CHC recognized for online exhibit, Cuban Theater in Miami: 1960-1980

Last week, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announced the winners of its Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab “American Book Prices Current” Exhibition Awards program. The Cuban Heritage Collection’s online exhibit “Cuban Theater in Miami: 1960-1980” received an honorable mention in the electronic exhibition category. This award is a true honor for us as it is the first time that the University of Miami Libraries has been recognized for an exhibition by this program. To quote the announcement:

“Exemplifying a performance, this sleek, striking and elegantly stylish electronic exhibition captures the spirit of the community it represents: theater as a microcosm for the Cuban diaspora experience and culture,” noted Williams. “Bilingual and utilizing a variety of integrated multimedia options, the exhibition successfully rethinks the traditional navigational structure to present an incredible depth of information about this compelling subject matter in order to bring it to a wider audience.”

This project was funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. A special congratulations go to Dr. Lillian Manzor and Dr. Beatriz Rizk who co-curated the exhibit, and to Dr. Lyn MacCorkle who designed it.

CHC acquires Repertorio Español records

New York City greeted CHC with snowy weather in January

In January, CHC Archivist Beata Bergen and Web Communications Technician Rudo Kemper traveled to New York City to inventory and pack up the records from the New York-based theater company Repetorio Español. In the midst of a snowstorm, we packed a total of 76 boxes, which include an assortment of records, photographs, promotional materials, correspondence, and other items that will become available to researchers for the first time.

One of the oldest Hispanic theater companies in the United States, Repertorio Español produces Latin American, Spanish and Latino theater productions. It was founded in 1968 by two Cubans, the late producer Gilberto Zaldívar and artistic director René Buch. “We are very proud of Repertorio Español’s artistic contributions to society since its founding in 1968,” said Associate Producer José Antonio Cruz. “The Company’s achievements have had a considerable influence in the preservation of Spanish and Latin American culture in the United States. In addition, its productions have made an unique contribution to the American theater field.”  When asked why the Company decided to donate its archive to the Cuban Heritage Collection, Cruz noted, “It is of utmost importance to have the Company’s accomplishments preserved as an example for future generations of what may be achieved for the benefit of our Hispanic communities. Given Repertorio’s founders’ Cuban heritage, we couldn’t think of a better place than CHC to bring context to what they have achieved through their tireless work at Repertorio Español.”

After an initial visit to Repertorio’s premises in July last year to assess and appraise the records, we are delighted to finally have this invaluable archive in our Collection and look forward to making it available to the public.  The acquisition of the records of this historic theater company will serve to fortify our existing collection of Cuban and Latino theater and further promote scholarship in this field.

We were introduced to Repertorio in 2005 by Dr. Lillian Manzor, Associate Professor in the University of Miami’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Director of the Cuban Theater Digital Archive.  We are extremely grateful to Repertorio Español, the late Mr. Zaldívar, Mr. Buch, Executive Director Robert Weber Federico, and Associate Producer José Antonio Cruz for trusting us with their legacy.

For more information about CHC’s theater collections, visit

Selected photographs and theater programs from the Herberto Dumé Papers

Herberto Dumé (1929-2003) directed the Teatro Nacional de Cuba from 1959 until he left the island in exile. In New York, he founded the Dumé Spanish Theater in 1969. Dumé is best known for his theatrical direction and one-man poetry recitals. The Dumé Papers (link to finding aid) document Dume’s work, primarily during his years in exile from Cuba, and include the scripts of plays that he directed along with photographs, clippings, programs, and reviews and records related to the Dumé Spanish Theater.

Selected items from the Herberto Dumé Papers are digitized and available online. Visit the digital collection here.