.2. Damage or theft of any document will be punished pursuant to the legislation in force.