n Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa - The 25th of April Documentation Centre : recording a colonial past and enabling emancipatory research

Volume 2016 Number 53
  • ISSN : 1025-8892



The article describes the history and activities of the 25th of April Documentation Centre (CD25A), at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. The Centre has an overt commitment to democracy and decolonisation. It deals with a history timeline starting with the opposition to Portuguese colonialism and the fascist dictatorship, crossing the transition to a democratic state and the Revolution of April 1974, and extending until the end of the 20th century. It is argued that, in digitally opening its collections and interacting with scientific research, journalism, literature and education, CD25A has played an important social and political role. Interviews with three of its users are analysed – which will serve as the basis of a larger investigation into the Centre’s value for research in Portuguese colonialism. It seems that the “research atmosphere”, created by its staff, is as important to researchers as its unique collections.

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