Collection Now Available: Cuban Slavery Documents, 1561–1898

November 18, 2020

Houghton Library announces that MS Span 170, a collection of manuscripts related to slavery and emancipation in Cuba circa 1850–1890, is now available to researchers. Consisting largely of legal and ecclesiastical documents such as birth, baptism, and marriage records, as well as letters and commercial instruments showing sales and manumission, the collection reflects the unique conditions and struggles of enslaved persons on the island as it moved towards independence from Spain. A version of the finding aid in Spanish translation—a first for Houghton—will appear by the end of the year.

Due to the pandemic (as of this writing, November 2020), researchers should contact Houghton Library for reproductions of documents of interest. As soon as the library reopens and regular research commences, they may examine the collection in person in Houghton's reading room.