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16 January 2017
Only on AP: Cuba Slave Documents
'Only on AP' highlights AP investigations, in-depth features and character-driven stories that take a different angle on the news.

* Cuba / Slave Documents / Story #4075980

An American team of academics is racing to preserve millions of documents related to Cuba's long and colourful history, before they are lost to the elements and poor storage conditions.

Many of the documents shed light on Cuba's slave trade, and its relation to the US, which figured prominently in Cuba's colonial history and was intertwined with both countries' early history.

David Lafevor, an American academic from the University of Texas at Arlington, and his brother, Matt, have worked since 2005 to digitise millions of documents mouldering in damp storage spaces on the island. Their latest project is a partnership between the British Library Foundation and the Vanderbilt University to capture almost two million documents in digital form, a treasure trove of documents stretching back to the mid-16th century about island life and the slave trade.

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