“The Évora Public Library is a majestic building in the highest part of town, as well as other important monuments. It was inaugurated in 1666 aiming at being the seat for the School of the Cathedral Choir Boys.
Only in 1805 would it be founded as a Library by the Archbishop Friar Manuel of the Upper Chamber, one of the most distinguished personalities of the Portuguese Illuminism, who donated his rich bibliographic collection of an estimated 50 thousand volumes.
Nowadays the Évora Public Library is one of the oldest and most valuable ones in the entire country.
This huge collection includes 664 incunabula (printed books from the first period of the press); 6.445 books printed in the XVI century, several handwritten documents on cartography and music, plus 20.000 headlines of periodical publications.
There are even some rare and unique documents, such as important historic remains: the Plan of the trip of D. João de Castro when he first traveled to India in 1538, the Plan of Boa Esperança, and the Évora Charter of Reading.
The building is divided in three sections open to the public, and has a vault where the most precious copies are kept.”
Source: Site VisitÉvora.net – Guia de Viagem