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Vives Family Papers

Identifier: MSS 0502

Scope and Content

The Vives Family Papers date from 1865 to 1956 and primarily consist of documents related to the Vives family in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Mainly consisting of letters between family members and friends or business associates. The collection includes photographs and financial documents as well, revealing the family's various endeavors in Ponce and abroad. The majority of the written material is in Spanish, although some printed documents are written in English.


  • Creation: 1865 - 1956


Language of Materials

Includes materials written in Spanish and English.


The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Initially one of the many small settlements along the southern coast of Puerto Rico, Ponce experienced massive growth in terms of population and industry in the first half of the nineteenth century when the Spanish Crown encouraged the migration of mainland citizens. Ponce, a coastal town with fertile land, underwent particular growth as the area attracted migrants with interests in agriculture. The main crops of the region included corn, coffee, and sugarcane. Demographic growth and foreign investment resulted in the boom of other industries. After the Spanish-American War in 1898, Ponce began to decline.

Salvador de Vives Rodó, the patriarch of the Vives family and eventual Mayor of Ponce in the late 1840s, was a Spanish immigrant who found opportunity and wealth in Puerto Rico. With his wife, Isabel, and son, Carlos Maria, he headed a powerful coffee plantation that would remain in the family for generations and only continue to grow in influence under the control of his son and grandsons. Carlos Maria and his own sons, Guillermo, Salvador, and Carlos II, would go on to manage the plantation well into the twentieth century.


.21 Linear Feet (1 Box)


The Vives Family Papers date from 1865 to 1956 and primarily consist of documents related to the Vives family and their business activity in Ponce, Puerto Rico.


The collection includes four series: correspondence, stock, documents and notes on business, and photographs. Each series is organized in chronological order.


University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Alternate Form of Finding Aid

This guide is available in Spanish at

Acquisition Information

The collection was purchased in 2018.

A Guide to the Vives Family Papers
Finding aid created by Ivanna Moreno
June 2019
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America