Cuba Library Resources

Harvard libraries are the home of some of the most important Cuba collections outside of Cuba. Currently, Harvard library is undergoing an important process of digitization of some of its most important Cuba related resources. The José Augusto Escoto Cuban History and Literature collection, ca. 1574-1920, is currently undergoing digitization. The collection comprises autograph manuscripts, correspondence, historical documents, printed items, and other materials relating to Cuban history and culture. It includes 63 boxes with clippings, drawings, lithographs, portraits, sketches, individual issues of journals and newspapers, decrees, orders, obituaries, pamphlets and leaflets, among others. Some of the subjects covered in the materials are censorship, religion, commerce and industry, conspiracy and independence, laws and legislation, military, piracy, political parties and elections, printing and publishing, public finance and taxation, schools and education, slavery and slave trade, statistics, theater, among others.

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Additionally, the Librarian for Latin America, Spain & Portugal is planning an additional digitization proposal that would make accessible Cuba related special collections (documents and archives) from several Harvard libraries, including the Museum of Comparative Zoology Library, Houghton Library and the Harvard University Archives. The Judaica Division, Widener Library, has digitized Judaica-related pamphlets and other materials published in Cuba.

Moreover, the Harvard Library houses the largest collection of unique Cuban monographs in the US. Over the next two years, Harvard aims to digitize monographs produced in Cuba before 1923 and make them freely accessible. In this way, Harvard University will contribute to the Cuba Libro Project, which involves the libraries from the University of Florida, Harvard University, UCLA, the University of Miami, Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Florida International University, and the New York Public Library in a collaborative effort with the Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí to provide greater knowledge of, and access to, Cuban bibliographic history held in libraries in the US and Cuba.