UM’s Cuban Heritage Collection Celebrates the Legacy of Maestro Manuel Ochoa

by Rosa Monzon, Cuban Heritage Collection

The exhibit includes a digital component through which viewers can watch videos of performances conducted by Maestro Ochoa.

The exhibition includes a digital component through which viewers can watch videos of Ochoa’s performances.

Maestro Manuel Ochoa, a Cuban exile musician, choral and orchestra conductor, and founder of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, was the focus of a reception at the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC), at the University of Miami’s Otto G. Richter Library. The event served as the official launch of an exhibition that includes Ochoa’s greatest works and documented memories, which are preserved and available for research at the CHC in the Manuel Ochoa Papers.

Ochoa is recognized internationally not only for his numerous contributions to classical Cuban music in the island but also his work in Spain, Austria, and the United States.

Curated by Meiyolet Mendez, librarian at the CHC, the exhibition displays photographs, letters, publications, music scores, and concert programs of Ochoa’s personal life and career. Included is a photograph from the beginning of Ochoa’s career, at the age of 17, conducting members of the Holguin Choral Society, which he created in 1942, even before he had any formal training. Another photograph shows Ochoa leading the Belen Jesuit Choir in Havana years later. Ochoa’s lesson plans and notes on working with child choir singers also are on display.

“One of the most exciting parts of working on this exhibit was the opportunity to bring to life Maestro Ochoa’s entire career,” said Mendez. “I discovered a person who was passionate about music and music education, and who loved sharing that passion with others.”

Also on display is a paper program of the Concierto Sacro, sponsored by the Cuban Catholic Artists Guild, featuring Ochoa’s Coro de Madrigalistas (Madrigal Choir), popularly noted as the best choir in Cuba, in 1956, Havana.

A driving force and inspiration in Ochoa’s life was always his family. One of the highlights of the exhibition is a photograph of his mother, Caridad Ochoa, who was a trained opera singer, plus a tear sheet from The Miami Herald with an article by David Lawrence Jr. celebrating Ochoa as well as his wife and biggest supporter, Sofia Ochoa.

“She was at his side every step of the way,” said their son, Manuel Ochoa Jr. “My father always said she made it easy for him to just stand at a podium and conduct.”

CHC recognized Sofia Ochoa (right) during the event.

Esperanza Bravo de Varona (left), former chair of the CHC, and current chair Maria Estorino recognized Sofia Ochoa (right) during the event.

Sofia’s unwavering support for her husband continued after his death, in 2006. She not only donated his collection but also contributed countless hours as a volunteer in the processing of these records.

“When my mother and I thought about how we would remember and commemorate my father, we wanted a living memorial,” said Ochoa Jr. “We wanted to share his life story so that others, especially young Cubans and Cuban-Americans would be inspired to continue his musical legacy.”

After studying and working in Cuba, Vienna, Spain, and Rome, Ochoa settled in Miami following the Cuban Revolution. On display are photographs of Ochoa’s performances in Miami, such as the first Festiva Symphony Concert at the Colonel Hotel in 1989. There is also a photograph of acclaimed Cuban pianist Zenaida Manfugás, from the same concert.

In Miami Ochoa also created the Society of Arts and Culture of Americas, but his greatest contribution to the city’s cultural development was the creation and leadership of the Miami Symphony Orchestra for more than 25 years. Multiple playbills from its concerts are displayed in the CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, as well as audio and videos of performances.

Guests at the reption.

The celebration of Ochoa’s life and legacy took place at CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, where the Manuel Ochoa Papers are now permanently housed and available for research.

Considered “the highlight of his tenure with the orchestra,” said Ochoa Jr., was a concert in Carnegie Hall in June of 2000, also represented in the exhibition.

“Maestro Ochoa’s legacy lives on in the Miami Symphony Orchestra he founded and in the lives that he touched through his various cultural activities,” said Maria Estorino, chair of the CHC. “But it also lives on here, in the library, where through his own papers, his life, his work, and his passion can be discovered.”

The CHC is home to thousands of books, manuscripts, photographs, and other materials that document the rich history and culture of Cuba and its diaspora. The legacy of Maestro Manuel Ochoa, as well as countless other Cubans and Cuban-Americans, “will not only be preserved here, but it will be shared with our students and with the community,” said Estorino.

