The SSDA Brazil collection consists of seventeenth- through nineteenth-century secular and ecclesiastical documents, primarily from the present-day states of Rio de Janeiro and Paraíba. In addition to the documents themselves, this section of the archive contains information on the development of the projects as well as a small selection of transcriptions and volume descriptions. The collection is organized in a geographical hierarchy, beginning with a modern state and descending to a modern city and finally the institution where the document in question was originally produced.
The Rio de Janeiro records contain baptismal, marriage, and burial records of slaves, emancipated slaves, and free people from the archive of the current Archbishopric of Niterói. Due to successive changes in ecclesiastical jurisdiction, the archive possesses documents from parishes and even bishoprics that are outside the current jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Niterói. These parishes and bishoprics belonged to the old bishopric of Rio de Janeiro, and provide us with important documentation from the current bishopric of Campos (the old Campos dos Goitacazes, in the extreme north of the current state of Rio de Janeiro) and that of Duque de Caxias (around Guanabara Bay).
The Paraíba records consist of documents from three sites: the Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Paraibano, the Arquivo Público Waldemar Bispo Duarte in João Pessoa, and the Paróquia de Nossa Senhora dos Milagres in São João do Carirí. They contain a wide variety of material including (but not limited to) baptisms, marriages, burials, notarial records, government correspondence, legal records, and royal orders.