Museum of Migration and Communities


The Museum of Emigration and Communities proposes to have a national scope by being constituted by Museological Nuclei and Historic Sites of Emigration and Return , organizing itself as a polynucleated museum, since it has extensions or nuclei installed in decentralized thematic physical spaces of the Museum. distributed across the city.

These centers are memory units that depend on the main museum where the main technical services are located, allowing for adequate maintenance, designed to enhance the heritage and memories of each of them and, in compliance with the museological functions: to investigate, preserve, communicate .

In these places are the documentary and museological collections of each of the nuclei, giving the context of origin an understanding of the emigration factors, as well as the visibility of the return. On the other hand, the historical sites constitute themselves as spatio-temporal references of departure or return or because they were the work of the direct initiative of emigrants.

On the other hand, the Museum is supported by an information platform conceived as a construction of content for the promotion of research activities, with migrants, descendants and associations as privileged recipients, involving scholars who focus their work in this thematic area, as well as those who are exiled or refugees, founded on 12/07/2001.

It inscribes its purposes in the perspective of the knowledge of Portuguese emigration, including the phenomenon that occurred to Africa, as well as the one that occurs today, focusing in particular on:

in emigration to Brazil (19th century and first decades of the 20th)

· in emigration to European countries (2nd half of the 20th century)

It bases its existence on the fact that geographic mobility constitutes a structural phenomenon of Portuguese society, leaving marks on all continents, not excluding the emergence of immigration as a new expression of mobility in Portugal.

It frames its quantitative justification in the fact that, between 1855 and 1914, 1,296,268 Portuguese emigrated and, in the case of the Municipality of Fafe, between 1834 and 1926, 8,722 people left. In the 20th century, in 1970, 135,000 Portuguese left for France, constituting, in that decade, the first foreign community in France, estimated at 860,000 people. In the year 2000, the Portuguese abroad totaled 4,806,353, spread over the five continents.

This project is based, on the other hand, on the visibility of the discovery of the effects of emigration in the territories of destination and return, as well as in the expressions that reflect the crossing of cultures, transforming them into heritage marks of economic, social and cultural history .

O webmuseum, ças a communication space,It’s a project understood as an information platform and promotion of research and dissemination activities organized in the following areas: Thematic Rooms, Archive, House Museum, Museum Centers and Historic Sites, taking into account the Municipality of origin and the structure of services, integrating a dimension national history.

The Diaspora Room is constituted as a database, organized by geographic axes: Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Brazil and other South American countries, in the sense of identification through passport records;

the Sala da Memória gives visibility to the material and symbolic expressions of emigration in the places of destination and return, in architecture, in the transit of ideas, in the development of economic, social and cultural initiatives expressed in urban and rural public space and of philanthropy , as well as the influences on behavior in private life;

the Family Room seeks to build or access genealogies from the NEPS – Center for Population and Society Studies of the University of Minho database, prepared using the Norberta Amorim Parish Reconstitution Method, as well as complete the organization of genealogies, through from other documentary sources and family information, as well as aspects of the “life history” of each of its members;

the Sala das Comunidades is dedicated to associations of emigrants in Brazil, Europe, North America, Africa, other countries in South America, Asia, allowing for the knowledge of their history, the dissemination of their activities and the maintenance of ties with the territories of origin;

the Sala da Lusofonia discloses the life and work of figures associated with the construction of the Lusophony territory, highlighting the most significant cultural expressions from the time of appropriation of colonial territories and the time when Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the Kingdom;

the Knowledge Room is available for the dissemination of scientific works in the different fields of knowledge of colonization and emigration, in its multiple thematic approaches and perspectives, also seeking to give visibility to documents, authors and scientific institutions.

The content in each of these categories determines the computerized structural organization of the project, which gave meaning to its automation.

The Casa Museu , as a Historical Museum, is an Interpretation Center, constituting itself as one of the references of the Emigration Museum, structured in rooms for the reconstitution of the origin, travel, and migratory experience. It displays personal objects, reconstituting environments linked to the family’s daily life, giving note of the migratory process and social mobility.

