University of Miami Libraries > UM Libraries Digital Collections > CHC Digital Collections > Merici Academy Collection

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Merici Academy was a private, Catholic, bilingual elementary and secondary school for girls established in Havana by American Ursuline nuns in 1941. All classes were taught in English, except for the requisite elementary curriculum conducted in Spanish. The Academic course was much like an American high school, and the Commercial and Secretarial courses offered bilingual business training.

The school had three successive locations. The first two buildings on L and 19th Streets and Línea and 6th Streets were rented from 1941 to 1943 and 1943 to 1949, respectively, until Merici’s own property was built west of Havana in the Biltmore neighborhood; this last location was in operation from 1949 to 1961.  Before the revolutionary takeover forced the closing of the school in 1961, Merici Academy had nineteen graduating classes with close to seven hundred graduates.

The Merici Academy digital collection contains photographs, programs, newsletters, awards, pins, medals, banners, school memorabilia, and yearbooks. The students brought most of these materials with them when they left the island; the items were later assembled by the Merici Academy Alumnae Association to document the school's history and the group's activities in exile.