The National Library of Portugal (Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal) holds the largest historical and cultural bibliographic collection of the country with over 3.5 million items from a wide range of kinds and genres, both in print and manuscript, spanning from XI century documents to the personal papers of many Portuguese writers up to the XXI century. Founded in 1796, NLP acts as the National Bibliography Agency responsible for legal deposit since its early provisions in the eighteen century, for the Portuguese National Bibliography, the National Union Online Catalogue – PORBASE, established in 1987, and the National Digital Library, launched in 2001.
The National Library of Portugal (NLP) was created in 1796 with the primary role of collecting and preserving the national bibliography, which remains its fundamental mission accomplished through legal deposit. Other main responsibilities, beyond the maintenance and preservation of the Portuguese documentary heritage, are its functions as the national standardization body for information and documentation and the management of the Online Union Catalogue of the Portuguese Libraries, the PORBASE.
The collection is accessible from the library OPAC. Since 2001, the NLP has been developing a digitisation programme and over 10.000 documents are currently available at the National Digital Library web site.