Polícias, ladrões & outras revelações: Arquivo histórico fotográfico do Museu de Polícia Judiciária 1912-1945

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book is the result of a 25’ year archival treatment and research on c. 40.000 images from the Historical Photographic Archive of the Portuguese Judiciary Police Museum (HPAPJPM) by his mentor and curator, Leonor Sá. It reveals not only the hitherto unknown collections of this unusual photographic archive, but also provides a first (and privileged) perspective on the history of his creation and on the research and study of his unique photographs. This discloses new and unpublished data on the History of photography, (advent of scientific) police, the ‘First Republic’ (1910-1926) and the first 20 years of the dictatorship in Portugal.
Before approaching the history of the genesis of the HPAPJPM itself, the first part of the book deals with the history of forensic photography (especially judicial portraiture) in the western world, followed by the particular Portuguese case from 1869 to 1945. This narrative goes hand in hand with the history of the Portuguese criminal investigation police (closely linked to the political police until 1927 and ancestor of the current Judiciary Police) and the beginnings of the scientific police, in a given historical, political, social and technological context.

The second part of the book shows a selection of 240 particularly relevant photographs of the HPAPJPM specifically taken by the police concerning the first half of the 20th century in Portugal:
The first portraits of common detainees following Bertillon’s model (dated 1912 and on with hidden eyes and names) including small children (!), the first photographs of fingerprints, crime scenes, tattoos, etc., and a large number of unexpected front and profile portraits of (not detained) distinguished figures of the Portuguese cultural and political life (writers, politicians, police chiefs, journalists, etc.),
These hitherto unknown photographs are followed by explanatory texts - especially biographies of many of the photographed. The conclusion - like a police mystery - unveils a web of connections between the photographed and a multitude of facts, showing new perspectives of the historical, political and social Portuguese background of the time.
Original languagePortuguese
Place of PublicationLisbon
PublisherImprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda
Number of pages248
ISBN (Print)9789722730105
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Mugshots
  • Police historical photographic archives

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