|The Research and Documentation department gathers and treats information on Azulejo (Tile) and Faience giving special attention to the one made and used in Portugal, with the purpose of developing the necessary knowledge needed for the correct classification of patrimony and to its divulgation in permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions, catalogues and other publications.
For that matter, a documental report of tile ensembles in situ, of tile and other ceramic productions existing on private and public collections has been made, as well as the research of collected documents and assets concerning production centres, factories and authors of Azulejaria (Tile ) and Ceramic, ancient and contemporary.
The great tile researcher João Miguel dos Santos Simões, founder and first person to be in charge of Museu do Azulejo, pointed to the need of a Centre for the Study of Tiles, having the background of a thematic Library with a Bulletin for divulging the research works.
As an homage to Santos Simões, in 2006 was created the Rede Temática em Estudos de Azulejaria e Cerâmica João Miguel dos Santos Simões ( a thematic network of studies in tile and ceramics named after Santos Simões), with the support of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia ( Science and Technology Foundation).
From 1987 onwards, research became one of the Museum priorities, done in a consistent way with the creation of the Library and Documentation Centre, the beginning of research projects on Portuguese Tile and Faience, studies shown to the public in temporary exhibitions with the respective catalogues, and by the publication of magazine Azulejo, open to Portuguese and foreigner researchers.
A progress has been made regarding the knowledge of this area, through the development of research projects covering diversified studies, chronologic as well as thematically, like the ones on production centres and directions of taste of Portuguese Azulejo and Faience from 16th to 20th centuries, on the work of contemporary authors, on the counting of tile iconographic sources and on the setting of norms and terminologies for Ceramic.
João Pedro Monteiro