Brazilian county-level juridical documents as sources for historical geography: a case study from western Sao Paulo State Academic Article uri icon


  • In this essay I discuss the uses of juridical documents from western Sao Paulo state, Brazil, for the historical geography of twentieth-century environmental and agricultural change. Documents analyzed include land-survey and land-subdivision records, probate cases, land-use and land-tenure litigation, and labor complaints. Land-survey material can be used to reconstruct settlement-era vegetation and land uses. Probate inventories for rural properties show watershed-specific details of farming economies. Analysis of land-title conflicts reveals how environmental resources are contested in a wide range of settings. Labor complaints allow researchers to study the diversity of social relations in land clearance and agriculture.

author list (cited authors)

  • Brannstrom, C.

publication date

  • December 1997