Brazil in the World

The Rare Works Collection of the National Library of Brasilia presents the participation of Brazil in the Universal Expositions of the 19th century

Folha de rosto do livro The Empire of Brazil at the universal exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia (1876) by BrazilBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

Brazilian Participation in Universal Expositions

In the second half of the 19th century, the Universal Expositions were intended to be major scientific and commercial events, and featured innovations from all over the world, creating a great celebration of commerce and the dissemination of science, technology, art, and culture

Folha de rosto do livro The Empire of Brazil at the universal exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia (1876) by BrazilBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

Universal Expositions

Brazil first participated in 1862 and intended to show the world its natural and industrial potential in order to attract, besides immigrants, investors and foreign markets.

Primeiro capítulo do livro The Empire of Brazil at the universal exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia (1876) by BrazilBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

The nations that participated in the expositions produced books as a means of making their countries better known to the world. The BNB Rare Works Collection holds the books produced for the 1876 Universal Exposition in Philadelphia and the 1904 Universal Exposition in Louisiana.

Sumário do livro The Empire of Brazil at the universal exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia (1876) by BrazilBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

In the 1876 publication tells of Brazil's mineral resources and the institutional organization of the Empire. The event in Philadelphia was visited by Emperor Pedro II. 

Livro aberto do livro The Empire of Brazil at the universal exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia (1876) by BrazilBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

One of the differences between the first book produced in 1862 and that of 1879 was a mention of the Imperial Government measure creating the School of Mines, dedicated to teaching subjects related to the exploitation of Brazil's mineral resources.

Livro Brazil at the Louisiana purchase exposition (1904) by BrazilBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

The work edited for the Saint-Louis Exposition, in 1904, substantially altered the standard of representation of Brazil in relation to its minerals.

Página 7 do livro Brazil at the Louisiana purchase exposition (1904) by BrazilBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

By using more photographs in the 1904 propaganda book, Brazil sought to increase its persuasive power.

Página ilustrada do livro Brazil at the Louisiana purchase exposition (1904) by BrazilBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

In search of investment, some companies in the mineral sector sent photographs to the Saint Louis Exposition showing mines in operation. 

In a standardized form, the catalog details the geographic distribution of each of the minerals in the catalog, seeking to draw attention to the quality of Brazil's mineral resources. 

Travelers who described aspects of Brazil. The collection of their works is part of the travel books section and consists of accounts by witnesses, whose records and observations help us see the reality of Brazil at the time.

Frontispício do livro Three thousand miles through Brazil from Rio de Janeiro to Maranhão (1886) by James W. WellsBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

There are hundreds of works, in several languages, in which travelers report on the inhabitants, social life, uses and customs, fauna, flora, and other aspects of the former Portuguese colony, especially during the 19th century, after João VI decreed the opening of the ports.

Folha de rosto do livro The new Brazil (1907) by Marie Robinson WrightBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

An iconographic book that portrays Brazil at the beginning of the century. It shows us various scenes of physical, historical, urban, social, and cultural Brazil, written by an American historian and geographer who specialized in the study of Latin American states and nations.   

Marie Robinson Wright, American travel writer, wrote books about Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Mexico. She was only the second woman to join the São Paulo Historical and Geographical Institute, in 1901.

Ilustração de Dr. Affonso Augusto Moreira Pena (1907) by Marie Robinson WrightBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

The work is dedicated to Dr. Affonso Augusto Moreira Pena, President of the United States of Brazil, from November 15, 1906 to June 14, 1909. The book commemorates the centenary of the opening of Brazilian ports to world trade.

Página 310 do livro The new Brazil (1907) by Marie Robinson WrightBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

Marie Robinson Wright is distinguished for being the first woman to publish an article in the National Geographic Magazine—something rare for the time. Entitled The Falls of Iguazu, it had photographs by the author.

Capítulo I do livro Three thousand miles through Brazil from Rio de Janeiro to Maranhão (1886) by James W. WellsBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

Contracted by the Imperial Government to research a route for the final stretch of the Pedro II railroad, James W. Wells, an English engineer, traveled through Minas with a team organized by the Public Works Company from London.

Capítulo III do livro Three thousand miles through Brazil from Rio de Janeiro to Maranhão (1886) by James W. WellsBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

Wells was the only published visitor in the 1870s and one of the few from the second half of the century. Wells was in Minas from 1873 to 1875, a period when overseas visits were quite rare, which makes the document historically important.

Capítulo VII do livro Three thousand miles through Brazil from Rio de Janeiro to Maranhão (1886) by James W. WellsBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

Wells is often lyrical when referring to the Brazilian climate and landscapes. In his perception, in the Cerrado "there are gusts of wind that swirl among the twisted trees and sweep the dry leaves into spiral, gliding columns of dust and ash. “

Mapa do livro Three thousand miles through Brazil from Rio de Janeiro to Maranhão (1886) by James W. WellsBiblioteca Nacional de Brasília

Wells provided a wealth of interesting information for potential investors in Brazil. He gave a lot of geographical information, previously unrecorded, and claimed to have corrected existing maps.

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