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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.


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

Relates the marriage restrictions that were imposed in all of the settled communities. Several mixed marriages were either suspended or annulled by the government and the churches.

Created Date
1806-04-02

Relates that the civil government regulated the ability of Chinese settlers to marry. If they possessed a cedula, or identity record (meaning they were legally employed in Cuba, but had not yet become a permanent resident), they needed permission to marry anyone who was considered to be of a different race. Chinese settlers could only marry other Chinese settlers without permission.

Created Date
1865-05-11

Relates that the civil government regulated the ability of Chinese settlers to marry. If they possessed a cedula, or identity record (meaning they were legally employed in Cuba, but had not yet become a permanent resident), they needed permission to marry anyone who was considered to be of a different race. Chinese settlers could only marry other Chinese settlers without permission.

Created Date
1865-03-31

Relates that the civil government regulated the ability of Chinese settlers to marry. If they possessed a cedula, or identity record (meaning they were legally employed in Cuba, but had not yet become a permanent resident), they needed permission to marry anyone who was considered to be of a different race. Chinese settlers could only marry other Chinese settlers without permission.

Created Date
1864-08-04

Relates that the civil government regulated the ability of Chinese settlers to marry. If they possessed a cedula, or identity record (meaning they were legally employed in Cuba, but had not yet become a permanent resident), they needed permission to marry anyone who was considered to be of a different race. Chinese settlers could only marry other Chinese settlers without permission

Created Date
1864-08-04

Relates that Zaldo Ferran y Dupierris solicited the civil government to create a separate book in parish churches for the marriages of Chinese settlers and blacks or people of mixed race.

Created Date
1864-05-28

Relates that the civil government regulated the ability of Chinese settlers to marry. If they possessed a cedula, or identity record (meaning they were legally employed in Cuba, but had not yet become a permanent resident), they needed permission to marry anyone who was considered to be of a different race. Chinese settlers could only marry other Chinese settlers without permission

Relates that the civil government regulated the ability of Chinese settlers to marry. If they possessed a cedula, or identity record (meaning they were legally employed in Cuba, but had not yet become a permanent resident), they needed permission to marry anyone who was considered to be of a different race. Chinese settlers could only marry other Chinese settlers without permission.

Created Date
1864-05-27

Relates that Zaldo Ferran y Dupierris solicited the civil government to create a separate book in parish churches for the marriages of Chinese settlers and blacks or people of mixed race.

Created Date
1864-05-20