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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.


Date Range
1806 2015


Cristobal, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Havana. He was originally from Canton. In his baptism, Cristobal offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-10-10

Mariano, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-08-10

Teluforo, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1862-08-19

Jose, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Havana. In his baptism, Jose offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-08-06

Two unnamed children, born from a Cuban and Chinese settler, were baptized in the city of Havana. There was debate over whether or not the parish church should record their baptisms in the book for those of European descent or in the book for minorities. Churches would use different books for Europeans, whites, and minorities.

Created Date
1864-04-29

Manuel Corp, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. Manuel was originally from Macao. In his baptism, Manuel offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1871-09-15

Atay or Cayetano, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Matanzas. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1871

Narciso, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was originally from Canton. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1866-07-30

Juan, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Laguanillas. Juan was originally from Macao. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1867

This is a baptism certificate that was signed on November 27, 1867 by Don Jose Ramon de la Paz. The document describes the baptism of Felix, a Chinese settler. He is listed in the baptismal record book for people of color.

Created Date
1867