Collection CHC0170 - Guillermo "Willy" González Collection

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Guillermo "Willy" González Collection


  • 1911-2013 (Creation)


10 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Guillermo González was born in Cuba in 1932. In 1950, he graduated from the De La Salle School in Vedado, Havana. González left Cuba in 1961 and began working as a draftsman at HJ Ross Associates where he stayed for twenty years. During his time with HJ Ross Associates, he earned degrees in mechanical engineering from Florida International University and the University of Wisconsin. After his time with HJ Ross Associates, González went on to work for sixteen years as the head of the mechanical engineering department at Spillis-Candela Architects. He later worked with McDowell Engineers and TLC Consulting Engineers for fourteen years. In May 2011, on the fiftieth anniversary of his career, González retired from engineering. In addition to his contributions to the field of engineering, he was an active community member. González was active in the Coral Gables Historic Preservation Board and the emerging Cuban Museum. He frequently presented his locally renowned slide collection at local bookstore Books and Books. Besides his dedication to the local community of Coral Gables, González was an avid world traveler. Guillermo González passed away in Miami on June 23, 2013 at the age of 81.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Guillermo González collection contains materials documenting the engineering career and personal life of Cuban engineer Guillermo González (1932-2013), including slides, photographs and images, memorabilia, personal papers, and audiovisual materials.

These materials include slide collections, photographs, postcards, advertisements, tourist brochures, and ceramic plates from famous Cuban locales. The collection also contains materials documenting González's career as an engineer, such as awards, engineering essays, and blueprints, most from his time in Miami, but some materials do date from his time in Cuba. While most of this collection’s slides, photographs, audiovisual materials, and memorabilia document life in Cuba, the personal papers document González’s life in both Cuba and in Miami. Other materials include play scripts and videotapes on subjects that were of personal interest to González.

González's extensive collection of slides have been maintained in the original order that they were created. Most of the slides are organized into slide books and each binder is further divided into thematic tabs, which are identified in the container list in this finding aid. A small amount of slides were in slide projector decks, which have been kept together in folders accompanied by the slideshow notes. Box 10 contains photographic prints from slide negatives that González donated to the Cuban Heritage Collection previously.

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged into five series: Series 1, slides; Series 2, photographs and Images; Series 3, memorabilia; Series 4, personal papers; and Series 5, audiovisual materials. Original order was preserved throughout.

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Conditions governing access

This collection is available for research.

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Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please contact for more information.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Spanish

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Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

New gift by the Grad family was at one point assigned collection # CHC5356 but was changed to original number CHC0170 in July 2014 to maintain provenance.

Immediate source of acquisition

Prints of slides gift of Guillermo "Willy" González, 1989. Gift of Myriam, Marc and Max Grad, 2014. Additional gift of memorabilia by José Valdéz, 2014.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


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Selected materials from this collection have been digitized.

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