“I hope the Maestro Manuel Ochoa Collection continues to inspire and educate future generations to become musicians and conductors, and keep alive the rich tradition of classical music,” Ochoa Jr. said.

The exhibition is available for viewing through the end of summer. For more information about the Cuban Heritage Collection and its events, please visit

View more photos from the event here.

Photos by Andrew Innerarity.

The exhibit will be available at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion through summer 2015.

The exhibition is on view at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion through the end of the summer.

Meet the Staff: Sarah Shreeves, Associate Dean for Digital Strategies

sarahShreeves_300x420The University of Miami Libraries (UML) is very pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Shreeves as the Associate Dean for Digital Strategies. In this role, Sarah will provide strategic leadership and direction for UML’s digital scholarship, collections, and publishing initiatives.

Sarah joins UML from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she managed an innovative digital platform, the renowned IDEALS program, that supported the creation and distribution of research and scholarly work. Sarah also managed the Scholarly Commons, a service to support researchers in technology and data intensive scholarship. A national leader in digital library initiatives, Sarah has served and advised for several organizations guiding digital library development, advances in scholarly communications, and research data access and management practices for research libraries worldwide.

In addition to her technological expertise, Sarah’s background in both creative and scholarly endeavors uniquely positions her for this role. She holds a bachelor’s degree in medieval studies from Bryn Mawr, a master’s in children’s literature from Simmons College, and a master’s in library and information studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sarah looks forward to engaging with the UM community to identify what digital services and support they need to further their own research and to engage with UML’s rich and vibrant digital collections. With Sarah’s recent appointment, UML looks forward to great advancements in resources and support for our scholarly community.


Meet the Staff: Kelly Miller, Associate Dean for Learning & Research Services

kellyMiller_300x420The University of Miami Libraries (UML) is very pleased to announce the appointment of Kelly Miller as the Associate Dean for Learning and Research Services. In this role, Kelly will supervise and provide strategic leadership and direction for UML’s education and outreach initiatives, such as the transformation of the Otto G. Richter Library’s Information Commons into an academically engaged Learning Commons. In addition to the Richter Library, she will oversee learning and research services at UM’s architecture, business, music, and marine and atmospheric science libraries.

Kelly joins UML from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she served as head of the College Library and director of teaching and learning services. She is widely recognized for her transformation of library services in support of education and is a frequently invited speaker on the topic of developing innovative spaces that expand opportunities for learning and research in the digital age.

Kelly’s passion for research, teaching, and learning stems from her background as a humanist and scholar. She holds both a master’s and doctoral degree in Slavic languages and literature from the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Academic Libraries at the University of Virginia and a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) in St. Petersburg, Russia. She has taught at Michigan, Dickinson College, the University of Virginia, and UCLA. Kelly received a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Russian and English from Stetson University.

With Kelly’s recent appointment, UML looks forward to announcing many new and exciting developments for our libraries.


Now on Display: Ochoa: Remembering the Life and Legacy of Maestro Manuel Ochoa


We invite you to visit the exhibition currently on display in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion on the second floor of the University of Miami’s Otto G. Richter Library.

Drawing from his personal papers, this exhibition commemorates the life and work of Cuban-born conductor and orchestra director Manuel Ochoa (1925-2006), whose passion for music led him from Cuba to Austria and Spain and back. In exile, he worked with other Cuban artists to bring to life the traditional music of Cuba and Spain, most notably through the Miami Symphony Orchestra, which he founded and led for almost two decades.

Stay tuned in the coming months for activities related to our spring exhibit. Follow CHC to keep in touch.

Now at the Digital Media Lab: GoPro Hero 4 Cameras


Photos by Robert Carroll

UML now has GoPro Hero 4 video cameras available for check-out at the Digital Media Lab (DML) in the Richter Library. The new cameras are available to all UM students and employees as part of our equipment borrowing program which includes still cameras, video cameras, audio recorders, microphones, and lighting equipment.

gopro-Hero4The Hero 4 is the latest model in the GoPro series with new features that capture video at a resolution of 4K and still images at 12 megapixels.  You can also shoot time lapse photography and view your shots and compositions wirelessly through your mobile device as you record through the camera’s WiFi capabilities (by downloading their free app). Use the accessories available to mount your camera on a tripod, a handler, or the case to film underwater. You can later download and process all your high resolution files at the DML workstations.

