Logotipo Arquivo Regional e Biblioteca Pública da Madeira
We preserve and appraise Madeira’s Documented Cultural Heritage.


Regulations 2018-10-01T08:44:08+00:00


Inside the building is strictly forbidden: To smoke, bring animals and to provide explanations to students.

Please leave in the cloakroom (Ground-0): 

Any bags, personal belongings, packages and umbrellas, for safety reasons, protection and silence;

Only personal laptops and essential documents to your study and ongoing research are allowed to be taken into the Reading Room.

In the Reading Rooms is forbidden to: 

Smoke or eat, to speak loud  or to use your cellular phone. Please, turn it off or select silent mode;Personal photograph or scanning equipment;

Transport out of the Reading Rooms books or documents consulted;Change the layout of the furniture and equipment, even if temporarily.

Special Precautions when handling books and documents:

Please check if your hand are washed and clean;

Do not force the books – open and browse books carefully;

Do not place the open books with the hard-back cover up, do not lay your elbows on the books or documents and do not pile open books;

Do not scratch, underline or mark in any way books and documents;

Do not write or draw on books or documents;

Do not take off, fold or tear sheets from books or documents;

Books in poor conditions or documents not treated or still under restoration and preservation procedures, cannot be consulted – Please contact the Reading Room’s technician.

Restrictions to consultation:

  • Books and other species in poor conditions;
  • Microfilmed or digitized species (consulting the original documents requires authorization from the ABM’s Director);
  • Species which require restrict consultation for legal or contractual obligation;

Not treated documentation cannot be consulted, unless previously authorized by the ABM’s Director.


General Access Conditions

Access to the Reading Rooms and to most of services provided is free of charge and open to any citizen/cardholder reader or with temporary reading authorization;

  • The reader’s card is free of charge and may be obtained directly at ABM’s reception located in the ground 0 of the building; it requires the filling of a form and the presentation of an identification document with photo;
  • Younger reader’s card (under 12 years-old) requires the previous permission from parents, guardians or care-takers, who must also sign a responsibility document authorizing that the child, from 6 to 12 years old, may stay by himself/herself in the Children’s Lounge;
  • The access to the Archive’s Reading Room and Reserved Collections is limited to people under 18 years old; beyond holding a card reader, it also requires a special access issued and authorized by the corresponding service (level 2);
  • The temporary reading authorization is targeted to potential attendants of ABM’s Reading Rooms, particularly foreigners. It is valid for 3 days and not renewable;
  • In case of loss or damage of the reader’s card, you may request a 2nd via under payment. Please consult the price list.
  • The ABM may not renew or temporarily suspend the use of the reader’s its holder disregards the institution’s regulations.

Specific Conditions at the General Reading Room – Library (1st Floor)

Starting your research:

  • Consult the Library’s database catalogue; use key words such as: title, author, subject, collection, etc.

Free access documents:

  • All books on the shelves are freely accessible. Please, do not place them back after consultation; there are car-stands in the reading room for that purpose.

Request for incorporated documents:

  • To consult the bibliographic species you must fill in an application form request at the Library’s reading room help-desk;
  • You may order a maximum of 5 books at a time;
  • The book request is only valid for one day period. If you wish to continue your reading on the following day, please inform the library’s technician. After 3 days of continuous reading, if you have not finished your consulting, it’s necessary to fill in a new request;
  • Once you’ve finished, please deliver the request documents and books at the Library’s reading room help-desk;
  • Book/documents request: until 7.30pm, Monday to Friday; Saturday until 3:00pm (except at the Children’s Lounge, where requests for incorporated documents are not allowed).

Use of computers:

  • The library’s reading room computers are for:
  • a) catalogue research;
  • b) Internet access;
  • c) personal works;
  • the attendant has to request that access at Library’s reading room help-desk;
  • Maximum period of time per person/per day: one hour, extendable for an equal period of time if there are no other attendants on hold.

Book reservations and online document’s request:

  • Only a maximum of 5 documents may be requested (monographs and periodical editions);
  • Consulting requests for the same day should be done at least 2 hours in advance;
  • The reservation may be done up to one week in advance.

Book Loan

  • The books object of loan are: literary and scientific as long as marked with a green tape in its paperback; free access in the Library’s Reading Room, or when indicating: “LOAN” and listed in the database catalogue;
  • The library allows a maximum loan of 5 book at a time;
  • Maximum period for borrowing: scientific and technical works (7 days); literature and non-technical / scientific books (30 days);
  • It’s possible to make a reservation of the book you require;
  • If there are no other reservations standing by, it’s possible to renew your request for the same book at the Library’s reading room help-desk or online;
  • The application request for renewal must be done before the book’s loan date ends;
  • All works returned with a delay period over 7 days: the user is automatically suspended from using ours services for the exact same period of time;
  • Evident damage or loss: the user is obliged to proceed to their replacement by equal or equivalent document;
  • The repeat violation of these regulations determines the suspension of all accesses to this service.