The location seeks to enhance the building, taking into account the spatial location, its architectural features, the interior decoration and its furniture, as well as the history of the Brazilian Family, in public and private contexts. The figure of the emigrant summarizes the most significant expressions of Portuguese culture in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

It is not, therefore, a question of reinventing the past, but only the desire to establish the possible interpretations of it within a framework of open perspectives, taking into account the diversity of visitors as recipients.

The Museological Nuclei and Historical Sites stem, fundamentally, from the Sala da Memória and constitute the physical spaces, organizing a polynucleated museum, designed to enhance the heritage and memory associated with them. In these places and sites you will find the documentary and museological collections of each of the centers spread across the country, giving the context of origin an understanding of the factors of emigration, as well as the visibility of the local return.

In the case of Fafe already studied, the nuclei show the material and symbolic expressions of the cycle of Emigration and Return of Brazil, which constitute references for the construction of the museological nuclei: Casa do “Brasileiro de “Torna-Viagem”, Hospital , Asylums , Education , Industry , Public Promenade , Arts , Press , Railway , Auto , Hydroelectric Museum .

In the nuclei, the buildings are valued, taking into account the spatial location, their architectural characteristics, the interior decoration and the respective furniture. The figure of the “Brazilian” summarizes the most significant expressions of Portuguese culture from the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, as well as particular histories, in the public and private contexts.

The spaces, objects and symbolic territories, of a local nature, located in Portugal are the objective testimony of what, in a broader sense, is called the National Dimension of Return and embodies what were the links and interaction with the territories of the emigration.

It is not, therefore, a question of reinventing the past, but only the desire to establish the nuclei of possible readings within a framework of open perspectives, taking into account the diversity of visitors as recipients.

The International Center for Diversity Studies , with a cultural center, is open to holding permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as organizing multiple activities of a scientific nature with the following objectives:

  • Making known – The contributions made by emigrants to their host societies; the diversity and richness of the cultures of origin and; the right to a double belonging.
  • Include and integrate: – Promote a sense of belonging;allow communities to feel an integral part of the nation;find commonalities and contribute to a national identity.
  • Build an awareness of the events that induced individuals – and refugees in particular – to leave their land, thus developing empathy among the population of the host country.More generally, deconstruct stereotypes linked to immigration.” (Unesco- Rome 2006)

This center will fulfill the international scope of the project in conjunction with the Migration Museums – UNESCO , with the Emigration and Communities Museum being one of the founders, with AEMI – The Association of European Migration Institutions and with the Casa de Rui Barbosa Foundation – Rio de Janeiro and develop the scientific activities resulting from the protocols established with the Universities of Porto, Aberta and Minho.

The Historical Archive and the Migration Librarythe meaning of research, study and scientific dissemination of the phenomenon is inscribed, as well as the discovery of individuals and daily life through the recovery of documents and objects used by emigrants and descendants, requesting the donation or deposit in the custody of the museum, thus contributing way, for research and stimulating the preservation and study of the history of emigration and emigrants. They constitute documents with an illustrative and descriptive function – letters, diaries, photographs, personal objects and even the reconstitution of environments linked to the migratory process – with special importance all the categories of documents systematically collected and archived, insofar as they provide clues, both for the location of individual references as food for sufficiently substantiated scientific research:

– the boarding manifests of passenger ships; records of passports granted, exits made and entries into another country; the residence or work permits granted there; collective hiring of foreign labor; finally, all censuses; lists or simple counts that refer to immigrant populations are precious elements in a migration museum. (Rocha-Trindade, 2002)

When selecting objects, we will take into account their historical/documentary value, which must meet the following criteria: originality, authenticity, uniqueness and state of conservation.

After the donation, objects of any nature become non-transferable and inalienable property and, consequently, it is not up to the former owner to request or request responsibility or advantage over the donated materials.

In the case of temporary transfer or deposit in the custody of the museum, it is up to this entity to ensure its conservation, guaranteeing the definitive or temporary return to the legitimate owners within the protocol term and conditions.

The Services are managed on the virtual platform, which envisages a national approach to the phenomenon of Emigration and in the cultural and educational services of the centres.

