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Spider Trickster Tales from Jamaica
Spider Trickster Tales from Jamaica: The Anansi Folk Tales Collection
From the John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

On 35mm microfilm

According to Robert Hill, Professor of History & Editor-in-Chief of The Marcus Garvey & UNIA Papers at UCLA, these Anansi tales are the single most important collection of original folktales from the Caribbean in existence for facilitating research and teaching in the area of cultural studies of the African Diaspora, popular culture, and ethnomusicology.

The collection
The collection consists of nearly 5,000 handwritten stories, each with a typed transcript, giving variants of about 200 basic trickster tales. The texts were written in Creole by 1,124 school children from 97 primary schools (both public and private, including various religious denominations) in Jamaica in 1930-1931 in response to a contest organized by the Jesuit missionary and ethnologist Joseph John Williams to collect material on the oral tradition of tales concerning the spider "Anansi" (usually written "Anancy" in Jamaica) and/or other animal and human figures. It is the largest manuscript collection of Anansi folk tales in existence.
The original manuscripts are contained in school "bluebooks" per student. The penmanship is usually quite good and the stories are easily legible. Many are illustrated with drawings made by the children and include music and the lyrics of songs. The transcripts are typewritten one to a single sheet and interleaved with the relevant stories. The collection has been microfilmed in its entirety.

Trickster tales
Trickster tales concerning animal or human protagonists are a well-known feature of oral traditions worldwide. The trickster is often an animal, but can also be a human figure and is thought to possess special powers. The tales combine elements of violence, deception and magic and the hero is variously perceived to be godlike or a fool, a destructive villain or an innocent prankster. The tales may be grouped in cycles and serve both ritualistic and entertainment purposes. Various trickster protagonists are the coyote among Native Americans of the west and the African trickster hare, who became "Brer Rabbit" in the US southeast. The spider trickster of the peoples of West Africa, "Anansi", was transmitted to the Caribbean by slaves brought over in the colonial period, especially to Jamaica, where he is known as "Anancy" or "Brea Nancy".

The collector
Joseph John Williams, S.J. (1875-1940) was a prominent ethnologist with a strong interest in religious beliefs and psychic phenomena in Jamaica and their links to West African culture. He first visited Jamaica in 1907 and served as a missionary there in the period 1912-1917 becoming closely acquainted with the African-Jamaican population of the island's central and western "parishes" (districts) and their folklore and customs. His first book, Whisperings of the Caribbean (1925), contains recollections of his experiences there. He went on to publish major studies of West Indian religious culture, including Voodoos and Obeahs (1932) and Psychic Phenomena of Jamaica (1934). Starting in 1932 he lectured in cultural anthropology at Boston College, where he established a very extensive collection of mostly printed materials on Africa and the Caribbean, named in honor of his father Nicholas M. Williams. The Anansi manuscripts form part of this collection. They were gathered with the cooperation of the Jamaican Director of Education, who distributed Williams's circular calling for contributions to his contest to schools all over the island.

