Euclides da Cunha Library (BEC)

Euclides da Cunha Library (BEC) is a Unit of the National Library Foundation, with a librarianship function, centered on citizen’s attendance. Located on the 4th floor of Gustavo Capanema Palace, the building is situated in the Center of Rio de Janeiro and listed by the Institute of the National Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN), occupying a 786 m² area, in which preserves part of the furniture and lamps of the time of its inauguration.

Its localization, the access easiness via collective transportation, its profile of public library with free access to the bookshelves and domiciliary loan, constitute decisive factors for daily visits of readers to its hall of reading.

Euclides da Cunha Library serves the society in general, offering public and gratuitous services of free access to the reading, to information and to registers of cultural and intellectual human expression, without distinction of age range and no form of ideological, religious or politics censorship in its diversity and plurality.

Heritage and Collections

  • Euclidean Collection.
  • Collection of General Works.
  • Collection of Journals.
  • Collection of Reference.


  • Daily journals and current magazines are available for reading.


  • Free access.
  • Online Consultation database.
  • Reference Service, advising and guideline to research.
  • Books reserve (per three days).
  • Domiciliary loan - by means of membership card presentation, according to BEC Regulation.
  • Copies - observing the physical state of the work and the Copyrights law.
  • BEC Cine.
  • Study group.
  • Guided visit.

A little of History

The creation of BEC is closely linked to the management of minister Gustavo Capanema in the Ministry of Education and Public Health, position that he assumed in July 1934. Man of humanist spirit and administrative vision, he worked to construct the "Ministry of Man", the one destined to "prepare, compose and improve the man of Brazil".

The cabinet reshuffle idealized by Capanema and instituted through Law nº 378 of January 13, 1937 brings in article 20 a set of additional agencies, in which a library, the Ministry of Businesses of Education and Health Library, today Euclides da Cunha Library are inserted, a designation received from 1968.

Gustavo Capanema devoted himself to the reshuffle of the bureaucratic-administrative means, a process that included the construction of a building that sheltered its board of directors, including the library. The building, which results from this initiative, was inaugurated in  October 3, 1945 and on this date, the librarian Emy Pamplona received president Getúlio Vargas at the Ministry of the Education and Health Library hall in the new headquarter.

Thematic exhibitions

Heritage exhibitions about assorted themes, supported by BEC.