Collection CHC5315 - Fernando Ortíz Papers

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Fernando Ortíz Papers


  • circa 1940s-1950s (Creation)


3 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Fernando Ortíz (1881-1969) was a Cuban lawyer, diplomat, social and economic historian, and cultural anthropologist. During his career, Ortíz was a prolific writer, editor and civic leader. Published in 1940, Ortíz's socio-economic history of the sugar and tabacco industries in Cuba, Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar, is regarded as a cornerstone of Caribbean and Latin American history. Ortíz is also well known for his work on Afro-Cuban culture, especially in the area of Afro-Cuban music. His most prominent works on the subject include La africanía de la música folklórica de Cuba (1950) and Los bailes y el teatro de los negros en el folklore de Cuba (1951).

Ortíz was heavily involved in promoting scholarship and inquiry in Cuba. In 1926, he cofounded the Cuban Academy of the Language, several academic journals, and the Sociedad de Estudios Afrocubanos (Society of Afro-Cuban Studies) in 1937. He died in Havana, Cuba in 1969. The Fundación Fernando Ortíz was established in Havana in 1995 to house much of his papers and to promote and preserve Afro-Cuban culture.

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Scope and content

The Fernando Ortíz Papers principally contain original manuscript and typescript notes taken by Fernando Ortíz (1881-1969) on vernacular Cuban architecture and the history of Cuban architecture. Ortíz was specifically researching the indigenous, African and other folk influences on architecture and building construction.  Other materials related to his research, such as pamphlets and clippings, represent a small part of the collection.

The collection also contains preservation photocopies of the original manuscript material and one folder of scholarly research on the work of Fernando Ortíz.

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This collection is open for research.

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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

  • Spanish
  • English
  • French

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Custodial history

Fernando Ortíz gave the collection to Nicolás Quintana in the 1960s. Isabel Quintana donated the papers to the CHC in 2013 along with the papers of her late husband, Nicolás Quintana.

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