Decretos 1843,1845-N.º2530 (2)Biblioteca Central de Marinha
Although the Secretary of State for Marine and Overseas Affairs was created by the Charter of July 28, 1736, the origins of the Archive only date back to 1843. The Decree of February 15 reorganizes the aforementioned Secretary of State and establishing a file
However, the frequent reforms that, from constitutionalism onwards remodeled the Ministry, incorporated its funds into the National Library (1897). The detachment of the Ministry of Colonies led to the fact that the documentation of some of the Navy's funds became dispersed in different bodies, namely in the Overseas Historical Archive.
Only in the sixties of the 20th century, after the creation of the General Archive of the Navy open to the public (Decree-Law No. 42840, of February 10, 1960), the documentation came back to the Navy
Installations of the General Archives of the Navy–Seamen Barracks in Alcântara
The Central Archive of the Navy was created by Regulatory Decree nº 35/94, of 1 September, which, at the same time, extinguished the previous General Archive of the Navy. It was an organism of cultural nature and totally dependent, organically, on the Central Library of the Navy, it includes the Central Archive and the Historical Archive.
In 1997–98, it was transferred from the facilities of the Marinheiros Barracks, in Alcântara, to the former Fábrica Nacional de Cordoaria Building, on Rua da Junqueira, in Lisbon.
In turn, the Organic Law of the Navy published in 2009 (Decree-law 233/2009, of September 14) places the Central Archive under the responsibility of the Information Technology Services Superintendence, with the name of Documentation, Information and Central Archive of the Navy, continuing the Historical Archive in dependence of the Central Library of the Navy.
Folha de rosto do regimento dos Cap. de Mar e GuerraBiblioteca Central de Marinha
The documentary collection of the Historical Archive is not only the record of its memory in its multiple activities in diversified geographical areas, it is also a part of the history of Portugal.
Through its funds, subjects as diverse as health and the evolution of medicine, scientific development, new technologies, shipbuilding, fisheries, merchant and recreational marine, emigration, religion, international relations can be studied.
The documentation of the Historical Archives is further enriched through the custody of private archives, received by donation or deposit, from Navy soldiers and their descendants.
The documentary collection of the Historical Archive is not only the record of its memory in its multiple activities in diverse geographical areas, it is also a part of Portuguese History and Humanity, including being the guardians of a document classified as a memory of humanity, the report of the first air crossing of the South Atlantic carried out by Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral in 1922