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Latin American & Caribbean Special Collections: Cuban Collections

This libguide includes archival collections related to Latin America and the Caribbean. It also includes information on rare books and digital collections. It is organized by region. The material listed here can be consulted in Special Collections.

Cuba Pre-1900


Nineteenth-Century Colonial Cuban Documents Collection. 1788-1896. The majority of the items were produced by the Spanish Crown and government, Catholic Church clergy, and the Spanish Army during the Colonial period in Cuba. The collection also contains documents written by Cubans to Spanish authorities. 

de Tapia, Lope. 1639. A document written by Lope de Tapia, regarding the service of Don Diego Luis Riano y Menesses in Cuba.

Charles IV, King of Spain: Real Cedula to Cuba. An official copy of a real cedula expressing the King of Spain's displeasure toward interracial marriages in Cuba. MS Group 302.

Barreto y Cardenas, Jose Francisco: Petition to King Ferdinand VII. 1814 October 10. Spanish nobleman says that enemies are blocking him from the Countship of Motox.

Parker, John: Letters. 1815. Three letters from Parker in Havana, Cuba, to his employer, A. C. Johnstone, discussing slave, coffee, sugar, and other markets in Havana.

José Antonio Saco Letters. 1837. Letters written by the Cuban intellectual José Antonio Saco documenting his abolitionist efforts during his residence in Europe.

Informe sobre las contribuciones de la Isla de Cuba : dado a pedimento del Excmo. S.D. Antonio Larrua, intendente de la Habana. 1841. This booklet gives the reader a glimpse into 19th-century Cuban economy: sugar production, slavery, and the role of the intendant.

Guiteras Font, Eusebio: Album de viaje. 1842-1845. Three journals of notes by Eusebio Guiteras Font about his journey with Antonio Guiteras Font from their home in Matanzas, Cuba to the United States, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, the Holy Land, and Egypt.

Convento de San Francisco. 1844. Document describing transactions of money and land between various individuals and the Convento de San Francisco in Havana, Cuba.

Cuban Slave Death Certificates and Burial Letters Collection. 1852-1898. The collection, which spans the second half of the nineteenth century, includes 28 documents. Some are letters of slave owners to the priest of the church of Montserrat in La Habana, Cuba; others are death certificates of slaves, runaway slaves, and free persons of color issued by the Real Hospital de Caridad de San Felipe y Santiago.

Cuban Slave Insurance Collection. 1855-1878. Seventeen documents pertaining to insurance for slaves in Cuba.

Hile, B. S.: Correspondence. 1861-1862. Letters written by B. S. Hile to his family while he was living and employed in Havana, Cuba.

Chinese Indentured Workers in Cuba Contracts. 1861-1878. The collection houses 25 Cuban contracts spanning from 1861 to 1878 for Chinese indentured workers. The contracts hail from different parts of Cuba and include personal information about the workers as well as information regarding the conditions of the contract and special provisions. This collection offers a glimpse into the changing nature of labor in Cuba in the 1860s and surrounding years

Prats y Salas, Antonio: "Advertencia. La presente reseña de los acontecimientos..." . circa 1863. Manuscript "Advertencia" by Antonio Prats, describing the events that resulted in his arrest during the period of political unrest leading up to the 10 Years War in Cuba.

Oberly, Aaron S. Letter describing Havana, Cuba, 1865. Manuscript letter written aboard the U.S. Steamer Santiago de Cuba by U.S. Navy Assistant Surgeon Oberly describing the people, the climate, the music, and the activity on the roads and docks of Havana. 1 folder. MS Group 164.

Spanish Volunteer Military in Cuba: Military papers. 1869-1897. Correspondence, finanical records, and official documents that reveal the presence, organization, and activities of the Spanish volunteer military in Cuba.

Factura para el cafetal La Criolla y sus esclavos. 1871. Bill of sale for the coffee plantation La Criolla and its slaves.

Rodriguez, Jose Ignacio: Papers. 1873-1890. Letters and documents of lawyer who represented clients whose property was seized by the Spanish government as retribution for their support of Cuban independence.

Adams, James M.: Pioneering in Cuba Papers. 1882-1909. Notes and letters detailing Adams's trip and stay in Cuba during the first American colonization attempt of La Gloria. The letters and notes of his experience would later be put into his book Pioneering in Cuba, which is also included.

Sanchez, Bernabe. Letterbook, 1898-1900. A letterbook containing copies of letters written by cattle rancher and financier Bernabe Sanchez of Cuba between 1898 and 1900.

Juan M. Ceballos Business Letters. 1855-1856. Collection of business letters that deal with the affairs of Juan M. Ceballos's company.

Cuba publicaciones varias.    Compilation of mid-nineteenth century Cuban pamphlets and manuscripts owned by Havana author, lawyer Bernardo de Hechavarria y O'Gaban. Bound into four sammelband volumes by the previous owner.

