Document Type



Veronica Gonzalez 0009-0002-7167-0303

Ximena Valdivia 0009-0001-4612-0310


In 2021, the Florida International University (FIU) Libraries received the Recordings at Risks (R&R) grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The funds allowed us to digitize, create metadata, and provide online access to hundreds of unique Caribbean and Latin American songs produced between 1900 and 1935 that are included in the Diaz Ayala Cuban and Latin American Popular Music Collection (DAC) Cassette Series. The digitized materials comprise more than 1,000 cassettes with approximately 1,200 songs, recorded originally in 78rpms by Columbia, Victor, and other historical record companies. The music represents a variety of genres and is a clear example of the life and conditions of minority groups in the region. The digitization of this collection has been essential to guarantee availability and long-term preservation. To provide more comprehensive access to these audio files, the FIU Libraries is contributing to the Discography of American Historical Recording (DAHR) at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), and the metadata will be added to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

This article provides an overview of the most significant aspects of the R&R grant “Representing Minority Groups and Their Cultural Heritage through Access and Preservation of Unique Caribbean Musical Recordings, 1900-1935.” It discusses challenges and strategies for success, insights on material selection, copyright, and metadata initiatives.

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