Ernesto Chávez Collection
Scope and Content
Underground publications within Series 1 form a rare collection of zines and periodicals pre-dating the Cuban Revolution. The zines titled Revolución and Aldabonazo were published by Vicente Baez and Carlos Franqui. Dr. Lillian Guerra received this confirmation from Baez. The series also contain 28 issues of Carta Semanal, the semi-clandestine publication of the Cuban Communist Party or PSP, dating from 1951 to 1958. It was semi-clandestine because Batista tolerated it and allowed it to circulate even though the party was technically criminalized after 1953. The reason for Batista's tolerance is apparent in the publication's message: while it says much about Batista being a tyrant, it actually condemns the strategies of the Movimiento 26 de julio, its counterparts, and the Directorio Revolucionario in toppling the Batista regime.Series 2 to 6 include material related to Fidel Castro's revolutionary Movimiento 26 de julio.
Ernesto Chávez's own experience as a maestro rural and the city of Matanzas's political and social life are documented in Series 7 through 11, which contain personal items, ephemera, official documents, ID cards, ration cards, correspondence, and photographs. Letters sent and received by Chávez dating from 1960 reflect his relationship with family members and friends. The correspondence also sheds light on the harsh living conditions endured by Chávez during his months of training as a maestro voluntario. Photographic material taken by Chávez with a Kodak Baby Brownie 127 camera document his experience as a rural teacher in the Cuban countryside. Some of these images are included in two of Chávez recent publications: Maestro rural and Maestro voluntario. The photographs series also includes a substantial amount of images depicting social and political scenes in Matanzas and military relations between Cuba and the US, all prior to the Cuban Revolution.
Series 12 includes Ernesto Chávez' own research on the Cuban War of Independence. He documented information about the Spanish citizens and military personal who migrated from Spain to Cuba, such as their names, residence in Spain and in Cuba, dates of birth and death. He also collected the names of citizens who had been executed by the Spanish Army. Series 13 includes the books that Ernesto Chávez used as a maestro voluntario and also as a civilian military instruction. Series 14 and 15 include collections created by Chávez's friends, such as the personal correspondence of Sahara Geraldo Paz, another Cuban voluntary teacher, and researcher Aída García Alonso's notecards and photographs regarding life in the Cuban slums or yaguas.
- Majority of material found within 1960-2014
- Chávez Álvarez, Ernesto (Person)
Language of Materials
Chávez completed a B.S. in geography at the Universidad de La Habana in 1972. From 1977 to 1981 he studied a specialization in demography and successfully defended his thesis in 1981. As a graduate student, he worked at the Centro de Estudios Demográficos (CEDEM) of the School of Economy at the Universidad de La Habana. Chávez is also a respected scholar of Cuban anthropology with active participation in symposiums in Cuba and Spain. He has an extensive list of published books in topics such as children's literature, Cuban folklore, anthropology, and economics. He currently lives in the city of Matanzas, Cuba.
3.48 Linear feet (6 Boxes)
Alternate Form of Finding Aid
- Alonso, G. and E. Chávez Álvarez, eds. Memorias inéditas del censo de 1931. La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1978. (HB3549 .M45)
- Chávez Álvarez, Ernesto. El crimen de la niña Cecilia: la brujería en Cuba como fenómeno social (1902-1925). La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1991. (BF1584.C9 C331 1991)
- Chávez Álvarez, E., ed. La población de Cuba: Centro de Estudios Demográficos. La Habana: Universidad de La Habana, Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1976. (HB3549 .H38 1976a)
- Chávez Álvarez, Ernesto. Maestro rural. Gainesville, Florida: MilianBooks, 2014. (LA2353.C92 C429 2014)
- Chávez Álvarez, Ernesto. Maestro voluntario. Gainesville, Florida: MilianBooks, 2014. (LA2353.C9 C43 2014)
- A Guide to the Ernesto Chávez Collection
- Finding aid created by Ana D. Rodriguez
- July 2016 (Updated February 2021)
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is written in English.
Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository
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