Importance for research
Such a body of material forms a unique resource for research, but until today the collection is not as widely known as it should be. Covering the whole island as it does with contributions from children from varied religious and social backgrounds, who would have heard these stories at home from parents and grandparents or in other cultural contexts, it provides a truly remarkable snapshot of Jamaica's oral traditions at a moment when they were still very much alive. It is fortunate indeed that these stories were captured and preserved thanks to Williams's initiative. Now their publication on microfilm will make them more easily accessible to scholars working in various fields, including Caribbean studies, African and African-American studies, ethnology, folklore, and linguistics.
The Archive of the Christian Student Movement of Cuba (MECC) is part of the Archives of Christian Churches and Organizations in Cuba (CCOC). It consists of documents of the Movimiento de Estudiantes Cristianos de Cuba (MEC), an affiliate of the World Student Christian Federation, on the organization’s history, activities, and relations with related organizations between 1960 and 2018.
The Archive of the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cuba (SETC) is part of the Archives of Christian Churches and Organizations in Cuba (CCOC). It consists of documents of the Seminario Evangélico Teológico of Matanzas, Cuba, from its foundation in 1946 to the present. It includes a.o. foundational documents, periodicals, correspondence, materials from distinguished professors and documents of the Conferencia Cristiana por la Paz, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Archives of Christian Churches and Organizations in Cuba (CCOC) encompass three distinct archival collections: Archives of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba (Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba, IPRC); Archive of the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cuba (Seminario Evangélico Teológico, Matanzas, Cuba, SETC); and Archive of the Christian Student Movement of Cuba (Movimiento de Estudiantes Cristianos de Cuba, MECC), an affiliate of the World Student Christian Federation. These collections offer numerous possibilities for researchers interested not only in the history of Protestantism and Christian education but also provide windows onto Cuban history, society, and culture.
The Archives of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba (IPRC) are part of the Archives of Christian Churches and Organizations in Cuba (CCOC). This recently enlarged collection makes available for research the records of the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC) and predecessor Presbyterian churches and missions in Cuba. It includes a wide range of materials that are indispensable for the study of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba, and more broadly, the study of Protestantism in Cuba.
[This collection is no longer available for purchase. For the new version see Archives of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba (IPRC) and Archives of Christian Churches and Organizations in Cuba (CCOC)]

This collection makes available for research the records of the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC) and predecessor Presbyterian churches and missions in Cuba, including a complete run of Heraldo Cristiano, the church’s newsletter, 1919 – 2010, which provides a framework for the history of the church, its work and history. Also included are the periodicals Juprecu and Su Voz, early mission records, originally maintained in English and then in Spanish as the congregations took over management of their churches and schools from the mission workers. These include session minutes and membership/baptism/marriage/death records, as well as minutes of men’s, women’s, and youth groups, including their mission work in their communities.

Size of the collection: 52,000 scans, approx. 80,000 pages.
Languages: Spanish (main), English.

This publication was realized with the support of the Kenneth Scott Latourette Fund, Yale Divinity School Library.

