About the CPHRC
Who we are
António Costa Pinto
What is the CPHRC?
The Contemporary Portuguese Political History Research Centre was established in September 1998 as a means of using the global reach of the internet to provide a store of documentary material related to the history of the Portuguese Republic — to use new technology to facilitate and to promote the study of Portugal.
With a great deal of assistance from Mike Harland and António Costa Pinto the CPHRC very quickly gained a strong following within the academic community and beyond. So much so that by April 1999 we had outgrown the resources available to us at Glasgow and transferred to the University of Dundee where we were granted use of an office and space on the University's server. It was at this time that we established an editorial board that included several leading scholars from around the world.
In September 2000, the CPHRC held its first conference in the village of Edzell, near Dundee, Scotland. Entitled The last empire: The decolonisation of Portuguese Africa, it attracted a great deal of interest as well as an impressive list of delegates from around the world. The proceedings of this conference have been published in the book, The last empire: 30 years of Portuguese decolonization, S. Lloyd-Jones and A. C. Pinto (eds), Bristol: Intellect (2003).
Following the success of the conference, and with the website's popularity and reputation reaching ever-greater heights, we entered into talks with the University of Lisbon's Instituto de Ciências Sociais and the University of Glasgow's Department of Hispanic Studies with a view to placing the centre on a more secure footing.
In association with the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and the ICS, the we held our second conference, The Estado Novo: The final years, in Paris on 27 and 28 September 2002. Once again, this conference attracted many leading scholars from around the world.
The success of the centre in meeting its objectives can be measured in several ways. Quantatively, at the time the original site closed down, it was receiving in excess of 70,000 unique visitors each month — a remarkable figure for a site such as this back then, when dial-up internet was still the norm. Qualitatively, the site became a reference source for academics, students, journalists, politicians and diplomats.
We were the first website to publish the results of every election held in Portugal since 1910 — almost two years before the Portuguese government's national elections agencies (national election commission [CNE] or the secretariat for electoral procedure [STAPE]) had them on-line. Moreover, we are unique — there is no other website quite like ours for any other country. This enables us to say, with some pride, that we met one of our key initial objectives — to make information about the political history of the Portuguese Republic more readily available to the global community.
A new beginning
Unfortunately, we were a victim of our own success. We grew too large, too quickly and in 2004, after six years online, we were forced to close down. Now we are about to tentatively dip our toes in the waters again, and look forward to getting reacquainted with you all.