Cuban Economy

Royal Havana Company: Collection. 1749. Royal Havana Company was a Spanish company based in Havana, Cuba, which specialized in shipbuilding and trading of tobacco and sugar. This collection includes notes about shipments of tobacco and a letter penned by Martin de Arostegui defending his role as president of Royal Havana Company.

Informe sobre las contribuciones de la Isla de Cuba : dado a pedimento del Excmo. S.D. Antonio Larrua, intendente de la Habana. 1841. This booklet gives the reader a glimpse into 19th-century Cuban economy: sugar production, slavery, and the role of the intendant.

Matanzas-Sabanilla Railway Extension Collection. 1843. Cuban manuscripts from 1843 documenting the negotiations for the construction of the Matanzas-Sabanilla railway extension passing through important sugar refineries in Cuba.

Braga Brothers Records. 1860-1984. Business records of the Czarnikow-Rionda Company and its affiliates. The collection documents the development of the Cuban sugar industry from the 1870s to 1960.

Don Juan Elías Maigrot Documents Relating to Rights over Sugar-refining Technology. 1861-1871. Eight nineteenth-century Cuban manuscripts confirming entrepreneur Don Juan Elías Maigrot's patent for a new sugar-refining technology.

Business Letters Describing Cuba Financial Market. 1867-1871. Correspondence from agents in Cuba reporting on business and market conditions to merchants in Portland, Maine.

Taco Bay Commercial Company Records. 1908-1919. Correspondence, financial records, and stockholders' reports of the company's agricultural enterprises in Cuba.

Cuban-American Land and Lumber Corporation Papers. 1920-1925. This collection includes 12 letters and documents (20 folios), a map, and one photograph related to the Cuban-American Land and Lumber Corporation's business in Cuba, specifically the timber and lumber market.

Cuban Sugar Workers and Sugar Mills Photographs (by Arnold Eagle). circa 1950-1960. Photographs, negatives, and prints taken by Arnold Eagle detailing views of sugar mills, workers, and life in the countryside of Cuba. 

José Martí

Romero Family Papers Regarding José Martí. 1875-1974. Correspondence, newspaper clippings, photos, and mementos sent to María Mantilla de Romero regarding her father José Martí.

Romero, César: Interview on El Show de Paul Rodríguez. 1992, 2008. Filmed interview of Paul Rodríguez with César Romero in which the latter discusses his career as an actor and the relationship of his mother María Mantilla de Romero with José Martí

Cuba Post-1900

Page, James: Correspondence. 1905-1911. Letters pertaining to Page's position as the engineer in charge of constructing a water supply and sewer system in Cienfuegos, Cuba, including a 1910 report on the status of the water system.

Brown, Everett, C.: Collection. 1919-1921. Brown was an engineer and surveyor for the United Fruit Company and worked in Cuba and Costa Rica.

Historia Grafica de la Maritima Parreno: Scrapbook. 1921-1941. Documenting the development of the Maritima Parreno port facilities in Santiago de Cuba during the 1920s and 1930s.

Libro de recetas del siglo XX de la farmacia "La Reunión" en la Habana, Cuba.  1924. One of the most important pharmacies during that time in Havana was La Reunion Pharmacy, established in 1853 by Dr. José Sarrá.

Guillén, Nicolás: Manuscript of Songoro Consongo. 1931. Dedicated typewritten manuscript of Nicolás Guillén's most critically acclaimed book of poems.

Ramiro Guerra Speech. 1934. Correspondence and manuscript and translation of "El latifundio azucarero y la poblacion de las Antillas" ("West Indian sugar plantations and peoples.")

Batista, Fulgencio: Inauguration Collection. Engraved invitations and related material to celebrate his inauguration for a third term as president of Cuba (1955-1958).

Colegio "La Milagrosa": álbum de trabajos manuales. Circa 1902-1960. The Colegio "La Milagrosa", once located in Matanzas, Cuba, was established in 1902 under the direction of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.

Cuban Miscellanea

Jewish Organizations in Cuba, 1925-1967. This collection sheds light on various aspects of Jewish communal life in Cuba from the 1920s until the 1960s. The documents in the collection were created by different Jewish organizations in Havana. The majority of these letters, written agreements, registry entries, affidavits issued to immigrants to both Cuba and the US, and tickets to different events are in Yiddish, also signaling that they are related to the lives of the last large wave of Jewish immigrants to Cuba, mostly from Eastern European Ashkenazi communities.