Specific Conditions at the Children’s and Youth Room – Library (1st Floor)

Responsibility and supervision of children:

  • The children’s lounge/reading room is targeted to children between 0 – 12 years old;
  • It’s mandatory that children under 6 years-old are parental accompanied by parents or a responsible adult;
  • Children from 6 to 12 years old, may stay by themselves at the Children’s Lounge as long as their parents or a responsible adult has signed the responsibility document at the time of the reader’s card request;
  • If a child stays in the children’s lounge beyond 6.00pm with no adult supervision, the services will immediately contact the parents/responsible adult. If the adult is not reachable, the local and competent authorities will follow.

Access to documentation and Internet:

  • The documentary funds and internet contents in this room are carefully chosen according to each age;
  • Preferably, children should only access computers for 2 daily hours. In order to raise their awareness towards the importance of reading, they are challenge/invited to read and tell a story;
  • For school purposes, there are no limits in access and time.

Book Loan:

  • The library allows a maximum loan of 5 book at a time, for a period of 30 days, renewable for the exact same period;

Support to Students

  • The Children’s/Youth Room is an area for reading, study and leisure. It is generally understood and accepted individual support in school work, by parents or other responsible adult, nevertheless are not allowed professional explanations.

 Specific Conditions at the Archives Reading Room and Reserved Area – (2nd Floor)

In the Reading Room please request and consult the following research tools:

  • Documentary Description Instruments and corresponding index (available on paper at the Reading Room help-desk and digitally in the computers of the reference area);
  • Databases – Access the PC’s available at the Reading Room;
  • Images Archive (including parish/birth and marriage records, newspapers collections, Postcards, Photographs and Iconography, among others).

In the Archives’ Reading Room and Reserved Area you may access:

  • Files and corresponding documentary collections;
  • Bibliographical species of restricted access (rare books, first editions, works in poor condition);
  • Any bibliographical species (located in the Reserved Area) part of ABM’s database catalogue that may support the user’s ongoing research.

Document’s request:

  • You must fill in one application form request for each document/book. However, if your research is for three sequential documents (for example: Books 30, 31 and 32) filling in one single application request is sufficient;
  • Regardless the number of applications requests, the reader may take a maximum of three units at a time (soft-cover, set of original documents, book, box, folder, microfilm), in order to avoid the accumulation of documents on the desk;
  • Continuous reading: If you wish to continue your reading on the following day, please inform the Reading Room’s technician. After 3 days of continuous reading, if you have not finished your research, it’s necessary to fill in a new request;
  • All books part of the Reference Collection and available on the shelves are freely accessible.
  • All book/documents request may be done on weekdays until 6.30pm and on Saturdays until 3.00pm
  • Only a maximum of 3 books/documents may be requested (soft-cover, set of original documents, book, box, folder, microfilm);
  • Consulting requests for the same day should be done at least 2 hours in advance;
  • Any book reservation may be requested up to one week in advance.

Restrictions to the Reserved Area:

  • Certain collections – such as: “Coleção Mário Sardinha” (Mario Sardinha Collection), the “Fundos de Livro Antigo”, the “Biblioteca Nuno Porto” (Nuno Porto’s Private Library), the reserved Local Funds, iconographic collections – are of limited access to ABM’s recognised researchers and its accessing/consulting require prior authorization from ABM’s Director.

Restrictions on accessing administrative and jurisdictional documents, registries and notaries:

  • All administrative and court’s documents, of the registry and notary services offices are accessible to any person, who may request a certified copy of individual records and documents, except for the “Work Instructions” foreseen in ABM’s working procedures;
  • Access to court documents in ABM’s trusteeship and supervision is ruled by Article 17 of the Decree-Law N.º 16/93 dated of January 23rd – “Regime Geral dos Arquivos e do Património Arquivístico” (General Regulations of Archives and Heritage);
  • General Norm: No documents containing personal data of legal, police or medical information, or of any other nature that may affect the safety of persons may be of publicly knowledge, considering that they may harm people’s honour or intimacy, private and family life and self-image. 

