In 2001 Rutgers-Newark and the Camões Institute of Lisbon, Portugal signed an agreement, selecting Rutgers-Newark as the site of the first Camões Institute Center for Language and Culture in North America.
The Camões Institute Center for Portuguese Language and Culture, directed by the resident IC Leitor, is open to the Rutgers community of faculty and students as well as to the general public. In addition to housing over 2000 volumes of Portuguese literature, history, criticism and other scholarly publications, the Camões Institute has also provided the Center with a wealth of multi-media material such as DVDs, CD-ROMs and video Cassettes featuring the work of Portugal's most prominent artists, filmmakers and scholars. The Center will be outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment for on-site consultation of the multi-media collection. Finally, the Center will also act as the exclusive home for the Ironbound Oral History Project Archive. This archive will contain audio recordings and written transcripts from over 100 oral histories conducted by Rutgers-Newark students-a project that focuses on the life histories of Portuguese and Brazilian immigrants in Northern New Jersey.
In addition to functioning as a rich resource center for students of Portuguese literature, history and culture, the Camões Institute Center for Portuguese Language and Culture will serve as the Northeastern hub for the administration of the PLE (Português Lingua Estrangeira) exams. People wishing to become accredited in Portuguese Language will be able to take the internationally recognized PLE exams at four different levels of language proficiency.