I regard it as a great honour to be asked to contribute a few words on the publication of the International Bibliography of the Discoveries and Overseas Encounters by Prof. Alfredo Pinheiro Marques and his collaborators at the University of Coimbra. This will be an ongoing production, which will contain inter alia more than 20.000 thematic articles.

Deploying computerised and other technical resources, it is an unrivalled compilation in its field. As explained by the author, the Bibliography of the Discoveries will cover texts published on the subject in Portugal and elsewhere, in the form of both Studies and Printed Sources, related to Portuguese Overseas Expansion (from the 13th to the 18th century) and the History of the Geographical Discoveries in general and their Technical and Scientific Achievements in particular. It is mainly concerned with the Portuguese Discoveries and the Expansion of Portugal Overseas, and is complemented by a bibliography of texts referring to similar issues at the general level in relation to Europe and to the wider World.

The B.D. seeks, in short, to provide a thorough inventory of works published on the Portuguese Discoveries and Expansion, accompanied by a basic bibliography of similar themes relating to the world at large. In other words, the objective is to provide Portuguese and non-Portuguese scholars with an overview of what has been published on the Portuguese Discoveries and Overseas Expansion, rather than on the European Discoveries and Overseas Expansion as a whole. For this reason, the general sections do not pretend to be in any way as complete as those dealing with Portugal; they are intended only as a parallel and secondary accompaniment to questions relating to Portuguese concerns.

Alfredo Pinheiro Marques has fulfilled this ambition admirably. I warmly recommend this work to all those interested in the Expansion of Europe in general and of Portugal in particular.