Born in Porto on 5 March 1894, Artur de Magalhães Basto graduated from the Faculty of Law of Lisbon in 1922. However, he gave up his academic training in favour of a university teaching career at the First Faculty of Arts of Porto, by invitation of Professor Mendes Correia, his brother-in-law. He was hired as Assistant of the 5th Group (Geographical Sciences), a post he held from 16 January 1923 until the end of 1924 when he asked to be transferred to an equivalent position in the 4th Group (Historical Sciences), a field in which he began to show his intellectual value. He was responsible for the chairs of Colonial Geography, Political and Economic Geography, History of the Discoveries and Portuguese Colonization, Palaeography and Diplomatics, and taught until the Faculty was closed on 31 July 1931.
He changed from university teaching to private high school education, but remained always in the field of History. He taught in several Porto schools, for example the former João de Deus School, until he entered the civil service as the Head of the Department of Historical Sciences at the Municipal Public Library of Porto (1934-1938). When the Department of History of the City was set up by the Porto City Council, in 1936, Artur de Magalhães Basto was appointed its Director, with the task of organizing and managing the Municipal Archive and boost the scientific production on the history of Porto.
In 1939, he was appointed Head of the Cultural Services of the municipality, a post he combined with the management of the District Archive of Porto. He died in Porto on 3 June 1960.
During the last years of his life, he stood out as one of the main historians of the city on account of his scientific production, as well as for the promotion of the revival of the journal "O Tripeiro" (1945), which he directed. He was responsible for the section "Falam Velhos Manuscritos" [The Words of old Manuscripts], published for two decades in the newspaper "O Primeiro de Janeiro", and participated in radio programmes at the North Regional Branch of the National Broadcasting Station. Due to the recognition of his intellectual merit he was elected for the Commission for the Commemorations of Prince Henry (1960) and was appointed Chief notary of Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto [State charity institution].
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2008)