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The Republic

The Cuban Heritage Collection contains a treasure-trove of unique primary and secondary source materials relating to Cuba's Republican era until1958. In the collection of historical and literary manuscripts, for example, one may read the letters and diaries of prominent figures in Cuba's history. The collections of personal papers of three of Cuba's president, Tomás Estrada Palma, the first president of the Republic (1902-1906), Gerardo Machado y Morales (1925-1933), and Fulgencio Batista Zaldívar (1940-1944, 1952-1958), are among the archival materials, along with the 1901 Constitution --signed by the members of the Constitutional Convention and published by "el Fígaro"-- and a book published in 1901 by the Cuban "Secretaría de Estado y Justicia" containing congratulatory letters from foreign rulers to Tomás Estrada Palma on the occasion of Cuba's sovereignty. Also included are major newspapers, magazines, and bulletins from this time period; among the most noteworthy are: Gaceta Oficial de la República de Cuba, Carteles, Bohemia, and Social.

The role of women in the Republic and their contributions to society may be gleaned from the correspondence, official records, photographs, and publications of The Lyceum and Lawn Tennis Club, Cuba's first women's cultural association. Established in 1939, the Lyceum hosted lectures, classes in adult education, recitals, sporting events, and art exhibitions throughout Havana. It also founded the first free public library in Cuba and the first children's library. The Lyceum continued to function until Castro's government shut it down in 1968.

The papers of educator and attorney María Gómez Carbonell, the first congresswoman in the Cuban House of Representatives (1936-1940), are in the Cruzada Educativa Cubana (CEC) Collection. Carbonell also served two terms in the Senate and was a Cabinet member from 1941 to 1952. She arrived in Miami as an exile in 1959, where she became one of the founding members of both the civic organization CEC and the umbrella organization Municipios de Cuba en el Exilio, Cuban Municipalities in Exile. She also became Director of El Habanero, a Cuban exile periodical representing the province of Havana at the municipalities' organization.

Tomás Estrada Palma
José Miguel Gómez y Gómez
Mario García Menocal
Alfredo Zayas y Alfonso

Gerardo Machado y Morales
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes
Ramón Grau San Martín
Carlos Hevia

Carlos Mendieta
José A. Barnet
Miguel Mariano Gómez Arias
Federico Laredo Brú

Fulgencio Batista
Carlos Prío Socarrás