In March 1998, the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Havana, Cuba, building on previous collaboration, jointly inaugurated the Forum for the Study of Cuba/Cátedra de Estudios sobre Cuba, based in Wolverhampton. In September 2003, by agreement of the three institutions, the Forum was transferred to the University of Nottingham, as a result of which the decision was taken that, with effect from 1 January 2004, it would be renamed the Cuba Research Forum.
When it was established the Forum had four principal aims.
Firstly, it sought to establish a recognised centre for research on Cuba by gathering together in various projects and activities those full-time researchers at the University of Nottingham (lecturing staff and postgraduate research students) who are working on aspects of Cuban studies. The Centre for Research on Cuba was duly created in autumn 2007.
Secondly, it aimed to further develop research collaboration between the University of Nottingham and Cuba, in the first instance with the University of Havana (through the organisation of annual bilateral conferences and other programmes), but also through collaborative links with other Cuban academic, cultural and research institutions.
Thirdly, it was intended that the Forum would become a national focal point for the study of Cuba through a network of Members and Associate Student Members, through various and regular activities (seminars, workshops, conferences), through the dissemination of academic information from and on Cuba, and by developing active links with other European universities where Cuban studies are carried out.
Finally, it aimed to continue developing its research resources on Cuba, specifically through the Hennessy Collection; this Collection was opened at the University of Wolverhampton in March 1998, and transferred to the University of Nottingham in August 2004. The basic resource of the Collection is the unique archive of Cuban periodicals, donated by Professor Alistair Hennessy in 1994, which has subsequently been enhanced by donations from Cuba and elsewhere, and by ongoing subscriptions. It also contains other materials on and from Cuba.