Skip to main content

Cuba Photograph Album and Journal

Identifier: MSS-4173

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of a small, brown leather photograph album with "Snaps" stamped on the front in silver. Part photograph album and part travel log, this album, kept by an American woman while on vacation in Havana, Cuba, in the summer of 1946. Only the first names of the three travellers, sisters Selly and Bea, and Bob, are found in the journal, which is heavily captioned with details of each picture or postcard.


  • 1946 July

Biographical / Historical

Cuba has been a popular tourist destination for many years. In fact, between 1915 and 1930, Havana had more tourists than any other Caribbean location. A great deal of the tourism revenue was American, due in large part to the prohibition of the sale alcohol. As a result, tourism became Cuba's third largest source of foreign currency, behind sugar and tobacco. However, the Great Depression of the 1930s, along with the end of prohibition and World War II impacted Cuba's tourist industry very severely. It wasn't until the 1950s that the American tourists began returning in significant numbers. During this period, American organized crime began dominating the leisure and tourist industries. Havana became one of the favorite routes for narcotics - from South America into the United States.

In the 1960s, relations between what was by this time openly communist Cuba and the United States deteriorated to such a degree that in 1961, The U. S. State Department declared that tourism travel to Cuba was contrary U. S. foreign policy and against the national interest. From that point until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, American visitors to Cuba were comparatively rare, and even then the U. S. government discouraged travel to Cuba. It wasn't until 2015 and 2016 when the U. S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets began to ease travel restrictions, that certain types of travel from the U. S. have picked up. Travel to Cuba is now possible for educational institutions; cultural, historical, and religious organizations; private foundations; and amateur sports teams. However, U. S. citizens are still prohibited from traveling to Cuba for tourist or recreational activities.


0.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Part photograph album and part travel log, this album, kept by an American woman while on vacation in Havana, Cuba, in the summer of 1946.


Purchased from Between the Covers Rare Books, 2016


To provide faster access to our materials, this finding aid was published without formal and final review. Email us at if you find mistakes or have suggestions to make this finding aid more useful for your research.

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2016


Guide to the Cuba Photograph Album and Journal
March 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266