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Lydia Cabrera Papers

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence

Personal Papers

Works and research files

Photographs

Colonial Cuba materials

Writings by others

Memorabilia and art work

María Teresa Rojas papers



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Lydia Cabrera Papers, 1910-1991 | University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection

By Final version by Marta Martínez, María Jiménez, and Rahid Chadid; edited by Natalie Baur, 2012.

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Collection Overview

Title: Lydia Cabrera Papers, 1910-1991Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: CHC0339

Creator: Cabrera, Lydia

Extent: 76.0 Boxes

Arrangement: This collection is arranged into eight series: Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1910-1991 Series 2: Personal Papers, 1916-1992 Series 3: Works and Research Files, 1930-1987 Series 4: Photographs, 1901-1991 Series 5: Colonial Cuba, undated, 1559-1940s Series 6: Writings by Others, 1885-1991 Series 7: Memorabilia and Art Work, 1865-1986 Series 8: Teresa María Rojas Papers, 1959-1978

Languages: Spanish;Castilian

Abstract

The Lydia Cabrera Papers contain the personal and research papers of 20th century Cuban anthropologist, writer, and artist, Lydia Cabrera.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Lydia Cabrera papers document the life and career of writer and ethnographer Lydia Cabrera, one of the 20th century’s leading writers on Cuban folklore and an internationally known chronicler of Afro-Cuban culture and religion. The materials include correspondence, manuscripts of her works, field notes,interviews, photographs, illustrations, and memorabilia. This collection also contains documentation about the restoration of several colonial buildings in Cuba.

A highlight of the collection are the libretas, or notebooks, collected by Cabrera from Santeria priests and priestesses that document rituals and religious practices of the Afro-Cuban faith. These are found in Series 3 along with her manuscripts and field notes.

Part of this collection has been digitized and is available in the University of Miami Digital Collections online repository.

Biographical Note

Lydia Cabrera was born in Havana, Cuba on May 20, 1899. Her father, Raimundo Cabrera, was a lawyer. He was a member of the pro-independence intellectuals known as the “generation of 1868” and founder of the literary and political magazine Cuba y America. Lydia, an avid reader, was taught at home. She was strongly influenced by her father’s nationalist feelings and cultural background, her sister Emma’s love of art, and her nannies’ African and Afro Cuban stories, language and traditions.

Lydia completed her secondary school without ever attending classes and started auditing college courses. Although she published her first articles in the Diario de la Marina at age eighteen, her first love was painting, and she attended the San Alejandro Academy of Arts for a brief period.

In 1927, Cabrera moved to Paris to study painting and remained in France for eleven years.  Graduating from  L'Ecole du Louvre in 1930, she subsequently studied with Russian exile artist Alexandra Exter. During this time, Lydia began to study Asian cultures and religions, and her research in this area lead to a renewed interest in Afro Cuban culture. Later in her life, Cabrera stated that she “discovered Cuba in the banks of the Seine”.

During short trips to her native country while living in Paris, Cabrera began to make preliminary contacts with the future informants of her ethnology research. Back in Paris, she wrote her first Cuentos Negros. The stories were read at literary gatherings and later published in several reviews such as Cahiers du Sud, Revue de Paris, and Les Nouvelles Littéraires. A French translation by literary critic Francis de Miomandre was published by Gallimard in 1936 as a collection entitled Contes Nègres de Cuba.

Cabrera returned to Cuba in 1938 with the purpose of doing research on the subject of folklore, conscious of the need to preserve this vital element of Cuban culture for posterity. The first Spanish edition of Cuentos negros de Cuba was published in1940 in Havana; a second work of fiction, ¿Por Qué? Cuentos Negros de Cuba, Colección del Chicherekú, was published in 1948.

Cabrera distinguished her work by writing with a new voice and style and positioned herself at the forefront by conducting field research, which required her to spend years gaining the trust of her informants. She traveled within the island conducting interviews, collecting oral histories, recording stories and music, documenting rituals and practices, and cataloging “Africanisms” of Cuban Spanish. The result was El Monte (The Forest or The Wilderness), published in 1954, a formative work on Afro Cuban religions and liturgy.