Bono de solidaridad con el pueblo de Cuba, circa 1986 (Movimiento Puertorriqueño de Solidaridad con el Pueblo Cubano author)

La Educación de las Domésticas : Una agudización de la lucha de clases, circa 1970. (Gil Izquierdo, Elena 1906-1985 author)

Boletín de la oficina de Publicidad e Información del Palacio Presidencial : Núm. 7, 25 July 1959. (Oficina de Publicidad e Información del Palacio Presidencial (Cuba) author)

Certificado de Nacionalidad, 1940 April 11. (Consulado General de España en la República de Cuba Habana author)

Letter from Luis García Fernández to his friend, 1937 November 24. (García Fernández, Luis author)

Diary of a pleasure trip to Havana, Cuba, 1914.

Cartoon History of the Spanish American War, 1898. (Crawford, Blanche S. author)

Antología de poesía del siglo XIX, circa 1879-1880.

Ship broker Edward A. Sánchez contract of agreement to charter the American brig, Jennie Phinney, 1879 January 23. (Sánchez, Edward A. author)

Proclamación hecha por el Secretario del Partido Unión Constitucional (PUC) a los habitantes de Calabazar, Ceja de Pablo, Quemado de Giiines y Rancho Veloz en Cuba, 1878 September 18 (Aguilera y Zayas, Gabriel author)

Letter written by Alexander Graham Dunlop to Lord Augustus William Frederick Spencer Loftus, 1875 November 30. (Dunlop, Alexander Graham 1814-1892 author)

Informe sobre el estado del ferrocarril de Cienfuegos a Villa-Clara en agosto de 1864 comparado con el que tenía en el 1° de enero de 1860, 1864 September. (Fernández de Castro, Manuel 1825-1895 author)

Boleta de tránsito a favor de D. Marqués D.J. Lane, 1865 November 15. (Gobierno Político de la Habana author)

Stevens Brothers letter book on sugar commerce with Cuba, 1858 March-1860 October.

Reglas para el gobierno de los Capitanes y Sobrecargos de buques españoles y extranjeros involucrados en el comercio de importación en los puertos de la Isla de Cuba. circa 1850-1860.

Circular regarding trade relations between the United States and Cuba , 1834. (Tacon, Francisco author)

Bill of landing for a shipment of cargo from Cuba to Russia, 1825 May 13. (Atkins, Isaiah M. 1772- author)

Letter book of the Brig Barbara kept by Ship Master William T. Stevenson II, 1821 December-1822 December. (Stevenson II, William T. author)

An unknown and unpublished letter by a Scottish spy in Cuba: addressed to Henry Dundas, 1800 May 22. (Richmond, John author)

Other Collections with Cuban Content

Bennett, Charles E. Papers, 1903-2001 (bulk: 1949-1992). Congressional papers of U.S. Representative Charles E. Bennett from Florida. 253.5 ln.ft.

Holland, Spessard L. (Spessard Lindsey). Papers, 1929-1970. Lawyer, judge, governor, and U.S. senator from Florida. Correspondence and scrapbooks. 375 ln.ft.

Smathers, George Armistead. Papers, 1934-1985. U. S. Representative, 1947-1951; U. S. Senator, 1951-1969. Congressional correspondence and files. 181 ln.ft.

Burt, Al. Papers, 1948-2009 (Bulk: 1961-2007). Subject files, background notes, interviews, talks, and copies of articles and columns from the noted Miami Herald journalist Al Burt, author of Becalmed in the Mullet Latitudes, Al Burt?s Florida, Tropic of Cracker, and other works. 22 ln.ft.

Cuban Revolution

Album de la Revolución Cubana 1952-1959. circa 1959-1960. Children's illustrated album

Macaulay, Neill: Collection. 1954-2005. Papers of University of Florida Emeritus Professor of Latin American history Neill Macaulay. Includes interviews with Macaulay and his wife, Nancy. Part of University Archives Manuscript Collections.

"Movimiento 26 de Julio" Republica de Cuba $1.00 Note. circa 1955-1959. A "Movimiento 26 de Julio" Republica de Cuba $1.00 note issued by Fidel Castro during the Cuban Revolution.

Martínez Pupo, Rafael: Papers relating to Comandos Mambises. 1959-1984. Rafael Martínez Pupo was a successful business man in Cuba who lost all of his enterprises and belongings when Fidel Castro nationalized private property in 1959. He went into exile to Guatemala. In 1963, the CIA recruited him to lead a special operations unit of Cuban exiles, known as the Comandos Mambises, whose mission was to sabotage strategic targets in Cuba. The collection includes Martínez Pupo's correspondence with Cuban exiles, presidents, and news agents, as well as expense reports, receipts, and documents related to the Comandos Mambises.

González Blanco, Carlos: Collection. 1968-1977. The collection includes the letters that Carlos González Blanco wrote to his wife, mother, and daughter while he was a political prisoner in various Cuban jails. It also includes his mother's correspondence with Latin American and U.S. presidents, and international organizations, such as Amnesty International and the Red Cross, regarding the situation of her son and two brothers, who were also political prisoners.

