The Library associated with the Museological Center of Hospital Colónia Rovisco Pais integrates the documentary, photographic and bibliographic collection of the former hospital. It was reorganized in 2023 and makes available to researchers the documentary collection of the scientific library of the former Hospital Colónia Rovisco Pais, which functioned as a center for sharing and producing science and was enriched by the works produced by the Hospital’s clinical staff, with acquisitions and gifts, namely from leprologists who visited the Hospital or sent by similar services in other countries. Its collection has helped the clinical staff of the former leper hospital in the treatment and study of Hansen’s Disease since 1947.


The bibliographic fund of the Hospital Colónia Rovisco Pais library is made up of works from the former Scientific Library and the Hospital Laboratory, totaling around 4,350 volumes and 740 titles, 51% of which correspond to monographs and 49% to periodical publications, especially magazines and scientific journals.
In chronological terms, consulting these works allows us to understand the evolution of health sciences and assistance, all over the world, from the end of the 19th century to the 21st century.

The oldest work, dated 1823, corresponds to a 2nd edition of the “Ensaio Dermosographico ou Succinta e systematica des Descripção das Diseases Cutaneas” by Bernardino António Gomes, author of the first modern census of Hansen’s disease patients in Portugal.

Around 40% of the publications that make up this fund are foreign, originating from: England, France, Switzerland, Spain, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, the former Soviet Union, the United States of America, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, India, Angola, etc. being representative of the main authors, associations and health organizations in these countries, especially in the fields of Dermatology and Leprology. There is also an interesting collection of proceedings from international conferences on the topics of Dermatology and Leprology.
The rarity of some of these publications is due to the fact that they are not included in the catalogs of other Portuguese libraries.

It also makes available, in its Digital Library, digital copies of the Hospital’s main publications, including “Rovisco Pais: Revista Portuguesa of leprosy disease” and the patient newspaper “Luz”, as well as other publications published by the former hospital specializing in the treatment of Leprosy.

Consultations and Research

The library has a reference service and consultation must be requested in advance using the contact details indicated below.


Telephone: 231440900/231440966


Consultations must also be scheduled in advance and will be carried out in accordance with the appropriate regulations for each type of documentation.

The provision of a copy of all work carried out on the old Hospital is gratefully acknowledged, in order to expand the bibliographic collection, as well as the indication of source and ownership when using data from this library.

Digital Library

Luz : For the defense and rehabilitation of leprosy patients (1956 – 1959)
Place of Publication: Cantanhede
Writing and Administration: Secretariat for inmates of the Hospital-Colónia
Composition and Printing: Figueira da Foz – Type. Cruz & Cardoso

Newspaper that published texts from patients and employees and news from Hospital Colónia Rovisco Pais.

Publications made by Hospital Colónia Rovisco Pais or by its directors, namely reports and reprints.

Rovisco Pais : Portuguese Journal of Hansen’s Disease (1962 – 1981)

Place of Publication: Tocha

Editing, Ownership, Writing and Administration: Hospital-Colónia Rovisco Pais

Scientific magazine of Hospital Colónia in which all types of scientific and assistance activities in that institution were published.

News about Hospital Colónia Rovisco Pais.

Arquivo fotográfico


The photographic archive of the former Hospital Colónia Rovisco Pais is composed of series that portray daily life in the therapeutic village and photographic series from the clinical archive, portraying the various manifestations of the disease.

Part of the collection is available for consultation online.