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Chinese Immigrants in Cuba: Documents from the James and Ana Melikian Collection


The Chinese Immigrants in Cuba collection includes hundreds of original documents, manuscripts and photos covering the migration of 125,000 Chinese who signed up to be cheap labor in Cuba from 1847 until the later 1890s. The archive continues until the 1970s and records the Chinese community in Cuba and is rich with photos. This massive collection, from the archive of James and Ana Melikian Collection, is probably the largest one in private hands concerning Chinese in Cuba. At present the collection contains over 1341 records and about 8,000-9,000 pages.




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This postcard image was taken in a studio in Havana. On the reverse is a handwritten annotation, "For Enrique from Lidila".

Created Date
1926-11-01
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Photograph of Che Guevara with Zhou Enlai in China. A newspaper snippet describing the photograph is attatched. It talkes of Ernesto Guevara who is the president of the Barco Nacional de Cuba. This is the end of Zhou EnLai's visit, and Che's party is sending him off.

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Photograph of a Chinese family taken by YiFong studio.

Created Date
1929-11
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An identification card for Joaquin Cok as a member of the Trade Union of Pressers.

Created Date
1959
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A photograph from a newspaper of Mario Kuchilan. This photograph was taken after he was assaulted and hit, while his wife takes care of him.

Created Date
1952-08-24
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A chinese imigrant doing metal work presumably. They have a musket strung across their back and appear to be using a drill press.

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The back reads: " For my love Carmelita with a photo of your love, Pedro"

Created Date
1941-02-26
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The back reads: "To Mercedita and your godparents. From Cuda and Pedro"

Created Date
1940-08-17
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The back reads: "I dedicate this memory to my friend Enrique Lan and the Gustavo family"

Created Date
1949-05-17
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The back reads: "For my nephew and niece, Enrique and Mercedes de Rene at five months."