Also, let us know if you’d like to submit your images and videos to the DML Gallery webpage or showcase them on the Lab walls.

Visit the DML GoPro site for more information and the Hero 4 service manual. Equipment can be borrowed for five days at a time by logging in to our reservation system and reserving the desired time slots:

For questions, please stop by the lab or contact us at

Special Collections Celebrates Milestone for the Pan Am World Airways Collection

by Sarah Block, Library Communications

The planes bearing the name “Pan Am” may have retired nearly 25 years ago, but the company itself is still generating buzz as a pop culture fixture and timeless icon of progress and innovation. At the center of the conversation is University of Miami’s Special Collections, home of Pan Am World Airways’ official archive. The department receives thousands of requests for Pan Am records each year.


Archivist Emily Gibson led the two-year cataloging project for the Pan Am archive.

“People want to know everything from technical information about the planes and flight routes to details about in-flight meals or the evolution of flight attendants’ uniforms,” says archivist Emily Gibson, who has been working solely on the collection—one of UM’s largest and most popular—over the past two years. The work she has led is the cause for an upcoming celebration, Cleared to Land, which will take place at the Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center on January 29.

The event, presented by Special Collections, will include a reception and presentation culminating in a runway show by World Wings International, Inc., an organization of former Pan Am flight attendants who participate in a number of charitable causes worldwide. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Head of Special Collections Cristina Favretto says the event celebrates significant improvements in access to the Pan Am archive through the efforts of Gibson and 15 UM students. In 2012 the department hired Gibson through a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission to reorganize the collection’s 1,500 boxes of historical records, including photographs, administrative records, flight routes, publications, and many other materials acquired by Special Collections in 1992. “Emily and her team did a complete overhaul of the collection, and the result is a much more organized set of materials that are significantly easier to navigate and research,” she says, adding that Gibson has become the department’s “de facto Pan Am expert” in the process.


University of Miami cheerleaders at the christening of the Pan American Clipper Hurricane, a DC-4, tail number N88898, Miami, Florida, 1951.

Researchers come from all over the world to use the collection, with materials related to Latin America and the Caribbean having an especially large draw. Doctoral student Felipe Cruz visited the collection in 2012 from the University of Texas-Austin through the Pan Am Historical Foundation’s Abrams Banning Grant and was able to use materials ranging from maps to corporate records to complete his dissertation on the development of modern Brazil. The collection was also a research resource for the 2011 television series Pan Am.

Gibson says the fact that there’s public access to the archive already makes it unique. “Very few corporations release their records to the public, and the establishment of an archive of this company, which has made such a large global impact, has created an incredible opportunity for researchers of all kinds of topics related to the twentieth century, from World War II to the Beatles’ first U.S. tour to the very planes that made flights affordable to the general public.”

Over the course of the project Gibson, with the help of her student team, created a new online finding aid (search tool) pointing to the various areas of the collection. She also steered the content development of a mini-website for the collection, which was created by UM Libraries’ Digital Collections.


Grant winner Hadassah St. Hubert receives her award from former Pan Am station manager Al Topping.

UM doctoral student Hadassah St. Hubert began her research through the Abrams Banning Grant while Gibson’s project was approaching the finish line. She says the new finding aid helped her locate the materials that are now supporting her thesis about the push for Haiti’s rise as a tourist destination in the 1950s. “Since my project looks at the increasing role of tourism of Haiti, I analyze materials such as photographs, letters, advertisements, as well as government documents,” she said in a recent interview about her work. “My archival ‘jolt’ moment was when I discovered that Pan Am had increased its advertising of Haiti from less than $50,000 in the late 1940s to $1,000,000 by the mid-1950s. I had always heard that Haiti was a popular destination for U.S. tourists, including Bill and Hillary Clinton in the 1970s. This evidence shows that Pan Am truly believed that Haiti could be a year-round resort for tourists and they invested heavily to make this happen.”

Favretto says the completion of the project will open the door for many others to use the collection. However, there is additional work remaining, including a large section of materials that still need to be cataloged and added to the finding aid. For the long term, Special Collections and Pan Am affiliates hope to retain the full-time support of a Pan Am archivist.

