The Palace’s Library holds around 3 000 books, collected between the 16th and the 19th century by different members of the families Mascarenhas, Almeida Portugal and Távora. Commentaries of the Bible and hagiography, hunting and culinary arts, diplomacy and warfare, History, Philosophy, Belles-Lettres, Botany, Gardening and Agronomy are some of the domains covered by this collection. The Library of the palace is a remarkable example of a private library belonging to a Portuguese noble House, with the special attraction of including works which belonged to two famous authors from this family, Dona Leonor de Almeida Portugal, who was 4th Marchioness of Alorna and Dom José Trazimundo Mascarenhas Barreto who was the 7th Marquis of Fronteira.

The library of the Fronteira Palace is available to all readers interested in its contents. However, direct consultation is only possible by appointment after contact with the office of the Foundation, and is conditioned by the schedules, norms, and activities going on in the Palace.

The Palace’s Library was treated in 2012 with the support of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (PTDC/CCI-CIN/102262/2008) and the Research Center for Classical Studies of the University of Lisbon. The on-line catalogue, which is now available for consultation on the internet, was a result of this project, coordinated by Professor Paulo Farmhouse Alberto (University of Lisbon) with the technical support of Dr. Cristina Domingues (Museum of Science of the University of Lisbon).



The library at the Fronteira Palace is open to all readers that show interest in its collection. The access is granted through an appointment that needs to have prior approval by the administrative services of the Foundation of the Houses of Fronteira and Alorna. This appointment is restricted by the Palace’s opening hours, norms and activities that might be taking place there. Any request to see the books may be denied due to their state of conservation. All the visits should be preceded by the consultation of the library’s on-line catalogue and a request of the works in question with a minimum of two business days’ notice. To ensure the availability of the documents the reader should fill out the form available locally or at FCFA’s website. The form can be sent to FCFA through the e-mail address or by letter, addressed to Palácio Fronteira, Largo São Domingos de Benfica, 1, 1500-554 Lisboa. The answer to the request will be sent through telephone, e-mail or other suitable means.


  1. In the act of consultation, an identification document that proves the identity of the interested party should be presented
  2. Regardless of the number of documents requested, only one document can be consulted at a time
  3. The interested party cannot take any document outside the designated reading space
  4. The usage of pens, ballpoint pens or markers is forbidden. The usage of pencils is suggested
  5. The presence of sharp instruments is forbidden in the consultation area
  6. The books must be carefully maneuvered. To mark and follow the text, the reader can use paper strips and not fingers, rulers or pencils
  7. Never write on paper over the documents
  8. Never force the opening of bound documents, especially if the binding is vellum, a material that is especially sensitive to the humidity and temperature conditions. Every time the opening of a volume proves to be difficult, request the help of an employee.
  9. Do not stack open books and do not leave the volumes open
  10. It is forbidden to erase watermarks or decoration elements of the binding
  11. It is forbidden to eat and drink during the consultation
  12. For the handling of some works, the employee may request that the reader use gloves, providing the equipment for free
  13. For preservation reasons, the reproduction of parts of documents may imply using photography, at the consultation site, and at the expense of the interested party. It is mandatory to give FCFA the negative or the image in digital format.
  14. Any paper made or published in which there is information or iconographic documents from the library, it is mandatory that the source be stated, according to the legislation under Author’s Rights.
  15. A copy of any paper made or published in which there is information or iconographic documents from the library must be given to FCFA.

Final Provisions:

The cases not covered or any interpretation/operation questions will be solved by FCFA’s services. The present regulation can be changed or revised anytime it is deemed necessary and without any prior notice.      

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