Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Grave of Manuel de Oliveira Lima at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Oliveira Lima was a Brazilian journalist, author, and diplomat who strongly opposed Brazilian monarchism and expansionism. He was a widely published author on trade and diplomatic policy, and wrote what is still the best biography of João VI (King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves from 1816 to 1822).

During his lifetime, Oliveira Lima collected the third-largest library in Brazil, smaller only than the National Library of Brazil and the Library of the University of São Paulo. Yet, he donated the 40,000-volume collection to the Catholic University of America (CUA) in 1916 out of a fear that it would not receive adequate care in Brazil. The Oliveira Lima Collection still exists, and is considered the finest collection of Luso-Brazilian materials in the U.S. There is no other specialized collection of comparable depth anywhere else in the world -- particularly for the study of Portuguese expansion in the 16th century and for the social and cultural history of Brazil from the arrival of the Portuguese court (1808) to 1930.

From 1923 until his death in 1928, Oliveira Lima served as professor of international law at CUA.

Oliveira died suddenly at his home in Washington, D.C., on March 24, 1928. He was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery. His tombstone does not include his name; rather, it is inscribed with the Portugese phrase "Aqui jaz um amigo dos livros" (Here lies a friend of books).

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