These are one of the foundations of the museum, as they animate its activities and are associated with the contents of the Thematic Rooms.

The main services are: planning, execution and dissemination of activities; support for the discovery of ancestry; information on the territories of origin; exchanges, contacts and carrying out dissemination activities; connection to knowledge centers; document collection and organization, scientific works and bibliography; organization of temporary exhibitions of a cultural and educational nature, scientific, cultural and social gatherings and meetings.

Finally, the Research Center of this Museum, consisting of researchers who focus their studies in the area of ​​migration, constitutes the organizing axis of scientific production and the main purpose of the project, at the same time it is the privileged place for its dissemination.

Promoters and Founders

Sensitized to the study and dissemination of Portuguese culture inscribed in the process of colonization and emigration and committed to preserving ties with Portuguese communities, they took the initiative to promote the creation of the “Museu da Emigração: Comunidades e Luso – Descendência”, designated by “Museum of Emigration and Communities”, the following Institutions:

The Municipality of Fafe , by deliberation of 12/07/2001, proposed by President José Ribeiro. (Dr.)

The following have joined this initiative as founding entities:

. Center for the Study of Migration and Intercultural Relations (Maria Beatriz Rocha-Trindade)

Federation of Portuguese Associations in France ( José Machado)

. House of Culture of Porto Seguro (Brazil) – (Comendador António Barros)

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. To promote knowledge of the phenomenon of emigration and return, gathering, preserving and exposing documents and objects related to emigration.

. Promote the identification of emigrants, using official emigration records, municipal, district and national archives, to be included in a Database.

. Create a National Database for the identification of emigrants and Portuguese communities around the world, with the possibility of being self-supplied by visitors.

. Trying to reconstruct Narratives within the scope of Stories of the experiences of I/Emigration, making the collection process, carried out in an educational context, an instrument to raise awareness for the appreciation and understanding of new realities. Make this objective a strategy to promote forms of intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, based on the reports produced by grandparents with their grandchildren, following their experiences as migrants, identifying and valuing their role in the development processes in the places of installation/reception and return. , in different domains.

. Recover documents and objects associated with emigration and emigrants and descendants, requesting a donation or deposit for the museum’s custody, thus contributing to research and encouraging the preservation and study of the history of emigration and emigrants.

. Create a museum space as a physical place that organizes and manages knowledge and research.

. To promote contact with emigrants and communities, as well as publicize their initiatives.

. Respond to requests from descendants of emigrants, in order to provide them with information about the land of origin, in case they have lost this contact.

. To promote research on the role of emigrants in the reception and return territories in architecture, industry, commerce, philanthropy, journalism, associativism, arts, inscribing social cohesion as a relevant value.

. Hold periodic meetings of emigrants or descendants and guided visits to the municipalities of origin and of those that have distinguished themselves, through emigration, in different domains: economic, social and cultural.

. Promote protocols with national and foreign university research institutes and contacts with researchers with studies in the area, in order to feed a documentary and computer center.

. Hold exhibitions, conferences, debates, colloquiums on themes that have as their object the valorization of the role of emigrants and immigrants in the territories of origin, destination and return.

. Identify and enhance the material and immaterial cultural heritage.


Fafe City Council will be responsible for approving the structure, organization and functioning of the museum space, appointing the project manager/coordinator and preparing protocols with the different institutions and people involved .


Officially registered municipality of Fafe


Project Manager/Coordinator

The appointment of the project manager is the responsibility of the managing and instituting entities of the project.
It is up to him to plan the installation of the museum space, as well as promote all project activities, define the structure, organization and functioning of the museum space.
Plan activities to develop.
Promote contacts with employees and institutions involved in the project.
To promote the creation, installation and operation of the Documentary and Computer Centers.
Promote contacts with different entities, institutions and people that become relevant for the development of the project, being mandated by the founding entities.

Propose the elaboration of protocols and defining their scope and objectives.


executive team

Executive Administrator

Dr. Antero Barbosa Fernandes

Appointed by the founding entities, it will be up to the museologist to define the strategic guidelines and activities of the museological space following the guidelines of the Coordinator.