Cabrera left Cuba as an exile in 1960 and she did not produce any writing for ten years. In 1970, Cabrera published Otán Iyebiyé, Las Piedras Preciosas and in 1971 the third volume of “cuentos negros” Ayapá: Cuentos de Jicotea, followed by other publications. She published one of her most well known works, Anaforuana, about the secret Abakuá society, in 1975. Her writings in exile are considered by some critics to be among her best because of the intellectual and emotional maturity she had achieved. She had become internationally recognized and honored for her contributions to literature, ethnology and anthropology.

She died in Miami on September 19th, 1991. During her long and prolific career Cabrera produced what is considered the most complete and important body of research on Afro Caribbean religions and folklore. She was one of the first to recognize the richness of African culture and its vital contributions to Cuban identity. Her work remains a leading authority of Afro Cuban culture.

Subject/Index Terms

Blacks - Cuba - Folklore
Cabrera, Lydia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research. Box 27A is restricted due to the fragile nature of the originals. Facsimile copies of the materials in that box are available for research use.

Use Restrictions: Literary rights to the works authored by Lydia Cabrera, both published and unpublished, are held by Isabel Castellanos. Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please, contact chc@miami.edu for more information.

Acquisition Method: Gift of Lydia Cabrera, 1991.  Additional materials were donated in 2006 by Jose de Armas and in 2007 by Isabel Castellanos.

Original/Copies Note: Selected materials from Series 1: Correspondence and Series 2: Photographs of this collection have been digitized. For more information please see http://merrick.library.miami.edu/cubanHeritage/chc0339/.

Preferred Citation: Lydia Cabrera Papers, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida

Processing Information: María R. Estorino and Eugenio Alonso, October 2002-January 2003. Retrospectively converted from HTML to EAD XML September, 2008 by Lyn MacCorkle and Kyle Rimkus based on a crosswalk by María Estorino. This collection was to an extent reprocessed by Marta Martínez, María Jiménez, and Rahid Chadid in Spring 2012 to update the container list to correspond with physical holdings.

Finding Aid Revision History: Full container list and edited finding aid added by Natalie Baur, August, 2012.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1910-[1991?]],
[Series 2: Personal Papers, 1916-1992, undated],
[Series 3: Works and research files, 1930-1987, undated],
[Series 4: Photographs, 1901-1991, undated],
[Series 5: Colonial Cuba materials, 1559-1940s, undated],
[Series 6: Writings by others, 1885-1991, undated],
[Series 7: Memorabilia and art work, 1865-1986, undated],
[Series 8: María Teresa Rojas papers, 1935-1987, undated],
[All]