Use of the lockers in the Archive’s Reading Room:

  • All readers may use the existing lockers to store personal items, except for those which is mandatory to leave in the cloakroom;
  • When the reader obtains the key for his/her locker, it’s necessary to sign a responsibility document regarding the awareness and acknowledge on the loan conditions and agreement;
  • Once the key is handed to the reader, the ABM takes no responsibility for the contents inside the locker;
  • The company in charge for the Supervision and Security of the building holds duplicates of all locker’s keys. In case of key loss, the reader will assume the costs for a new one. 
  • Simple (paper) and digital format;
  • Generally all images in digital format have a resolution of 150 dpi in JPEG format. However, for editions or exhibition purposes, the images provided have a resolution of 300 dpi in TIFF format; it’s not permitted the publication of images with low resolution, unless they are meant to be used on websites and multimedia productions. In this particular case, these images should have a minimum resolution of 72dpi.

General limits to the use of images:

·         Any use of images is intended exclusively for the purposes specifically requested and authorized;·         It is not allowed any manipulation of any images delivered;·         Under no circumstances may be made copies provided by ABM or given to third parties;·         It is not allowed to integrate images transferred from any Photograph Database or Archive; to do so it’s mandatory to have the express authorization of the ABM;

  • Any use of images, different from the terms in this Regulation, sets disregard for applicable legislation, particularly the Copyright Code and Related Rights, being liable to civil action by SRETC

Images Copyrights:

In all images it’s mandatory to identify the copyrights, regardless of its promotion methods and supports. The subtitle or information file should reference to the following elements:

  1. a) Author/Photograph Shop
  2. b) Date;
  3. c) Title;
  4. d) Technique
  5. e) Holding Institution (Arquivo Regional e Biblioteca Pública da Madeira) and /or depositor (ex.: Photographia Museu Vicentes entrust to Arquivo Regional e Biblioteca Pública da Madeira.


Copies Request:

  • Directly at the Reading Rooms’ help-desk, by letter, fax or e-mail;
  • The request for image copies for promotion purposes/editions and, thus with higher resolution, requires the pre-payment of a publication fee and signature of the corresponding request form. If you wish to reuse it in a new publication, it’s mandatory to have a new authorization by the services, though without additional costs;
  • For self-service copies, the reader must purchase a prepaid card, which may be recharged. The purchase of this self-service card should be done directly at the Library’s Reading Room help-desk;
  • Copies deadline delivery:
  1. Library’s General Reading Room and Children’s Lounge: delivery on day the immediately after the request; prints are delivered on the same day;
  1. Archives Reading Room and Reserved Area copies/prints: Delivery within 2 days after the request. However, these terms may be altered in case of a large number of copies, and according to the document’s conservation status;
  1. Digital copies/prints in ABM’s Reading Rooms: up to 10 images – within 2 days; 11 to 50 images – within 5 dias; 51 to 100 images – within a maximum of 10 days; massive or more complex requests require pre-authorization by ABM’s director. Deadlines may be altered due to the document’s conservation status. Images may also be sent by email or via an online platform for large files transfer.

Copies/Reproduction’s Fees and inherent costs related to the use of images

  • Please consult the Service’s Fees/price list and payment methods (Decree No. 22/2012 of February 17th of the Secretaria Regional das Finanças e da Cultura, Turimso e Transportes).
  • Advanced payment is made takes place at the time of the request. Massive or more complex application requests are previously budgeted and its costs communicated to the reader; and only after payment received the copies are made;
  • Some copies are free of charge, as long as pre-authorized by ABM’s director or in any other cases that the Law foresees;

·         Use of images: any use of images is subject to payment of the corresponding applicable fees, according to the Service’s Fees/Price list, except for the cases that are free-of charge as aforementioned in Decree No. 22/2012 of February 17th.

Restrictions to copies:

ABM’s restrictions policies are due to:

  1. a) The conservation status of documents and books, etc;
  2. b) The existence of alternatives such as: microfilm or digital;
  3. c) The existence of Legal restrictions (copyright and privacy) and contracts (established at the time of the documents incorporation or donation contracts).
  • Reproductions from ABM’s website:- The contents available on this site, particularly digital copies of documents, may be totally or partially reproduced for non-commercial purposes or for any other use that does not imply the redistribution of such contents, provided that: (1) the faithful reproduction of the content is ensured; (2) correct identification of the contents (eg, by title, author, documentary funds, number, etc); (3) identification of the content’s location on ABM’s website linking it to the content itself.

    – Reproductions of digital copies of documents for commercial purposes available on ABM’s site require prior authorization of the Institution and call for the payment of publication fees (see Pricing). ABM holds the exclusive rights to property and/or communication of the contents, in accordance with its regulations and under penalty of civil and criminal liability.

  • All users should be aware and in compliance with the Copyright and Related Rights Code, regarding the copies/prints of documents and from books out of the public domain.

The Arquivo Regional e a Biblioteca Pública da Madeira (ABM) pays a civil service of certification and registration endorsement of the documentary funds under its supervision and trusteeship.