Peñate de Tito, Reina: Collection. 2001-2009. In 1961, Reina Peñate de Tito joined a counter revolutionary group that sought to overthrow Fidel Castro. That same year, along with other members of the group, she was arrested. This collection includes testimonials on her experience as a political prisoner as well as copies of the sentence and of the release documents

Chávez, Ernesto. Collection, 1951-1968. Ernesto Chávez Álvarez (b. 1942) is a Cuban writer and scholar who worked as a rural teacher during the early years of the revolutionary regime. This collection documents events and subversive movements in Cuba, as well as Chávez's own experience as a voluntary and rural teacher. Significant items in this collection include a rare collection of zines and periodicals, and photographs depicting various social and political scenes. 

Ray, Manuel: Oral History Collection. 2008-2009. Two filmed interviews conducted by Lillian Guerra, one with Manuel Ray (aka Manolo) that is nine hours long, and the other with Aurora Chacón de Ray that is one hour and a half in length. Also included is a transcript of both interviews and several photographs

President Osvaldo Dortico's Trip to Venezuela: Photographs. 1959-1960. Consists of 59 photographs illustrating Cuban and Venezuelan relations during the beginning of the 1960s. Also contains photographs depicting the events related to the celebration of the 26 of July Movement in Venezuela.

Andrew St. George Collection. 1947 to 1999. The materials include manuscripts, research notes, clippings, newspapers, photographs, books, flyers, and correspondence. The collection is useful to researchers interested in politics, history, and journalism in Latin America and the Caribbean during the 20th Century.

Robert N. Pierce Collection. Photographs, newspaper clippings, a draft of a speech, and a press packet containing a letter, pass, and cloth patch. The collection contains materials from Pierce's January 1959 reporting trip to Cuba, mere weeks after Fidel Castro's overthrow of the Batista regime.

Lillian Guerra Collection. 1890-2013. The Lillian Guerra Collection includes photographs, historical documents, ephemeral objects, and manuscripts from Cuba.

The Alfredo Sánchez Echeverría Papers on Aureliano Sánchez Arango, 1960-1976. The materials include correspondence, personal and professional documents, photographs, newspapers, clippings, magazines, articles and audiovisual materials. The collection consists mostly of newspaper clippings and correspondence. The majority of the documents are photocopies, with few originals.


Angrick II, William P.: Collection of Latin American and Caribbean Stereographs. 1860, circa 1890-1910. Collection of 18 stereograph images showing scenes and views from South American countries, Cuba, Jamaica, and Florida.

Spanish-American War Photographs. 1898. Images from the Santiago region of Cuba and the Tampa Bay region of Florida during the Spanish-American War.

Hughes, Paul A.: Collection of Caribbean Stereographs. 1898-1903. This collection includes 88 stereograph images showcasing scenes and views of the Greater and Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea

Haskins, Harold and Geraldine. Cuban Postcard Collection, 1907-1958. This collection includes 254 postcards and two postcard leaflets from Cuba depicting major sites in Havana and Santiago de Cuba, images of culture and everyday life, and views of the ocean and nature. .35 linear feet. MSS 0410.

Public Works of Cuba Photographs. 1898-1935. This collection includes photographs and lantern slides depicting public works and landscapes from Cuba. Most of the photographs have the seal of the Gobierno de la República de Cuba, specifically the Secretaría de Obras Públicas

American Photo Company Photographs of the Port of Havana Construction. 1910-1912. This collection includes 25 duotone photographs of the construction of the Port of Havana in Cuba

Cuba en 1925 Photograph Album. circa 1925. Album entitled Cuba en 1925, Commandante M. Gajate, featuring hundreds of photographs of people and places in Cuba.

Historia de Cuba: Photograph Albums. 1935. Two copies of an album of photographs depicting people, historical sites and landmarks, events, buildings, ships, and documents spanning the history of Cuba.

Cuban Sugar Workers and Sugar Mills Photographs (by Arnold Eagle). circa 1950-1960. Photographs, negatives, and prints taken by Arnold Eagle detailing views of sugar mills, workers, and life in the countryside of Cuba. 

Barradas, Efraín: Mexican and Cuban Film Poster Collection. 1939-2007. Collected and donated by Dr. Ramon A. Figueroa, the collection consists of 378 film posters, lobby cards, and window cards.

Ray, Manuel: Oral History Collection. 2008-2009. Two filmed interviews conducted by Lillian Guerra, one with Manuel Ray (aka Manolo) that is nine hours long, and the other with Aurora Chacón de Ray that is one hour and a half in length. Also included is a transcript of both interviews and several photographs.

Lillian Guerra Collection. 1890-2013. The Lillian Guerra Collection includes photographs, historical documents, ephemeral objects, and manuscripts from Cuba.



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