The George A. Smathers Libraries’ Latin American and Caribbean Collection has collaborated extensively with Cuban libraries and information institutions in the last four years, and it has been an intrinsic part of the collaborative agreements that the University of Florida (UF) has established with the National Library (Biblioteca Nacional José Martí) and the Foundation Antonio Núñez Jiménez. These agreements have allowed exchange visits among these institutions. Dr. Eduardo Torres Cuevas, Director of Cuba’s National Library, visited UF in 2012 and 2013. In 2013 and 2014, a group of UF librarians, including Dean Judy Russell, visited Cuban archives and libraries, including the National Library, the National Archives, and the Foundation Antonio Núñez Jiménez. Another result of these agreements is the constant flow of researchers, librarians, and archivists who have visited and used the University of Florida’s Latin American and Caribbean Collection’s holdings.
The recent collaborations build upon many decades of library collaboration, including more recent collaboration with the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC, www.dloc.com) to which both UF and the National Library of Cuba contribute materials, along with many other institutions from around the world. The recent collaborations also build upon many decades of library and researcher collaborations to collect, preserve, and make accessible research and cultural materials from and about Cuba.
For example, in 2011 then Head of the Latin American and Caribbean Collection, Richard Phillips, participated in the Social Science Research Council national initiative to promote collaboration between US and Cuban institutions on the preservation and sharing of research materials. That initiative included the Academia de Ciencias de Cuba, the Casa de las Américas and the Instituto de Literatura y Linguística, as well as four other US institutions.