Diplomatic and archival issues in the portuguese-brazilian bureaucratic practice of the 18th century: the “gold tour” case
Keywords:Diplomatics, Archival methodology, Gold tour, Luso-brazilian history
Diplomatic critical exercise in order to demonstrate the diversity of interpretations concerning the function of a public document which has a unique and specific purpose but which displays content that raises doubts over the type of document chosen to make it legally valid. It also addresses the variable “archival destination” that may arise. The document entitled “the gold tour” has been used as study object. A port authority in the second half of the eighteenth century Lisbon would use it to prove the inspection done on vessels, in particular those coming from Brazil, detail the fees paid and the passengers carried, report some extraordinary occurrence and attach the corresponding cargo manifests. The following is also discussed in this presentation: if it had not been recorded on the document type “letter” with attachments, rather on the more diplomatically correct type for its purpose, the visit document” or the “inspection document” whose copy could be sent to the due recipient, preceded by a leasing form, it would have been of better administrative use at the time and, subsequently, more effective as a source for historical research.
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