The IEB Collection consists of 91 funds and collections, besides an extensive documentation resulting from research and singled out and general documentation. In quantitative terms, these are approximately 500 thousand documents in the Archive, 250 thousand books in the Library and 8 thousand objects in the Visual Arts Collection.
The incorporations to the collection by the IEB through purchases or donations are maintained in their entirety and destined to the Archive, the Library and the Visual Arts Collection, according to their specificities. The Archive is responsible for the organization of textual and audio-visual documents, while the Library deals with published works and the Visual Arts Collection brings together works of art and three-dimensional objects.
The IEB Guide presents this set organized by collections, of which are informed: the title; the biography of the holder; the process of incorporating the collection into the IEB; content description; amount and state of organization. As for the online collection, it makes available the scanned material and research tools, in which there is information on the documents, which can be consulted through the IEB Electronic Catalog.
Institutional responsibility for this cultural heritage implies reflecting and developing guidelines on guarding and conserving, as well as the incorporation of new collections, aiming at the preservation of memory, production of knowledge, extroversion and the publication of the collection.
In this sense, IEB has held two seminars in 2006 and 2009 for a broad discussion and development of collection policies.
In 2006, the seminar gathered specialists from all over Brazil, who would deal with institutions holding cultural collections and, above all, personal files. The meeting dealt with the challenges of availability and discussed the issue of researchers’ access to sources, copyright and image, and several other limitations regarding the effective transformation of the collection into a public good. As a result of the discussions at the meeting, the document Access to the Collections of Writers and Intellectuals was developed.
The 2009 seminar aimed at addressing the various stages and challenges involved in the incorporation of new funds and collections through a wide discussion collectively held by staff, experts, professors and researchers of the Institute. At the end of the process, the document entitled Policies for the IEB Collection was approved, which includes the IEB action and planning guidelines in relation to the collection under its responsibility.