Historical background
The Archives of the Presbyterian Church of Cuba Online collection consist of the records of the National Presbyterate of Cuba (1904- ), the First Havana Congregation founded in 1901 (including a group made up exclusively English-speakers), and the records of eleven other Presbyterian congregations located in or around Havana: Guanabacoa, Güines, Güira de Melena, Luyanó, Nueva Paz, Palos, Regla, San Antonio, San Nicolás, Vega, and a small church that served Havana’s Chinese population. These records are in Spanish, begin in the first decade of the twentieth century and go up to the 2010s. The collection also includes fairly complete sets of Presbyterian periodicals: Heraldo Cristiano (1919-2010), the official monthly publication of the Cuban Presbyterian Church; Juprecu (1961-2009), the bimonthly publication of the Unión Nacional de Jóvenes Presbiterianos (Presbyterian Youth Union), and a collection of quarterly Su Voz (1961-2010).
While there had been a Protestant presence on the island as far back as the early colonial era, the first formal Protestant congregations emerged only in 1871, following a short-lived declaration of religious tolerance for Spain and its colonies. These first legal non-Catholic congregations served primarily Havana’s established and floating English-speaking Protestants. At the time, tens of thousands of Cuban political exiles resided in various U.S. locations from Key West to New York City. Following the end of the Ten Years’ War (1868-1878) against Spain, Cuban Protestants returned to the island and began to spread the work of various Protestant denominations. Cuban layman Evaristo Collazo established the first Presbyterian works in Havana in 1890 but had to close them five years later, when Cubans launched yet another war of independence against Spain.
The Presbyterian Church was officially established in Cuba in December 1901, during U.S. military occupation. Three years later, Cuba’s Presbyterians founded the Presbyter of Havana. During the Republican era (1902-1958) the church experienced growth and expanded its religious, educational, and charitable work. Much reduced in numbers and freedoms, the Presbyterian church persisted during the Revolutionary period that began in 1959. In 1967, Cuba’s Presbyterian churches became independent, and formed the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC; Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba). During the 1990s and first decades of the twenty first century, this and other Protestant denominations experienced significant growth.
The bulk of Cuba’s Presbyterian Church records consist of scores of libros de actas (books of minutes) of each of the churches’ consistory meetings, regular meetings that included clergy and church elders. It also includes the minutes books of different committees and associations, among them those kept by men’s, women’s, and youth organizations, as well as Sunday Schools, Christian Education, and Benevolence groups. These books provide important information on a variety of topics ranging from clergy appointments and membership lists to budgets and the various roles played by Presbyterian women over the decades. Of great value to historians and genealogists are the records of baptism, marriage, and death. Because these records span over one hundred years, they allow scholars and other individuals to recognize and track changes over time. For example, one can trace the growth of various congregations and gather important sociodemographic data on gender, ages, and socioeconomic composition.
These records also provide insights on the participation and church activities of various ethnic and racial groups. There is a book of minutes of the consistory of an English-speaking congregation in Havana (1919-1926) and a particularly interesting set of bound volumes of the Chinese congregation in Havana. These materials are rich in information; they provide a historical sketch of these congregations, a complete list of members, records of baptism and marriage, and a revealing list that states the reasons why particular individual members left the church: “indifference,” “moved to the US,” or “joined a Pentecostal church.”
Besides books of minutes, the collection includes a wide range of historical documents and ephemera such as photo albums, church bulletins, lists of offerings pledges, and various other materials that offer information on the congregations, including the existence of a church-affiliated Boy Scout troop, lists of individuals served by church-run dispensaries, etc. These materials complement the microfilmed Princeton University Library collections of materials on religion in Cuba, among them, “Cuba Protestant Serials” and “Protestant Churches in Cuba.”
The Heraldo Cristiano magazine is particularly useful for anyone seeking a good understanding of the church’s development since 1919. Each edition consists of between fifteen and thirty-six pages of articles and regular sections. These include family devotionals, Sunday school curricula, news from around the world, and up to the mid 1930s, a section called “Cuba Seca” (dry Cuba) devoted to the subject of temperance. Both Cuban authors and US-based clergy and laypeople contributed to the magazine. The Heraldo Cristiano included information on church happenings, clergy appointments, and a social notes section announcing births, baptisms, and marriages, as well as obituaries. The monthly publication also carried photographs of clergy, church buildings, and benevolent work at orphanages and retirement homes. One particularly telling photograph showed a half-burnt Bible, victim of the intolerant zeal of a Catholic priest. The Heraldo Cristiano also carried ads for bookstores selling Christian books, Protestant schools, and other products and services.
The Heraldo Cristiano is also a valuable source to trace the relations of the denomination with various Cuban governments, particularly the revolutionary government since 1959. The February 24, 1959 issue, for example, carried a jubilant editorial entitled “La fiesta de la Patria liberada.” With the passing of time, the Presbyterian Church increased its support for the state and its official magazine included titles such as “Presencia del hombre protestante en la revolución.”
While students of Latin America demography have, for many decades, made good use of Catholic baptismal, confirmation, marriage, and burial records, few have consulted similar records generated by Protestant denominations. Such records, included in this collection, can shed much light on demographic questions and social realities. For example, the role of women in various leadership positions and as educators; and the rapid Cubanization of the clergy in the early years of the twentieth century. Genealogists and individuals putting together family trees will also find these records useful.
This collection offers multiple possibilities for those interested not only in the history of Protestantism on the island but for individuals in search of windows to Cuban culture and society. It will stimulate scholars to venture into a number of historical questions such as: Protestant positions vis-à-vis Catholicism and Afro-Cuban religions; the effects of the Cuban Revolution on Protestant churches and the impact of the consequent massive exile on church membership, attendance, and finances; and the role of the Presbyterian church during the profound economic and moral crisis of the Special Period that began in the early 1990s.

