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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.


Record of business deals for Luis Lusini and Cayetano with the Society of Asian Colonization concerning the importation of Chinese settlers to Cuba to work.

Created Date
1860-03-31

A complaint filed by Ramon de Guerediaga, in the name of three Chinese settlers, Enrique, Ramon, and Rafael, concerning allegations of abuse and maltreatment against their employer.

Created Date
1858-05-18

A contract between Ramon, a Chinese settler, and Francisco San Varilla. The contract was to last for six months and lists the legal requirements of both the employee and the employer. Notes that Ramon was originally from Macao. Ramon did not negotiate or sign the contract as the signature stipulates that someone else signed for him. Signed by Francisco San Varilla and the governor of Havana.

Created Date
1869-11-15

Death certificate for Ramon, a Chinese immigrant. He died in the Hospital de Caridad de San Felipe y Santiago.

Created Date
1874-11-27

This is the second contract between Ramon, a Chinese settler, and Martin de Cardenas y Layas for the period of six months. This contract is undated and signed in Chinese.