Since the grant ended, Gibson has been promoting the collection on Special Collections’ social media using the hashtag #PanAmAlive, which she says was inspired from talking to so many former Pan Am employees devoted to preserving the company’s legacy. Her involvement in the January 29 event, and working with the former flight attendants of World Wings International, Inc. who will be presenting the runway show, has only fueled her excitement for all things Pan Am. “Their enthusiasm for the history of the company is contagious,” she says. “People will be inspired to visit the collection themselves, which is an important part of keeping Pan Am ‘alive!’”

For more information about this event, or to RSVP, please contact or call 305-284-4026.

Veritas (1960-2008) Now Available Online


Veritas covers from 1972, 1974, 1977, and 1986

The University of Miami Libraries has completed the digitization of a major, historic publication of the University of Miami. Veritas served as the faculty and staff newsletter from September 1960 to December 2008. Produced by University Communications, the newsletter reported on University news, faculty profiles, event listings, athletics programs, and other topics. Its successor, E-Veritas, was introduced in 1999 and is distributed to employees weekly by email.

Please go to the link below to search the Veritas Archive or browse by issue. You can save and print the articles for your research and personal use.

Visit the Veritas Archive Online »


December 2004 Issue

Veritas is one of many University publications housed at the University Archives that can now be accessed online. The digitization of Veritas and other historical publications is a cooperative effort at the University of Miami Libraries involving the Digital Initiatives, Preservation, Cataloging & Metadata, and Web & Emerging Technologies teams.

You can visit the University Archives, located on the eighth floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please contact University Archivist Koichi Tasa for questions or suggestions on archiving and using historical resources of the University of Miami.

Now Available Online: The Cuban Map Collection

The Cuban Map Collection housed in the Cuban Heritage Collection contains maps dating from the 16th century to the 21st century. The online version of the Cuban Map Collection  found on the University of Miami Libraries Digital Collection site contains maps in the public domain dating from the colonial period to 1923 and includes general maps of the island, provincial maps, city and town maps, tourist maps, and other specialized map formats in a variety of scales, colors, and artistic styles.


The launch of the online Cuban Map Collection compliments the University of Miami Libraries’ current geographic and data visualization exhibit This Space, This Place. The online platform gives researchers enhanced access to the materials, allowing them to browse the collection and to zoom in on fine details. In addition to providing wider availability, the online collection helps us preserve the maps by making them available without unnecessary handling of the physical items.


Stay tuned for more. Maps still in copyright are also being digitized and will be available for online consultation in the Cuban Heritage Collection reading room.  For more information, please contact the Cuban Heritage Collection at 305-284-4900 or

Learn a new language!


 Mango Languages - Start A Conversation



The University of Miami Libraries subscribe to Mango Languages, an interactive, online resource for learning a language.  Whether you are preparing for the trip of a lifetime, seeking personal or professional development, or learning English to settle in the U.S., Mango can help you start that essential conversation.  Every course, chapter, and lesson is designed to simulate the way people learn a foreign language when immersed in everyday life.

Mango may be used from anywhere you have an Internet connection — the library, your home, or even a smartphone using the free mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.  Explore fifty foreign language courses, as well as fifteen English as a Second Language classes, all taught by a variety of native language speakers.

It’s simple to get started.  Visit Mango Languages, create a profile, and start learning!



Mango focuses on words and phrases that will be the most valuable in common, real-life situations for each specific language and culture.

Mango’s course audio is recorded by native speakers, giving users the best possible models for their own pronunciation.  A voice comparison feature allows students to compare their pronunciation to the narrator’s, using a visual representation to note the differences.

Grammar instruction is at the core of Mango’s methodology.  Since each lesson is based on actual conversation, Mango students are constantly learning grammar and sentence structure, at the same time that they’re learning vocabulary and pronunciation.

Mango integrates cultural insights into each lesson, ensuring that users develop an understanding of the expectations, customs, and etiquette of the culture they are studying.  This helps learners navigate the most appropriate language to use in particular situations and with different audiences.


The UM Libraries and Mango are your gateway to new opportunities.  Create your profile now!

For additional information, contact Lisa Baker, Education & Outreach Librarian.