Series 4: Photographs, 1901-1991, undatedAdd to your cart.
Series 4 contains portraits of Lydia Cabrera alone and with other people, including, among others, María Teresa Rojas, Teresa de la Parra, Eugenio Florit and various informants. The photographs also consist of studies of architectural elements in Cuba, mostly Havana. Later photographs portray Miami and art work, including subjects on Santaría. The subseries is arranged by subject. The photographs in this series have been digitized. Please refer to the University of Miami Digital Collections to view digital copies of the materials in this series.
Box 37Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Cabrera, Lydia, portraits, undated, 1910-1950Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Cabrera, Lydia, portraits, undated, 1918-1991Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Cabrera, Lydia, portraits, 1987Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Cabrera, Lydia, group portraits, undated, 1954-1986Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Cabrera, Lydia, group portraits, undated, 1980-1986Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Cabrera, Lydia, group portraits, Cuba, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Cabrera, Lydia, group portraits, honors and awards, 1984-1987Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Cabrera, Lydia, group portraits, "Lydia Cabrera, An Intimate Portrait", 1984Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Cabrera, Lydia, group portraitss, "Presentation of Homenaje a Lydia Cabrera", 1982Add to your cart.
special issue of Noticias de Arte
Folder 10: Cabrera, Lydia, group portraits, Spain, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Cabrera, Lydia, group portraits, University of Miami tribute, 1984Add to your cart.
Box 38Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Cabrera, Lydia, portraits, undatedAdd to your cart.
Oversize
Folder 2: Cabrera Lydia, and others, portrait, undatedAdd to your cart.
Oversize
Folder 3: Rojas, Maria Teresa de, portraits, undatedAdd to your cart.
Oversize
Box 39Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Photograph Album 1, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Photograph Album 2, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Photograph Album 3, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Photograph Album 4, undatedAdd to your cart.
Box 40Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Photograph Album 5, Teresa de la Parra, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Photograph Album 6, "La Quinta San José" house, photographs by Pierre Verger, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Scanned Copies of Photograph Albums 1 to 5, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Cabrera, Lydia, animals and pets, undated, 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Cabrera, Lydia, with friends: Carmita, Marie, Guillermo & Miriam Cabrera Infante, Lourdes, Celia Cruz, undated, 1977-1981Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Cabrera, Lydia, with Eugenio Florit, 1970-1987Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Cabrera, Lydia, with informants, 1930-1950Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Cabrera, Lydia, with Rudyard Kipling, 1936Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Cabrera, Lydia, with Teresa de la Parra, 1932Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Cabrera, Lydia, with Octavio Paz, 1984Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Cabrera, Lydia, with Amelia Peláez, undated, 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Cabrera, Lydia, with Maria Teresa Rojas, undated, 1984Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Cabrera, Lydia, with Josefina Tarafa, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Bacardí, Amalia, undated, 1969-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Cabrera, Elisa Bilbao Marcaida de, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Cabrera, Raimundo, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Cabrera, Ramiro and family, 1913Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Cabrera, Raul (Raulín), portraits, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 19: Cabrera, Zeyda, group portraits, undated, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Conde, Carmen, undated, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Durham, Katherine, 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Exter, Alexandra, Portraits, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 23: Gabriela, undated, 1926-1929Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Gómez Carrera, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 25: Hench, Phillip S., undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 26: Informants, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 27: Loynaz y Muñoz, Enrique, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 28: Merlín, Maria de las Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, Contesse de, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 29: Milosz, O[scar] V[ladislas] de L[ubiaz], undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 30: Miomandre, Francis de, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 31: Mistral, Gabriela, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 32: Parra, Teresa de la, Portraits, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 33: Peláez, Amelia, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 34: Rojas, María Teresa de, Family Portraits, undated, 1915-1924Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Rojas, Maria Teresa de, Group Portraits, undated, 1909Add to your cart.
Folder 36: Rojas, Maria Teresa de, Portraits, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 37: Rojas, Maria Teresa de, Portraits, undated, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 38: Tarafa, Josefina, 1963-1967Add to your cart.
Box 41Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Quinta San José, Camp Lazear site, undated, 1937-1952Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Quinta San José, construction, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Quinta San José, group portraits, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Quinta San José, Havana dwellings, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Quinta San José, photographs of documents and maps, undated, 1907Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Quinta San José, plans and drawings for "Monumento Nacional Campamento Lazear", undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Quinta San José, Yellow Fever commemorative plaque ceremonies, undated, 1952Add to your cart.
Box 42Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Cuba, architectural elements, 1, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Cuba, architectural elements, 2, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Cuba, architectural elements, 3, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Cuba, architectural elements, 4, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Cuba, architectural elements, Bayamo, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Cuba, architectural elements, Camagüey, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Cuba, architectural elements, ceilings, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Cuba, architectural elements, doors, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Cuba, architectural elements, furniture, 18th Century, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Cuba, architectural elements, Havana, 1, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Cuba, architectural elements, Havana, 2, undated, 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Cuba, architectural elements, Havana, 3, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Cuba, architectural elements, Havana, Calle Mercaderes 153 and corner of Obrapia, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Cuba, architectural elements, Havana, Calle Mercaderes 213 and corner of Amargura, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Cuba, architectural elements, Havana, Empedrado and Aguiar, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Cuba, architectural elements, Havana, Obrapia 160, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Cuba, architectural elements, Havana, Oficios 102 and corner of Amargura, "Casa de los Lombillo", undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 18: Cuba, architectural elements, Holguin, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 19: Cuba, architectural elements, Remedios, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 20: Cuba, architectural elements, Sancti Spíritus, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 21: Cuba, architectural elements, Santiago de Cuba, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 22: Cuba, architectural elements, Trinidad, undatedAdd to your cart.
