FGV CPDOC completes Digital Historical Archive of Brazilian Women 

This archive, open to the public, features some major names in journalism, literature, politics, diplomacy and employment, among other areas
Social Sciences
27 August 2020
FGV CPDOC completes Digital Historical Archive of Brazilian Women 

The constitution of women’s archival collections is still a bottleneck that hinders both research and national memories. The lack of access to such material restricts analysis and the visibility of the roles played by so many Brazilian women, as well as the obstacles they had to overcome, in culture, literature, work, politics, diplomacy, economics and journalism, among many other fields.

To tackle this problem, FGV CPDOC, in partnership with the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), has developed a project to digitize and make available to the public nine collections held by the institution. This initiative also allowed us to review and update the information and biographies of these women, who in different ways helped shape Brazilian history.

The project, one of the most important ever carried out by FGV CPDOC, involved more than 35,000 pages of scanned documents, which are now available for consultation by the public.

Researchers, students, journalists and other interested parties can find previously unpublished material for the general public about women such as union activist, lawyer and writer Almerinda Farias Gama; poet Anna Amélia de Queiroz; journalist Niomar Moniz Sodré Bittencourt, who founded the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro and had her political rights revoked by AI-5; and Rosalina Coelho Lisboa, the director of Diários Associados, one of the largest communication conglomerates in Brazilian history. You can also find the biographical records of Yvonne Maggie, Delminda Benvinda Gudolle Aranha, Hermínia de Souza e Silva Collor, Hilda Von Sperling Machado, and Luiza de Freitas Valle Aranha.

FGV CPDOC’s Digital Historical Archive of Brazilian Women

Almerinda Farias Gama (1899-1992) – A union activist, lawyer and journalist, Almerinda Farias Gama joined the Brazilian Federation for Female Progress and fought, together with other women, for women’s suffrage in Brazil. She founded the Federal District Union of Typists and Tachograph Operators and, as a representative of this union, she was the only woman to vote as a delegate in the elections to the National Constitutional Assembly of 1933. The following year, she ran for the House of Representatives under the slogan “Fighting for the Right to Work and Master Congress.” She worked as a collaborator for newspapers in Paraná and Rio de Janeiro, and wrote books such as Zumbi (1942) and O Dedo de Luciano (1964).

Anna Amélia de Queiroz Carneiro de Mendonça (1896-1971) – This poet collaborated with various newspapers in Rio de Janeiro and worked as the director of the women’s supplement of Diário de Notícias. She was the president of the Brazilian Education Association, vice president of the Brazilian Federation for Female Progress and founder of the Brazilian Students’ House (1929). She was the first woman to participate in the Superior Electoral Court, as part of the election count committee in 1934. In 1935, she officially represented Brazil at the 12th International Congress of Women in Istanbul, and in 1942, she was chosen as Brazil’s representative at the International Commission for Women, based at the Pan American Union in Washington. In 1967, she was invited by the Israeli government to represent Brazilian women at the International Women’s Congress for Peace and Development. She was the author of the book Quatro Pedaços do Planeta no Tempo do Zeppelin (1976).

Delminda Benvinda Gudolle Aranha (1894-1969) – She was the chairwoman of the Committee to Assist the Families of the Victims of Axis Attacks, an aid body that worked in a particular period of Brazilian and world history, gathering information about the attack that was the trigger for Brazil’s entry into the Second World War. She was married to diplomat Oswaldo Aranha and participated in the preparations for the 1930 Revolution, codifying the resolutions issued during meetings held in Rio Grande do Sul and deciphering the telegrams received.

Hermínia de Souza e Silva Collor (1895-1971) – She was the head of the Women’s Wing of the Castilhista Republican Party and the president of the First Social Welfare Post of the National Democratic Union (UDN). She participated together with the Legion of Brazilian Women in initiatives aimed at protecting women and teaching them to read and write. She was married to Lindolfo Collor.

Hilda Von Sperling Machado – This ambassador was married to Cristiano Machado and worked in civil society groups to help needy people.

Luiza de Freitas Valle Aranha (1872-1948) – She owned the Alto Uruguai ranch in Itaqui, Rio Grande do Sul. She had nine children, including minister and diplomat Oswaldo Aranha. She worked on community projects to tackle social inequality and support the right to health.

Niomar Moniz Sodré Bittencourt (1916-2003) – She was a journalist and owner of newspaper Correio da Manhã. She collaborated with various magazines and was a member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI). She served on the board of the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, an institution she helped found in 1948. She had her political rights revoked by Institutional Act 5 (AI-5), after being found guilty of offenses by the Superior Military Court on November 20, 1969, under the National Security Law. She was arrested together with other journalists but absolved the following year.

Rosalina Coelho Lisbôa de Larragoiti (1900-1975). Journalist and director of newspaper Diários Associados. She was Paraíba’s representative at the International Congress of Women in 1930 and Brazil’s delegate at the United Nations General Assembly in 1951. She served on the advisory board of the Brazilian International Relations Institute (1954). She wrote many books, including Rito Pagão (1922) and A Seara de Caim (1952).

Yvonne Maggie de Leers Costa Ribeiro (1944-) – An anthropologist and emeritus professor at Rio de Janeiro Federal University. She was the coordinator of the Social Research Laboratory at this university’s Institute of Philosophy and Social Sciences between 1988 and 1992 and the institute’s director from 1994 to 1997. She wrote the books Guerra de Orixá: Um Estudo de Ritual e Conflito (1975) and Medo do Feitiço: Relações Entre Magia e Poder no Brasil (1992), which were her master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation, respectively.


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