The merchandise products: Atlas of Fernão Vaz Dourado, 1571

ÉCHARPE, Portugal, Designers Diogo Bessa;
Mário Fonseca; Ana Catarina Silva

We present another designer product born within the framework of the European Digital Treasures project. Its creators are the designers Diogo Bessa, Mário Fonseca e Ana Catarina Silva, from the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA). Their source of inspiration was one of the several folios of  the atlas of Fernão vaz Dourado, dated 1571, whose holder is  the Torre do Tombo National Archive (ANTT).

The full description of the Atlas is available on line, as well as the images of the different folios that compose it (https://digitarq.arquivos.pt/details?id=4162624).

Atlas of Fernão Vaz Dourado, 1571

About its author, Fernão Vaz Dourado (c. 1520-c.1580), we know he was a soldier and one of the three portuguese cartographers probably born and formed in Portuguese India. He mapped the known world of Europeans at the time, the coastline of the continents visited by sailors along their voyages. With the exception of polar zones, the only missing elements are the costs of some islands in Oceania (including Australia and some islands north of this continent) the North and North East coasts of Asia (north of Japan) and the entire North West region of North America, as well as the interior of the continents.

However, and according to what is known in our days about the cartographic workshops, such works could have been the product of a slow, complex, segmented and collective effort.

The new merchandise product is an écharpe, presented in an transparent envelope, which is 100% recycled material, containing contextual information about the document that gave rise to it and about the National Archive.

Lucília Runa, Senior Technician / E-administration and innovation, General Directorate of Books, Archives and Libaries, Portugal

The different stages of its creation and development process are presented in the following video:

The merchandise products: Antique Heroe& Roman matron

Thirdly, but not least, we present one more inspiring designer product of the European Digital Treasures project. It is made by Zsófia Neuzer, a Hungarian designer charged with designing by the National Archives of Hungary.

As the designer wrote, “After reading István Kővágó’s referendum summarising the events of the 1956 revolution before the UN Special Committee, the plan for an attention-grabbing, outspoken product line was immediately outlined. The text describes Hungarian civilians marching and fighting on the streets with an anachronistic analogy, specifically:

‘… I have to interpret a nation’s bloodwritten epos using the language of reality. A fight in which the characters exceeded average human level, in which 14-year-old children modelled antique heroes, 70-year-old grandmothers as old Roman matrons.’

I highlighted and placed the terms ‘antique hero’ and ‘Roman matron’ as text elements on T-shirts, complete with illustrations of antique figures in red. The set consists of organic cotton T-shirts, stickers and washable tattoos.

The product line draws attention to the importance of critical thinking, as I consider it very important that the original purpose of the document – storytelling –, could be widely realized and given great publicity by stepping out onto the street with creating new dialogues.”