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Celebrating Cuba! Collaborative Digital Collections of Cuban Patrimony: Cuban Archives and Manuscripts

Braga Brothers Digital Collection

The principal holdings of the Braga Brothers collection are the records of the Czarnikow-Rionda Company of New York and its subsidiaries and affiliates. From the beginning of the 20th century until the early 1960s, Czarnikow-Rionda was one of North America's largest importers of sugar and molasses. Although it traded in sugar from around the world, its principal source was Cuba. From its offices on Wall Street the company bought and sold ship loads of raw sugar, provided sugar mills with equipment and supplies, and negotiated short term crop loans to Cuba's sugar producers. Czarnikow-Rionda's affiliated companies in Cuba and the United States included cane farms, sugar mills, storage and weighing facilities, a sugar refinery, alcohol distilleries, and cattle ranches. The images below the University of Florida Digital Collections's Cuba Collections show certificates and reports of subsidiaries/affiliate companies in Florida of the Czarnikow-Rionda Company of New York.     

Certificate for 100 shares of common stock in the Manati Sugar Company owned by the Czarnikow Rionda Company   

Report of Punta Alegre Sugar Company

Annual Report of the Cuban Cane Sugar Corporation

Romero Family Papers Digital Collection

The Romero Family Papers collection includes correspondence, photos, and mementos relating to the legacy of José Martí in Cuba. Explore the collection in the University of Florida Digital Collections portal. One particularly interesting group of holdings are the photographs of Paseo Martí in Havana in 1928, showing people and parades as the city proudly inaugurated the beautiful boulevard and ocean avenue. 


About Cuban Archives & Manuscripts

The Cuban Archives and Manuscripts collection includes archival collections that document the history and culture of Cuba and holdings that relate to Cuba and Cubans since the seventeenth century.

The University of Florida Smathers Libraries Special and Area Studies Collections are home to thirty-five archival collections of Cuban content exclusively. Some parts of them have been digitized and are part of the University of Florida Digital Collections. The following finding aids describe the collections, and these guides are now available in Spanish as well. 

In addition to finding guides for collections with only a few items digitized at this time, there are curated online collections with significant portions of the materials digitized and with information in both English and Spanish. The largest collections in the Cuban Archives and Manuscripts online collection are the Braga Brothers collection (only partially digitized), documenting the history and evolution of the sugar industry in Cuba and the United States from the 1860s to the late twentieth century, and the fully digitized Romero Family Papers collection, with personal records and other material regarding José Martí. To access the PDF of the Spanish Finding Aid of the Romero Family Papers collection, click here. Patrons can access the digitized sections of these collections through the links in the sub-collections section at the bottom of this page.

The Cuban Archives and Manuscripts collection is in development, with contributions to be added from partner institutions in Cuba and other locations that hold archival collections from and about Cuba.  


Bilingual finding aids of Cuban archival collections with digital content and partially digitized collections

The University of Florida Smathers Libraries Special and Area Studies Collections is home to more than thirty other archival collections of Cuban content. Some parts of them have been digitized. Click here for to see the finding aids in Spanish and English and to know which collections have been digitized and which collections have been partially digitized. The finding aids that describe these collections have also been translated into Spanish. Las guías que describen estas colecciones también están disponibles en español, traducidas por Nelissa Caraballo-Ramos. 

Fully digitized collections - Cuban Archives

Fully Digitized Collections

Partially digitized collections - Cuban Archives

A Guide to the James M. Adams "Pioneering in Cuba" Papers (English Finding Aid) (PDF, Spanish Finding Aid). This collection encompasses the notes and letters of James M. Adams during his time in the American colony of La Gloria, Cuba. There is one item digitized from this collection, the book by James M. Adams Pioneering in Cuba: a narrative of the settlement of La Gloria, the first American colony in Cuba, and the early experiences of the pioneers.

A Guide to the William P. Angrick II Collection of Latin American and Caribbean Stereographs (English Finding Aid) (PDF, Spanish Finding Aid) This collection contains views of South American countries, Cuba, Jamaica, and Florida between 1860 and 1919. The digital surrogates of the stereographs are available here.

A Guide to Taco Bay Commercial Company Records​​​ (English Finding Aid) (PDF to Spanish Finding Aid) The organizational records of this sugar company are open for research. To see some of the business correspondence view the 18 digital items in UFDC.

A Guide to the B. S. Hile Correspondence (English Finding Aid) (PDF, Spanish Finding Aid) The B. S. Hile Correspondence (19 handwritten letters, approximately 40 pages) is dated from August 1861 to July 1862 and they document travel to Cuba.

A Guide to the José Ignacio Rodríguez Papers (English Finding Aid) (PDF, Spanish Finding Aid) There are 64 letters to and from Jose Ignacio Rodriguez spanning almost two decades in the late nineteenth century, from 1873 to 1890.

A Guide to the Military Papers of the Spanish Army in Cuba (English Finding Aid) (PDF, Spanish Finding Aid) Correspondence, financial records, and other documents about the organization and activities of the Spanish military in Cuba from 1869 to 1897.

A Guide to the Business Letters Describing the Financial Market in Cuba (English Finding Aid) (PDF, Spanish Finding Aid) Includes correspondence, dated 1867-1871, from agents in Cuba reporting on business and market conditions to merchants in Portland, Maine.

A Guide to  Paul A. Hughes Collection of Caribbean Stereographs (English Finding Aid) (PDF, Spanish Finding Aid) The collection includes 197 stereograph images showcasing scenes and views of the Greater and Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. Also featured prominently are stereographs images from the Spanish American War.

A Guide  Cuban Slave Insurance Collection (English Finding Aid) (PDF, Spanish Finding Aid) Seventeen documents pertaining to insurance for slaves in Cuba.

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