Center for Florida
University of Florida Archivist Bruce S. Chappell
LAKELAND, Fla. (Oct. 4,
2002) - Florida Southern College's Center for Florida History welcomes
historian and archivist Bruce S. Chappell on Oct. 14 at 10:15 a.m.
in the William M. Hollis Seminar Room. Chappell will address students,
faculty, and the public about a new partnership between the University
of Florida Libraries and the Archivo Nacional de Cuba to preserve
and make available to researchers 400 years of Cuban Notarial Archives.
In a lecture entitled "The Keys to New World History, the Archives
of Cadiz and Havana," Chappell will discuss the ongoing efforts
to film and preserve nearly 6,700 folio volumes housed in Cuba,
known as the Protocolos Notariales, and nearly 3,550 similar volumes
held in the Archivo Provincial de Cadiz, Spain
Background and Significance of the Records
Spain's empire from the 16th through the 19th century spread over
more than half the globe. Its fleet system transported people, personal
effects, gold, silver, precious gems, commodities and information
throughout the world. One of the key intersections of this complex
network was Havana. This city's importance derived from its strategic
location. Maritime currents and prevailing winds determined that
the city would become the port of final departure for all persons
and products that traveled to Spain from major parts of the empire.
Transoceanic travel was risky business at best; one in four ships
was lost to the dangers of the sea and the hunger of Spain's international
rivals. Over a period of four centuries prudent men and women
visited the cadre of notaries where they had their precious documents
stored for safekeeping before they set out on ocean journeys. Contained
in these documents are the stories of everyday Cuban residents,
military officers, international merchants, and free and unfree
persons of color. These documents also contain information from
all regions within trade networks that now form parts of many nations.
Florida, Louisiana, Jamaica, Santo Domingo, Mexico and all other
nations of the Caribbean Basin are represented in the voluminous
documentation as well as Spain's expansive Pacific holdings and
Since 1974, Chappell has served as archivist of the Spanish Florida
Borderlands Program at the P. K. Yonge Library at the University
of Florida. Chappell has published widely and has visited dozens
of archives in Spain, Cuba and Mexico.
The lecture is free and open to the public. For further information,
contact the Center for Florida History at (863) 680-4312.
About Florida Southern College
Florida Southern is a four-year, private, co-educational liberal
arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The college
offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and a master of business
administration degree accredited by the Commission on Colleges of
the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Located in Lakeland,
Fla., the college is home to the largest, single-site collection
of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world.