Box 43Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Cuba, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Cuba, undated, 1940-1958Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Cuba, churches, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Cuba, forts and fortifications, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Cuba, slides by Pierre Verger, undated, 1950Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Cuba, tombs and sepulchral monuments, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Cuba, Güines, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Cuba, Havana, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Cuba, Havana, churches, Catedral de La Habana, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Cuba, Havana, churches, Convento de San Francisco, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Cuba, Havana, churches, Convento de Santo Domingo (Guanabacoa), undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Cuba, Havana, churches, Convento de Santo Domingo, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Cuba, Havana, churches, Iglesia de la Merced, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Cuba, Havana, churches, Iglesia de San Francisco de Paula, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Cuba, Havana, churches, Iglesia de Santa Maria del Rosario, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Cuba, Havana, churches, Iglesia de Santa Maria del Rosario, religious articles, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Cuba, Havana, city walls, 1901Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Cuba, Havana, dwellings, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 19: Cuba, Havana, prints, undated, 1950Add to your cart.
Box 44Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Cuba, Jiguaní, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Cuba, Havana, dwellings, floor plans, architecture, domestic designs plans, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Cuba, Havana, dwellings, Palacio Pedroso, undated, 1938-1939Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Cuba, Havana, dwellings, Palacio Presidencial, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Cuba, Havana, forts and fortifications, Batería de la Reina, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Cuba, Havana, forts and fortifications, Castillo del Morro, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Cuba, Havana, forts and fortifications, Castillo de la Punta, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Cuba, Havana, forts and fortifications, Fortaleza de la Cabaña, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Cuba, Havana, government facilities, Ayuntamiento, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Cuba, Manzanillo, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Cuba, Sagua la Grande, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Cuba, Santiago de Cuba, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Cuba, Trinidad, undated, 1942Add to your cart.
Folder 14: France, undated, 1920, 1960Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Italy, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Miami, boats, photo by Josefina Tarafa, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Miami, botanicas, photos by Josefina Tarafa, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Miami, buildings, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Miami, churches, Ermita de la Caridad, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Miami, clinics, photos by Josefina Tarafa, n.d, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Miami, dance schools, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Miami, Freedom Flights, undated, 1960-1971Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Miami, grocery stores, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Miami, meetings, photos by Josefina Tarafa, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Miami, monuments and memorials, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Miami, printing press, 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 27: Miami, private schools, photos by Josefina Tarafa, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 28: Miami, restaurants and cafeterias, photos by Josefina Tarafa, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Miami, Santería objects, photos by Josefina Tarafa, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Miami, signs and notices, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 31: Miami, stores and shops, photos by Josefina Tarafa, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Miami, theaters, photos by Josefina Tarafa, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 33: Miami, vehicles, photos by Josefina Tarafa, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 34: Miami, windows displays, photos by Josefina Tarafa, undated, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Nigeria, Osobago, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 36: Spain, undated, 1981Add to your cart.
Folder 37: Trinidad y Tobago, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 38: Venezuela, Caracas, undated, 1903Add to your cart.
Box 45Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Art & Artists, works owned by Lydia Cabrera & Maria Teresa de Rojas, n.dAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Art & Artists, Badias, Maria, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Art & Artists, Lam, Wilfredo, undated, 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Art & Artists, Mirabal, Rafael, undated, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Artwork, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Artwork, Cuba, prints & maps, undatedAdd to your cart.
Photo reproductions
Folder 7: Artwork, Negatives & slides, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Artwork, Paintings & sculptures, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Exhibition, "A Tribute to Lydia Cabrera," University of Miami Otto G. Richter Library, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Exhibition, "Piedras Mágicas", undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Maps & prints, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Medellín, Colombia, 1903Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Palacio de Becker, undatedAdd to your cart.
Box 46Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Santería altares, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Santería dolls, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Santería madonnas, decorated by Lydia Cabrera, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Santería piedras, painted rocks, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Unidentified house, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Unidentified people, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Unidentified people 2, undated, 1908Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Negatives, undatedAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1910-[1991?]],
[Series 2: Personal Papers, 1916-1992, undated],
[Series 3: Works and research files, 1930-1987, undated],
[Series 4: Photographs, 1901-1991, undated],
[Series 5: Colonial Cuba materials, 1559-1940s, undated],
[Series 6: Writings by others, 1885-1991, undated],
[Series 7: Memorabilia and art work, 1865-1986, undated],
[Series 8: María Teresa Rojas papers, 1935-1987, undated],
[All]



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