Skip to main content

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.


A contract between Ysidoro, a Chinese settler, and Francisco Fernandez. The contract was to last for a year and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Ysidoro completed a contract with another owner previously. Signed by Francisco Fernandez, the governor and Ysidoro, who signed in Chinese.

Created Date
1867-08-12

This is the first contract between Ysidoro- a Chinese settler, and Francisco Fernandez, his new owner. This contract was signed upon the completion of another contract with a different owner in Cardenas.

Created Date
1866-07-02

10 Chinese settlers were hired to work on public works. They were transported to Cuba aboard the ship Luisita under contract with la Alianza. These workers were hired to work in Havana.

Created Date
1864-04-10