Linguistic mediation for the access of scientific knowledge: António Camilo Pereira’s library (1775-18--), Portuguese surgeon

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


In Portugal, until 1836, when the Lisbon Royal School of Surgery became a Medical-Surgical School, the professions of doctor and surgeon did not coincide either in terms of training or professionally. There were very different systems of intellectual preparation, which, for doctors, took place at the University of Coimbra according to the model of theoretical learning, and for surgeons took place in a hospital, at the Hospital Real de São José in Lisbon, where they obtained practical and experimental training, on a par with chemists and blood letters. For this reason, the practice of surgery was considered something “mechanical” and was less prestigious intellectually.
António Camilo Pereira (1775-18--) was head surgeon in the city of Lagos (Algarve) between 1804 and 1809. When he moved there, a list of books was compiled that comprised his personal library and that allows that viewpoint to be discussed. In fact, the intellectual horizon demonstrated by that collection cannot be explained in terms of the vernacular, but requires an approach based on an international analysis that can include theoretical works in different languages. 82% of the titles listed were printed in foreign languages, in particular French (76%) as the language of production and mediation in access to scientific knowledge.
Through the presence of these works in the surgeon’s personal library, the aim is to discuss those produced in Portugal, contrasting them with the European dynamic in scientific publishing and with the process of acquisition by a specific Portuguese reader at the start of the 19th century.
Period20 Jul 2016
Event title24th Annual Conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP)
Event typeConference
Conference number24
LocationParis, FranceShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Private libraries
  • Scientific Knowledge
  • Book history