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Cuban slavery collection

Call Number: MS 2116

Scope and Contents

Official documents pertaining to slavery in Cuba, mostly from Matanzas, Cuba. Documents include death certificates for enslaved people, petitions for freedom from slavery, documentation of disputes, prisoner correspondence, and arrest warrants. Some death certificates specify the cause of death, the plantation or enslaver, and the enslaved person's origin in Africa.


  • 1848-1889

Language of Materials

The materials are in Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Latin American Collection Curator, 2020. Purchased from Kevin Jackson, 2019.


Some materials are arranged into groupings and are arranged chronologically within those groupings. Other materials are arranged in no particular order or in the order in which they were originally bound together.


.42 Linear Feet (1 box)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Biographical / Historical

Slavery was legal in Cuba from the 16th century until it was abolished on October 7, 1886. Enslaved people of African origin were the primary source of labor in the Cuban sugar industry controlled by Spanish plantation owners.

Processing Information

Folder titles were supplied by Yale University Library processing staff based on document contents. Processing staff included names of people in the folder descriptions when they were identified in the materials.

Guide to the Cuban Slavery Collection
compiled by Jana Krentz
July 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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