National Library of Australia

You must be logged in to Tag Records
Papers of J.M. Braga, 1862-2000 (bulk 1920-1971) [manuscript]
Bib ID 538326
Format ManuscriptManuscript
Braga, J. M. (José Maria), 1897-1988
Related Online
Access Conditions Available for research. Not for loan. 
Description [1862-2000] 
37.68 m. (103 boxes) + 16 card boxes + 48 fol. boxes + 3 map folios. 

The Braga Papers form a rich resource on the history of European colonisation of East Asia from the 16th century to the mid-20th century. The papers include diaries, correspondence, draft and research material relating to writings by Braga and others, transcriptions of historical documents, bibliographies of research resources, personal documents, family papers, financial papers, legal papers, business records, committee papers, notebooks, notes, catalogue cards, printed material, photographs, realia and ephemera. The bulk of this material documents J.M. Braga's life in Macau, 1922-1946, and Hong Kong, 1946-1966, and his historical research and writings.

Although Braga's primary focus was the history of the Portuguese in Macau and the region, the collection also documents such topics as the Second World War, religion, economics, politics, literature, medicine, engineering, geography and language. Highlights include material relating to the "Jesuítas na Ásia" codices from the Biblioteca da Ajuda, Lisbon, particularly Braga's translation of "Ásia Extrema" by António de Gouveia; Braga's exhaustive "biobibliographical" research notes numbering thousands of entries; and his "Luso-Oriental Manual", a study of Portuguese officials and their contemporaries in China from the 1500s to the early 1900s (103 boxes, 16 card boxes, 48 fol. boxes, 3 map folios).


José Maria Braga was a scholar and businessman with a keen interest in the history of European encounters with East Asia from the 16th to the mid-20th centuries. Born in Hong Kong, 22 May 1897, he lived in Macau from 1922 to 1946, where his career included teaching English at St Joseph's Seminary, 1922-1934, and being general manager of the Macau Waterworks Company, 1934-1946. After the Second World War, Braga returned to Hong Kong with his wife Augusta and their seven children, where he ran Braga & Co., a small import-export business, before moving to New York in 1966 and then Australia in 1968.

From the 1920s Braga had set about collecting and recording the history of Macau and the region, dating from the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century until the mid-20th century. As well as producing scholarly articles, addresses, books and other writings, Braga transcribed historical documents and compiled extensive bibliographies. Over his lifetime he amassed a considerable collection of manuscripts, books, pictures, maps, journals, newspapers and other works, which he sold to the National Library of Australia in 1966. He worked in the Library on a fellowship from 1968 to 1972. He then moved to San Francisco, where he died on 27 April 1988.


Manuscript reference no.: MS 4300.

Associated materials: Approximately 200 individual manuscripts collected by J.M. Braga are held at MS 4301 to MS 4498.

Associated materials: Papers of J.P. Braga, 1884-circa 1929 MS 4380, MS Acc08.113.

English, Portuguese and Chinese.

Related Material J.M. Braga collection; Located at; National Library of Australia Pictures collection.  Braga special map collection; Located at; National Library of Australia Map collection MAP Braga Collection Col. /1-148. 
Index/Finding Aid Note Finding aid available online and in the Special Collections Reading Room. 
Subjects Braga, J. M. (José Maria), 1897-1988 -- Archives.  |  Braga family -- Archives.  |  Historians -- Archives.  |  Portuguese -- China -- Hong Kong -- Archives.  |  Portuguese -- China -- Macau (Special Administrative Region) -- Archives.  |  Collectors and collecting -- China -- Macau (Special Administrative Region)  |  Portuguese -- East Asia -- History.  |  Macau (China : Special Administrative Region) -- Civilization -- Portuguese influences.  |  Portugal -- Relations -- East Asia.  |  East Asia -- Relations -- Portugal.  |  East Asia -- Bio-bibliography.
Time Coverage 1862-2000 
Occupation Scholars.  |  Historians.  |  Teachers.  |  Business professionals.  |  Collectors.  |  Bibliographers.
Terms of Use Copying of J. M. Braga's copyright material NOT permitted for research purposes. 


    In the Library

    Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video Help Video.

    Details Collect From
    MS 4300 Special Collections Reading Room
    Access details ... more

    Order a copy

    - Copyright or permission restrictions may apply. We will contact you if necessary.

    Help Video To learn more about Copies Direct watch this short online video Help Video.
    close Can I borrow items from the Library?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    close What can I get online?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    close Can I get copies of items from the Library?

    You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

    You can view this on the NLA website.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
    Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.