An Annotated Bibliography and Internet Guide for the Madeira Islands

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For the first time in English, a comprehensive list of over 500 books, articles and manuscripts about the Madeira Islands summarized and with an outline of island history since its discovery in 1419, including website addresses that guide students of Madeiran Studies to archives, book inventories, private collections, libraries, manuscripts, theses, government documents and periodical essays. Identifies, selects, classifies and summarizes aspects of Madeira from marine fauna to folklore dancing, primary sources for students from secondary school to graduate school and invaluable data for newcomers and rare book collectors. The scattered literature from libraries and offices throughout Europe and America brought together in one volume including recent original works in Portuguese with simple and clear author, title, subject and web site indexes for efficient use.


“Useful literature on the Madeira Islands has come a long way since the publication of the unlikely but popular 1840s English title, The Invalid's Guide to Madeira and J. Donald Silva's bibliography and internet guide amply documents this fact. Without a doubt, Silva's work is the longest annotated bibliography and internet guide on Madeiran Studies in English or perhaps in any language ... J. Donald Silva comes to Madeiran Studies with suitable credentials and pedigree. Of Madeiran stock himself from a Madeiran family transplanted to northern New England, Professor Silva has spent more than thirty years in the pursuit of this collection, its study and compilation. His first efforts occurred during a different political age than ours, during the last years of the New State Dictatorship of Portugal, before the political earthquake historians describe as the Portuguese Revolution of 1974-75. Out of a military coup which overthrew the Dictatorship and a subsequent Revolution came the establishment of today's Portuguese democracy. As an Autonomous Region of Portugal since 1976, Madeirans have a greater measure of self-rule than they have ever had in their history. Since his first footfall in the Madeira Islands in 1971, with tantalizing visits to Funchal bookstores and libraries, Professor Silva has kept his nose to the Madeiran bibliographical grindstone ... This book now in hand cannot help but impress the reader with its coverage of a great array of publications in several languages on many aspects of knowledge about the Madeira Islands, from the general to the very specialized ... Professor Silva's contribution here is more than a bibliography of publications--it is an internet guide to Madeira, for the electronic age we live in. As readers will discover to their delight, in cyberspace, Madeiran Studies has its share and more of pixels to occupy a generation of clickerati in their research. The Madeira Islands are modest in size and the duration of human settlement short (580 years), but Professor Silva has discovered, compiled and annotated a vast literature, for which even adopted or vicarious Madeirans will be grateful.” – (from the Commendatory Preface) Douglas L. Wheeler, Professor Emeritus, University of New Hampshire

“The Madeira Islands are little specks of islands in the Atlantic, but they have gathered quite a history for themselves. Until a work such as that by Prof J. Donald Silva comes along, much of that history and human experience remains there but somehow disconnected. Prof. Silva’s Bibliography has brought together all pertinent and available information on the islands from their first European discovery and subsequent colonization. Traveler’s accounts are the most prolific for a while, for such visits were the primary reason for the contact. Later when the wine industry begins there is an awareness of the economic dimension, and then various other governmental and business entities become much more serious about its products. After discovery these islands have had to develop very much on their own, and to realize they have now evolved to the position of having gained the status of an autonomous region of Portugal is a feather in their cap. The entire Bibliography makes available the Madeira story to English-speaking readers, and permits them to easily access information about this history.

Two elements in particular are of note. First, the very structure of the Bibliography provides a list of the most significant areas worthy of data gathering. The Table of Contents in itself represents the most meaningful ways to access information on the islands. Prof. Silva has detailed a very wide, but stable foundation for Madeira Studies to date. I can foresee this very structure being used in 10 or 20 years to provide an up-date on the same categories, and thereby facilitating the continued growth of Madeira Studies. Second, the classified websites truly bring studies on Madeira into the XXI century. The explosive growth of the internet and websites is reflective of how we are all communicating these days, and to have located such websites for Madeira quickly brings to bear all pertinent up-to-date information for the interested reader. I recommend this book very highly to you.” – Professor F. William Forbes, University of New Hampshire

“J. Donald Silva has compiled a comprehensive list of books, articles, manuscripts, and website addresses about the Madeira Islands. To the best of my knowledge this is the only comprehensive bibliography about all things Madeiran published in English to date. Professor Silva has spent more than thirty years gathering material for this exhaustive, quirky, and important annotated bibliography and internet guide. This work is highly recommended for any library with an interest in European history and culture.” – Peter R. Crosby, Reference Librarian, University of New Hampshire

“It is not often that one finds a bibliography that is appropriate for a public library and a university library. This one pulls it off even to the extent that students in the British Isles, the United States, Portugal, and wherever Madeirans live, they will be able to use this book to gain knowledge about their beloved islands.” – Ezra Talbot, Independent Scholar

“ ... the author has painstakingly put together an annotated list of every known article and book on the island of which he is aware. He suggests that this bibliography and internet guide is a general survey of books and web sites available in English and Portuguese on various subjects about the Madeira Islands. The few books published about the islands in English recent years have limited the choice of entries ... Academics will find this a useful guide to the literature of Madeira, and, although published in the USA, it will be of great use elsewhere. Some of the entries are quite fascinating ... a worthy effort.” – Reference Reviews, 2006

Table of Contents

Preface by Dr. Douglas L. Wheeler
1. Introduction
2. Madeira & Its People
3. Geography, Maps
4. Tourism & Guidebooks
5. Traveler's Accounts
6. Flora & Fauna
7. History & Genealogy
8. Biography, Diary & Letters
9. Culture
10. Emigration
11. Religion & Churches
12. Social Service, Health & Welfare
13. Politics & Government
14. Economics, Finance, Banking
15. Industry, Investment, Trade
16. Agriculture
17. Statistics
18. Science & Technology
19. Literature
20. The Arts
21. Wine & Cuisine
22. Media
23. Bibliography
Author Index
Title Index
Subject Index
Website Index
Map of Madeira

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