Collection CHC5382 - Association of Cuban Engineers collection

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Reference code

CHC5382

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Collection

Title

Association of Cuban Engineers collection

Date(s)

  • 2004-2014 (Creation)

Extent

1 Box

Name of creator

Administrative history

From the earliest moments of its colonial history, builders and engineers have been part of the Cuban landscape. [1]However, it was not until 1803 that a royal decree gave more weight to the presence of the engineering corps.  The engineering corps attached to the island was very small and without sufficient support, thus forced to carry out its projects using regular enlisted men and civilians.  Throughout the rest of the 19th century, personnel attached to the Spanish Royal Corps of Engineers would continue to increase in order to sustain the number of projects taking place, mainly in the capital city of Havana.

The arrival of the twentieth century saw a surge in the engineering field.  With a new school formally attached to the University of Havana, which later became a department of the University, future Cuban engineers were able to obtain their education at home. These new educational opportunities were reflected in the surge in public works and feats of engineering that took place in the first half of the twentieth century.

Cuban engineers had long been affiliated with the Sociedad de Ingenieros Cubanos, an organization that dated to the end of the 19th century.  However, relatively large changes in the educational process leading to a degree in Engineering led to the creation of societies or organizations that focused on individual engineering disciplines.  Thus, the creation of the Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles de Cuba in 1945, whose membership was open to civil engineers throughout the island.

The official publication of the Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles de Cuba was titled Ingeniería Civil.  It was published quarterly and highlighted not only the past work of notable engineers, but current projects involving the society’s members.  The journal served as a chronicle of the work carried out by the island’s civil engineers.

The 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power led to the immediate exile of many of the association’s members.  Many of them arrived to the United States in reduced circumstances, forced to begin their studies anew and to make their way in an unfamiliar environment.  As early as 1961, the association began to establish its exilic identity, with meetings and bulletins that kept its members informed.  In exile, the organization changed its name to the Cuban-American Association of Cuban Engineers (C-AACE), but kept its ethos of professional development.

One of the ways in which the new association provided support for its members was through the ratification of their Cuban engineering degrees.  State and local governments from all over the United States wrote to the association to solicit their help in establishing the credentials of these newly arrived engineers.

[1] http://www.ub.edu/geocrit/b3w-398.htm

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Association of Cuban Engineers collections includes DVD recordings of conference presentations, articles of incorporation of the Association of Cuban Engineers Scholarship Foundation, Inc., the bylaws of the Cuban-American Association of Civil Engineers, gala programs and ephemera.

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Conditions governing access

The collection is open for research.

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Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

© 2004 University of Miami. All rights reserved. Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Director of the Cuban Heritage Collection.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Spanish

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Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Helena Soto-Gabriel, 2014.

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