  • The issuance of certificates complies with the general consultation restrictions established in ABM’s Regulations and Work Instructions on how to access archive’s records;
  • Type of certificates issued: simple; narrative;
  • Please consult the Service’s Fees/price list and payment methods – Decree No. 22/2012 of February 17th of the the Secretaria Regional das Finanças e da Cultura, Turimso e Transportes.

ABM provides free research up to 30 minutes per request, exclusively in our databases, which are also available online: https://abm.madeira.gov.pt/en/acesso-aos-documentos/arquivos/

Note: for baptisms researches – please enter only the 1st name of the baptized child and name of the parents; death records are not yet available for online research.

After this half an hour period it’s possible to carry on the research with the ABM’s Reading and Reference Services or with the Independent Researcher’s Programme. If a user needs a research involving the Archives and Reserved Reading Services or Certification Services, please be acquainted with the following conditions:

Specific research services follow the procedures established by law and are committed to the necessary information to be provided by the user (such as: dates, notarial office, name of the parts involved, process number, etc.).

Exceptionally, ABM’s Reading and Reference Services may undertake documentary researches, in accordance with its human resources availability, and upon prior payment of the amounts established in ABM’s pricing. The service is limited to 3 hours.

However, please note that researches results may not satisfy the request; ABM shall inform you on all its conditions and results.

Whenever a person is unable to conduct a research, it’s also possible to require the services of our Independent Researcher’s Programme. These persons work on their own, but it’s important to draw your attention to the fact that they are not enrolled with the institution; the ABM declines all responsibility in any agreements between users and researchers, and may not arbitrate any disagreements or conflicts.

All ABM public or private institutions may access a wide-range of books as long as holders of ABM’s reading card.

Access to Institutional Loan:

  • Requests should be addressed to ABM board via letter or email.
  • Official book borrowing requires filling in official term for temporary loan.
  • Loan period: one year; possibility of being renewed for another year.
  • Significant damages or loss will result in penalties.

Educational/Cultural Services Department


Activities range:

  • The Educational Services Department activities should reflect ABM’s mission and services, focusing on the promotion of documentary funds, books and reading.

Activities agenda:

  • The request and confirmation of any activity carried out by the Educational Services Department is preferably conducted by email. According to each case a previous meeting will be set with the teachers involved (type of group; class, type of curriculum/course, among other specifications);
  • Any alterations that may occur or cancellation of the activity by any of the parts involved should be informed in advance (by telephone or email) in order to plan strategies that may conduct the activity within an alternative schedule.


Activities promotion/diffusion:

  • In the promotion of the activities, the Educational Services works with only one class at a time. In the case of lectures/presentation of ABM, it is advisable to have a maximum of two/three classes to assist;
  • If there is more than one level class, lectures should be done separately, according to the age groups of the participants;
  • Each group/class coming to the ABM should be accompanied by two teachers/technicians, who should be aware and properly informed on the activity that will be carried out, and according to what as previously agreed;
  • In the case of the activities related to plastic arts and/or of writing, which require more time to accomplish, all students should carry on the works in their classrooms, to be able to finish them. After that the ABM’S will request that these works are sent to its Educational Services Department, to be scanned/photocopied, after which they will be returned to the school where they are coming from.

II – Loan of Educational Materials 

The loan of educational materials requires filling in a form signed by both parts – the requesting entity and the Educational Services Department.


  • The temporary loan of documents/works for exhibitions is authorized by the Director of Culture, after consulting the director of ABM, who is committed to specify, in each particular case, the conditions under which all documents/works will be packed, transported and displayed;
  • All loan requests should be dome, preferably around six months, prior to the exhibition opening date, and will only be allowed once the ABM corresponding application form  is correctly filled in and signed by the exhibition’s organizer/curator and returned to the institution;
  • It is mandatory to have insurance against all risks, which should cover service and out of service, including all stages of transport, assembly, temporary residence/display and dismantling;
  • The requesting entity is entirely responsible for all expenses related to the temporary loan and transport of the documents/works requested;
  • In due time a facility report, should be delivered to ABM, indicating the event’s venue, as well as the layout of the exhibition, in order to be acquainted with the location of the works loaned by ABM, within the display area;
  • The conditions of relative humidity, temperature and lighting are defined by ABM – the entity responsible for the supervision of the documents/works;
  • The organizer is entirely responsible for the exhibition’s assembly and dismantling, however, this process should be accompanied and supervised by a qualified conservation and restoration technician chosen by ABM.


The ABM’s auditorium fees follows the Governmental Order No. 10/2012 of December 7th, which approves the Regulation that sets the terms and conditions of loan and use of auditoriums and counterpart facilities. The fees to be charged are foreseen in the Decree No. 131/2012 of October 25th.