The José Martí National Library celebrates its 121st anniversary

On October 20, the 121 years of the José Martí National Library will be celebrated with an act in the institution’s theater.

During the ceremony, the Félix Varela Order will be delivered to Dr. Araceli García-Carranza, who has accumulated six decades of librarianship and research work at the Library.

During his prolific career, García Carranza has held different positions, among them, the head of the Cuban Collection Department. She has also advised the network of Cuban public libraries, has been head of Research, and of the Magazine of the National Library.

He was awarded the Raúl Gómez García Medal, as well as the 2003 National Prizes for Cultural Research and Emilio Setién for Library Science and the Carlos J. Finlay Order, among other recognitions.

View of the main hall of the José Martí National Library, in Havana (Cuba). EFE/Alejandro Ernesto/File.

The José Martí National Library was founded on October 18, 1901 in the Castillo de la Real Fuerza by order of the US military governor Leonard Wood. Its first director was the Cuban bibliographer and journalist Domingo Figarola Caneda.

The Library treasures the Rare and Valuable Funds collection, with some 2,000 pieces, most of them of high heritage value. One of the manuscripts treasured in the library is a Codex from 1433, which contains the transcription of a work by Saint Thomas Aquinas on the education of kings and princes.

In addition, it preserves 18 copies printed between 1450 and 1500. Also the General Price List of Medicine of 1723 (the oldest Cuban printed), an edition of the Gazette of Havana of 1782 and the LBook of Fishes or Description of different pieces of natural historyfrom 1787, the first illustrated book and first science book published in Cuba.

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