Documentary Resource Manager

The documentalist is responsible for collecting, selecting and organizing bibliography and specific documentation on national, regional and local emigration, as well as other sources and records of the phenomenon of mobility and return in its multiple expressions.

The Documentation Center will carry out an exhaustive survey in Portugal of national, district and municipal identification records of emigrants, as well as abroad, through, in particular, the consulates.

Identify, collect and organize scientific bibliography referring to the migratory phenomenon, in the scientific and literary domain.

Collect private archives of emigrant families and other forms of reconstitution of life histories, namely through oral history.
Organize records of iconographic information: old postcards, photography and other sources of significant visual information for the study of emigration and return.

Proceed with a survey of expressions of return emigration in all dimensions of transformation and characterization of the 19th and 20th centuries.


Research/Research and Scientific Coordination Center

It is made up of the founders, Professors from Universities and Higher Institutes and entities that have a protocol with the Museum and its main purpose is to scientifically monitor the project, as well as provide opinions on the guidelines for its activities. The Research/Investigation Center of this Museum is coordinatedby areas:

The members of this Scientific Council have a privileged place in the SALA DO KNOWLEDGE for the dissemination of their scientific work and participate in the Museum’s research centre.

The Advisory Board

It is made up of Professors from Universities and Higher Institutes and its purpose is to give opinions on the guidelines of the museum’s activities and integrate its Research/Research Center.

Entities with a collaboration protocol

Portuguese and foreign municipalities, as well as institutions of a cultural nature, will be able to join the project, creating delegations of the museum space, contributing to the functioning and general expansion of the centrally managed system: Universities; foundations; Emigrants’ Associations; Portuguese Consulates Abroad; Portuguese municipalities and/or with a twinning protocol; National Association of Municipalities.

municipal delegations

Municipalities may become partners through the elaboration of adhesion protocols, studied on a case-by-case basis, forcing themselves to comply with the project guidelines, either in the activities of feeding the Database, or in activities, benefiting from the dissemination of your story.

International delegations and protocols

The museum has coordinating delegates in different countries, representing the institution by delegation of the General Coordinator. Protocols will be established with Universities, institutions and foreign public and private, with the purpose of fulfilling the founding objectives of the project.

Collaborators and Visitors

This project is designed for the active participation of emigrant visitors, Portuguese-descendants or Emigrants’ Associations, using the DIÁSPORA ROOM, by nominal identification and describing reports of the emigrant’s experience, which will feed the Database. This Room will also gain scope with the permanent collaboration of university institutions and the participation of consulates.


This should have architectural characteristics that are easily identifiable with the migrant phenomenon (possibly a Brazilian home or significant property), in which it is possible to detect contexts of the migrant experience, expressed in documents and furniture objects and iconography of the time and which allow the creation of the archive of the Documentation Center and develop cultural activities for thematic dissemination.


A project that is broad in intentions and structured for the long term has the support of the Fafe City Council, providing facilities, equipment, technical and human resources.

It is expected to obtain financial support from the Secretary of State for Emigration, Secretary of State for Communities, from budgetary allocations from associated municipalities, from the provision of services and from the Association of Friends of the Museum, whether individuals or companies.

It has the possibility of obtaining the collaboration of the Portuguese Institute of Museums and similar national and foreign institutions.


Museum Donations and Meritorious

 After the donation, objects of any nature become non-transferable and inalienable property and, consequently, it is not up to the former owner to request or request responsibility or advantage over the donated materials.

In the case of temporary transfer or deposit in the custody of the museum, it is up to this entity to ensure its conservation, guaranteeing the definitive or temporary return to the legitimate owners within the period and conditions protocoled.

Father Joaquim Ferreira – Parish Priest of Quinchães, offered several 16 mm film reels – with approaches to Brazilian themes, dated c. 1930

Dr. José Manuel Ferreira and Miguel Monteiro, offered collections of old postcards by Fafe

Eduardo da Rocha Mendes, offer of family documentation

João Rodrigues, (Paris) owner of RADIO PORTUGAL NO MUNDO offered the radio

Maria Luíza Vieira Campos e Carvalho – Documents from the private fund

Maria Eduarda Leite Castro – Private Fund Documents