Romanceiro.pt is a digital platform that has the mission of hosting several projects for the study and dissemination of Iberian balladry in the Portuguese language.
At its genesis, Arquivo do Romanceiro Português houses two documental nuclei: Arquivo do Instituto de Estudos sobre o Romanceiro Velho e Tradicional. Unpublished Versions, consisting of the sound archive of the Romanceiro and its paper transcriptions, and the Arquivo Geral do Romanceiro Português. Published Versions (1828-2000), consisting of paper versions. It currently holds around 6,000 versions of romances from the modern Portuguese oral tradition published between the 19th and 21st centuries, and more than 3,500 unpublished versions in 660 hours of recordings, the result of collections carried out on Portuguese territory since 1980. In total, nearly 10,000 versions of romances are available, as image and/or sound files.
In 2013, the process of digitisation of the documentary cores of the Arquivo do Romanceiro Português began, under the project “O Arquivo do Romanceiro Português da Tradição Oral Moderna (1828-2010): sua preservação e difusão”. Through a partnership between Manuel Viegas Guerreiro Foundation and the Centre for Research in Arts and Communication, and with the support of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation within the scope of the “Concurso de Recuperação, Tratamento e Organização de Acervos Documentais” (2013), a decisive step can finally be taken in safeguarding and promoting the Arquivo do Romanceiro Português.
By making this archive available on the network, a set of great cultural value has become accessible to both the specialist and the general public, which houses nearly 14,000 images of documents of great importance in the context of Portuguese heritage literature.
In 2017, the Romanceiro.pt platform was updated to its current visual identity and in 2018 the new version of the database was presented, which constitutes the first step towards the constitution of the Arquivo do Romanceiro em Língua Portuguesa, a goal that the project assumes henceforth. In the current phase of development, the project aims at the following objectives:
1. To enlarge and update the corpus of the Arquivo do Romanceiro Tradicional em Língua Portuguesa, with special emphasis on the Brazilian oral tradition;
2. Implementation of new philological and editing methodologies for traditional poetry;
3. Research towards the implementation of a more intuitive browsing experience in the hosted databases;
4. Preservation and curation of the data generated and study of forms of interoperability with related platforms;
5. Dissemination of the generated knowledge to the scientific community and the general public about Romanceiro Tradicional.
The project is coordinated by Pere Ferré and the scientific manager is Sandra Boto. The team also includes Juan Manuel Escribano, Mirian Tavares, Bruno Belmonte, Ana Luísa Lauria, Teresa Araújo, Alvanita Almeida, Ana Sirgado and Álvaro Piquero. The team includes specialists in the areas of computer science, science communication, information sciences and philology, who work in the different areas set out in the objectives, developing the tasks, materials or consultancy foreseen.
Portugal was the first country to hold a large inventory of a balladistic tradition, and with it new philological methodologies have been outlined, in national and international master’s and doctoral academic works. In fact, the consultation of the archives that Romanceiro.pt hosts contributes to a systematic and organized vision of this poetic form in Portugal, but also in the understanding of balladistics as a universal phenomenon. Romanceiro.pt transforms, in this way, the Portuguese oral tradition into the branch of the Pan-Hispanic romance that is better represented digitally, both from the point of view of access to the versions and of methodologies and work tools in the field of digital philology.
The project is funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2013-2014), Centre for Research in Arts and Communication (2014-2020), Institute for the Study of Literature and Tradition (2020-) and the FCT’s Individual Scientific Employment Stimulus Programme [CEECIND/00058/2018]. It also has as a partner the Manuel Viegas Guerreiro Foundation.
Publications within the scope of the project:
Boto, Sandra and Bruno Belmonte (2020), “O Romanceiro ibérico no Brasil: um património da Língua Portuguesa em ambiente digital”, Journal of Digital Media & Interaction, vol. 3, no. 7, (2020), pp. 161-177.
Boto, Sandra (2019), “Os nacionalismos ibéricos nos estudos sobre o romanceiro tradicional” en Cristina Martínez Tejero y Santiago Pérez Isasi (eds.), Perspetivas críticas sobre os estudos ibéricos, Rassegna iberística Library, Venezia, Edizioni Ca’Foscari, pp. 153-173. DOI 10.30687/978-88-6969-323-6/006.
Boto, Sandra (2017). “O subsídio de José Pedro Martins Barata para a divulgação do Romanceiro Português”. Portugal: Colibri. Montalvão Cultural Association “Vamos à Vila”.
Boto, Sandra (2016). “Para a história da edição do romanceiro no Algarve: protagonistas, textos, suportes e uma falsa questão”. In Promontoria Monográfica História do Algarve 03. Apontamentos para a História das Culturas de Escrita: da Idade do Ferro à Era Digital, 313-334. Portugal: Centre for Studies in Heritage, Landscape and Construction.
Boto, Sandra; Ferré, Pere; Tavares, Mirian (2014). “O arquivo do romanceiro português da tradição oral moderna (1828- 2010): sua preservação e difusão” project, Actas das VII Jornadas de Investigação do CIAC. Faro, Portugal: CIAC – Centre for Research in Arts and Communication.