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Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives logo

Guide to the Estela and Ernesto Bravo Film and Video Collection TAM.616

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Jan Hilley, with the assistance of Heather Mulliner

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on March 28, 2018
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open for research without restrictions. Select videos are available for streaming through the finding aid. Direct links to the videos are included below the item-level description for each tape.

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Researchers interested in using audiovisual materials in this collection (films, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, et cetera) must use a digitized copy, which we refer to as an access copy. Researchers may view an item’s original container, but the media themselves are not available for playback because of preservation concerns. Materials that have already been digitized are noted in the collection’s finding aid and can be requested in our reading room; materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To inquire about an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s). A librarian will respond to you with further information.

Use Restrictions

Copyright to materials in this collection created by Estela and Ernesto Bravo are held by Estela and Ernesto Bravo. Permission to publish or reproduce materials to which they hold copyright must be secured from the copyright holders.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Estela and Ernesto Bravo Film and Video Collection; TAM 616; box number; item number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Separated Materials

Commercial copies of Estela Bravo's documentaries have been transferred to the Avery Fisher Center in Bobst Library. Additionally copies of the following serials were transferred to Tamiment's library collections: Bohemi,  Cine Cubano,  Cuba Magazine,  Cuba Update,  Cuba International,  Education,  Joven Cuba,  OCLAE,  Prisma,  Science Magazine,  The Sciences. Please check the library catalog for holdings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

Estela and Ernesto Bravo sent several donations of their films and videos between 2012 and 2013. The accession numbers associated with these gifts are 2012.044, 2012.061, 2012.062, and 2013.014. Between 2014 and 2015 the Bravos sent additional screening copies of completed documentaries. The accession numbers associated with these films and DVDs are 2015.027, 2015.073, and 2016.025. In May of 2015, Estela Bravo's sister delivered an addition to the collection. The accession number associated with this addition is 2015.031; these materials have been incorporated into Series VIII on the film Fidel or into Series XXIX: Collected Ephemera and Publications. Estela Bravo sent another small donation of ephemera and home movies in 2014. The accession number associated with these materials is 2016.020. Estela Bravo also sent a copy of her documentary  A Conversation with García Márquez about his Friend Fidel in 2015. The accession number associated with this gift is 2016.024. In 2017 Estela and Ernesto donated a copy of thier most recent documentary,  Gema de Cuba. The accession number associated with this gift is 2017.032.

Processing Information Note

Upon receipt of this collection, Tamiment Library discovered that many of the videos had mold damage or binder hydrolysis. Several tapes have been repaired and digitized, but many have yet to receive treatment. The digitization process remains ongoing.

To facilitate preservation treatment, all tapes were initially inventoried and assigned a persistent identifier, which is listed in the finding aid as the “ref” number. These numbers are not sequential and are not listed in a specific order. Individual tapes have been arranged intellectually by the full-length feature in which they appear. Tapes were originally received in boxes containing packing slips that roughly associated footage with specific films. Much of this contextual information was lost, however, due to the immediate separation of materials for preservation treatment. Information about footage content and associated feature film(s) has been reconstructed to the best of the archivist's ability through analysis of container annotations, research, and consultation with the donors. Footage has been added to the series that best represents the context of its use. Estela Bravo frequently reused footage in multiple documentaries, and consequently some footage may be duplicated in more than one series.

Videos were sent for preservation treatment in multiple installments, which resulted in several non-sequential box numbers. In 2016, box numbers were updated and listed in sequential order.

Titles of digitized videos have been edited or supplied by the archivist based on the content of the recording. Titles of videos that have yet to be digitized have been derived from annotations on the individual film containers and associated notes. The descriptions of video cassettes that have not yet been digitized often contain phrases in quotation marks. These phrases were copied from annotations on the cassette boxes. As digitized versions of the videos become available, descriptions are being updated.

Many of the videos in this collection were undated. The majority of the dates have been estimated by the archivist based on release date of the film or the event documented in the footage.

Two additional donations of ephemera, publications, transcripts, and promotional materials were donated in 2014 and 2015. Documents associated with specific films were incorporated the existing series, while publications and ephemera more generally associated with filmmaking and Estela Bravo’s career were added as Series XXX: Collected Ephemera and Publications. Films reels documenting moments in Estela and Ernesto Bravo’s personal lives were added as Series XXXI: Estela and Ernesto Bravo Family Films.

In 2016 videos stored on a hard drive and flash drive were forensically imaged and analyzed. Dupliate copies of full-length documentaries were deaccessioned and remaining videos were incorporated into series based on the documentaries with which they correspond.

In 2017, a copy of the documentary Gema de Cuba was added to the collection as Series XXXII:  Gema de Cuba.


Twelve tapes were damaged beyond repair and removed from the collection. Duplicate recordings of completed documentaries on VHS, betacam and digital foramts were also removed from the collection. Additionally, a small amount of electronic files that not created by Estela or Ernesto Bravo were deemed out of scope and deaccessioned.