Luis Martínez-Fernández, University of Central Florida
Brazilian Workers' Party
Part 1: PT Publications 1980-2002 and Newspaper Clippings 1980-1984

This collection
Perhaps the PT's development and presentation of various innovative approaches and instruments to confront the nation's major economic and social challenges explains both its successes and the peak in (international) attention.

This set focuses on the PT national periodicals and single-issued publications and clipping collection, besides other items such as the party first book of acts. After extensive research, all printed and electronic publications issued by the party National Board and Secretariat - with only small gaps related to missing issues - were assembled and microfilmed.

Those publications, up to that moment, had been scattered. In most cases many incomplete collections could be found in diverse locations and others were only available in digital form. The clipping collection provides a very useful tool for researchers interested not just in an important set of news related to different moments of PT life but also in understanding the ways in which the party itself was analyzing each specific political conjuncture from its origins to 1984.

Fundação Perseu Abramo
Up to 1997, all PT's documentation was kept in boxes without identification, in terrible conditions of organization in a basement of the National Directory in São Paulo. Since 1997/98, with the creation of the Projeto Memória & História of the Fundação Perseu Abramo (FPA), this documentation received a special care.

FPA is a foundation of the PT that organizes debate, research and publication. Through its Projeto Memória & História, the Foundation has established a historical documentation center: Centro Sérgio Buarque de Holanda - Documentação e Memória Política. Here, the PT's historical archives and publications are stored, maintained and managed. The Fondação Perseu Abramo applied successfully for external funding to describe and catalog the archive and publications, and have the materials preserved on microfilm. A grant was awarded by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard.

Historical documentation
The historical documentation of the PT also starts to be integrated with the most important centers of reference (nationally and internationally) specialized in the history of the Left, such as: São Paulo's State Archive, Archive Edgar Leuenroth at Unicamp, Harvard University Library and the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam.

Exclusive distributor
The Fondação Perseu Abramo is working with IDC Publishers, of the Netherlands, to make the microfilms available for distribution to librarians and researchers. IDC Publishers us the exclusive distributor for microfilms, produced by the program. This set-up will continue for the duration of the program.

Still in 2004, the microfilming of newspaper's clipping and the periodicals regarding the trends of the party as "In Time", "The Work", among others will be concluded. The expectation is to have about 80 more rolls, reaching roughly 150,000 microfilmed pages in 2005.
Part 2
Part 2 of the collection is comprised of the PT National Secretariat press clipping collection documenting the years 1984 to 1998. It offers privileged access to the Brazilian press coverage of the most important economic, social and political events during this fifteen-year period of democratic transition in Brazil. 1984 was marked by the unsuccessful campaign for direct presidential elections, which nonetheless contributed to the indirect election of the first civilian president of the country in 1985. By 1998 the Workers Party’s founder, Lula, was running his third presidential race. The clipping collection shows the ways in which this complex evolution was followed at party headquarters and provides an important complement to the material included in Part 1 (the Party press organs from 1980 to 2002 and the clipping collection from 1980 to 1984).

Part 3
The total collection consists of three parts. The third and final part documents the various Lula campaigns for the Presidency of the Republic and will become available in 2009.

Alexandre Fortes, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro
Part 3: The Presidential Campaigns of 1989, 1994 and 1998
This third part of The Brazilian Workers’ Party microfilm collection, carefully assembled and organized, constitutes an essential source for researchers interested in contemporary Latin American politics. It comprises the official documents produced by Brazil´s current President Luís Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva’s electoral campaigns of 1989, 1994 and 1998.
British Union Catalogue of Latin Americana (BUCLA)
British holdings

The union catalogue contains references to books, periodicals, pamphlets, newspapers, government publications, and theses, as well as microform and audio-visual material about Latin America, published anywhere in the world, and material published in Latin America on any subject. The material referenced is held in British Libraries.

This collection is also included in the British Union Catalogue of Latin Americana (BUCLA) collection.