The Portuguese sigillographic heritage – SIGILLVM, a new research project on a remarkable and mostly neglected heritage

Maria do Rosário Morujão, Sérgio Lira, Anísio Saraiva, Pedro Pinto

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Abstract

This papers aims at presenting the first stages of a new research project that is being developed in Portugal on medieval and modern seals. One of the major goals of the project is to gather in a coherent and organised corpus all Portuguese seals - a task that was never undertaken. It intends to start working with the medieval secular clergy seals and embrace other groups at a later stage. For such a goal it was achieved the agreement and institutional cooperation of archives, museums and libraries in possession of the specimens and collections. Seals have been used since ancient times with the triple and important function of identifying, validating and keeping something inviolable, a function still at play nowadays. Nevertheless care for their inventorying, preservation and study have not corresponded to what is desirable and a significant number of specimens is at risk. In Portugal a recent analysis of the seals prior to 1319 from the archives of the Cathedral Chapter of Coimbra stored at the National Archive of Torre do Tombo (ANTT) points to almost 50% of missing seals and only 25% of the remaining considered to be in good condition. Given that this is one of the largest Portuguese seal collections, such numbers are an alarming indicator of the urgent need to safeguard the sigillographic heritage still existing in our country. Having in mind the rebirth and renewal of the sigillographic science that occurred a few decades ago by the hand of Michel Pastoureau who gave a new boost to the study of these “small monuments” we believe the project justifies itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeritage 2014
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 4th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development
EditorsRogério Amoêda, Sérgio Lira, Cristina Pinheiro
Place of PublicationBarcelos
PublisherGreen Lines Institute
Pages583-590
Number of pages8
Volume1
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-98013-7-0
ISBN (Print)978-989-98013-6-3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event4th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development - Guimarães, Portugal
Duration: 22 Jul 201425 Jul 2014

Conference

Conference4th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development
CountryPortugal
CityGuimarães
Period22/07/1425/07/14

Keywords

  • Sigilography

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