On-line version ISSN 1806-9347
Rev. Bras. Hist. vol.28 no.55 São Paulo Jan./June 2008
The Revista Brasileira de História (the Brazilian Journal of History) succeeded in obtaining a place on the SciELO Brasil (Scientific Electronic Library on Line) in 1998, one of the first periodicals to do so in the Brazilian version of this website, and with this assumed a pioneering role in the area of the humanities. More recently, other journals in our area have also become part of the website, facilitating the search for articles over a diverse range of researchers, and opening up an increasingly useful path for the construction of historical knowledge. This, however, is not a privilege. It is related to the quality of these periodicals which, to be accepted, had to satisfy innumerable formal requirements for publication that must be maintained in each issue. They are especially noteworthy in adopting ways of offering their readers articles of quality and originality that really do contribute to debate among researchers.
For the historian entering onto a website of this type frequently carries with it a sensation of being somewhat ill at ease, as many resources common to the researchers of other sectors to us appear somewhat mysterious. However, the utility of the various tools, and the dynamic that they can initiate both in our bibliographical research as in the disseminating of knowledge rapidly becomes evident. After all, an author writes to be read.
On the website, each journal produces its search tools by author, subject, title, as well as for the key words required in each article. In the utilization reports, one can find the year of ingress of each periodical on the website, long term yearly statistics relating to the visits to the volumes and the number of articles requested each month. On the specific site of each journal, once again, search opportunities of the articles are presented in various ways, but also instructions to the authors, the periodical's details, and the exact number of consultations for each article. From there, the visitor can read or freely print the texts, or just decide what is of interest through reading the summaries. Nevertheless, the references used in each text can also be visualized and the link for each of them followed through Google. There are also search tools for articles on similar themes, the route to the author's Lattes curriculum (and the visualization of other publications), access to other articles of the same author in the SciELO, in addition to the facility of sending the text by e-mail. The inclusion of the DOI number (Digital Object Identifier) in the completion of the data for each bibliographical output facilitates direct access to the text. In other words, through the internet, the periodicals become an impressive vehicle in the process of debate, expansion and publicizing of knowledge, and associated with the Lattes platform, they assume an important role in stimulating contact between researchers of various areas and institutions.
Of course, this does not diminish the importance of hard copy. The RBH, as well as several other magazines, maintains its printed version and gives priority to its distribution. If dialogue and interaction are stimulated virtually, realization remains tied to reading on paper, feeding our true fetish for books, so characteristic of our area and not always fully understood by the other branches of academic knowledge.
At this moment, when the web is becoming increasingly important in the stimulation of dialogue among historians, the dossier Imprensa, impressos (The press and the printed matter) discusses aspects of the role of the Press in transmitting ideas, information and analysis. This has revolutionized the life of men in a similar way to that in which the internet has revolutionized contemporary society, perhaps even more profoundly, how can you measure it? The articles of this issue grant a privileged place to debates on the press and Brazilian society. Meize Lucas analyses how the press of the 1950s nourished a culture of cinema, just as the cinema in its turn nourished learned culture in Brazil. Noé Sandes focuses on the activities of the journalist Costa Rego in the Correio da Manhã in the 1930s, and how they valorized political experience. Marcos Gonçalves debates the political culture built up through the Catholic press at the start of the 20th century. Marisa Midori demonstrates the insertion of the consumer book market in São Paulo in an increasingly dynamic worldwide publishing movement in the middle of the 19th century. Vlamir Silva discusses the activities of the press in enlarging woman's place in the public sphere in nineteenth century Minas Gerais.
In the section of sundry articles, Angela Domingues provocatively examines little known texts on Brazil in the 18th century, such as journey logs, maps and views of sailors and traffickers, as well as the texts produced by illustrious figures. Oldimar Cardoso advances the consideration of the Didactic of History as a sub area of history, and demonstrating how much more its content is than that of the traditional school history. Fabrício Santos proposes an analysis of the expulsion of the Jesuits and the confiscation and sale of their properties, to build a dialogue between economics and politics, and discussing the transformations in the Portuguese Empire in the same period. Marisa Leme discusses the centrifugal and centripetal dynamic forces acting in the construction of the State in Brazil in the 1820s. Diogo Cabral adopts an approach from the perspective of environmental history, evaluating timber exploitation, the Portuguese Empire and the shipbuilding industry.
The section Estado da Arte (State of the Art) has an essay of Marcelo Mattos on the prolific historiographical output drawing up a balance of the military coup d'état of 1964, on the occasion of its fortieth anniversary in 2004, and the thirtieth anniversary of Goulart's death, in 2006. The text also assesses the relationship between history writing and research and documentation centres. Five critical summaries follow, singling out various works of interest.
We hope that, as between printed material and hypertext, the present volume of the Brazilian Journal of History will stimulate our contacts, and contribute to the exchange of our experiences, ideas, research and, above all, hopes.