An Archival Treasure Map: A Guide to the Riches of The UWI Archives


The intrigue of a treasure hunt, starts with a Treasure Map…

Every treasure hunt fantasy starts with the use of a mysterious map, directing the adventurous one to the buried riches untold.  If The UWI’s Archives were the undiscovered treasures of the University, and the Caribbean, then there finally is a Map to steer the ‘Wandering Wonderer’ (researcher) or the ‘Guiding Genius’ (archives staff) to the desired golden treasure piece (i.e. the record).


The UWI Archives Fonds Data Map (according ICA ISAD (G)) now mounted in the Archival Processing Room…

The Archives Data Map can be likened to a treasure map easily. The Data Map graphically illustrates what can be found in the Finding Aids (or Catalogue)  about all the records in the Archives or in a particular Collection. It aims to show all the various functions and activities that allowed for the records to be created in the first place.  So if each Office has particular functions, for example; the Office of Finance is responsible for financial matters, then there will be specific activities that relate to those functions.  Those specific activities will give rise to transactions/relationships/events that are documented in various types of records.  Those records, will therefore be a reflection of the functions of the Creating Office, and will document the activities or transactions created over time.  In other words, if the function of Office of Finance is to manage the financial affairs of the university, expect to find records on tuition fees, properties, and accounts as part of the various activities as well as transactions that represent the core duties of that Office. Archival ‘cataloguing’ then is done according to the way the records were created, used and maintained, under the principles of Provenance and Original Order. So, we keep materials from various offices, in the separate campuses, accordingly, even though they may actually relate to other offices, units or functions.


Some Data Maps on display in the Archives Hallway

At The UWI Archives, a tradition has emerged that signals to staff, researcher and visitor, that there is a new Collection or Fonds of Records that have completed the cycle of archival processing and are now available for public consultation.  Once a Collection has been finalised, a Data Map is designed, printed and mounted in the hallway. A celebration of completion and a guide to visitors about the types of materials in our holdings as well as a tool for researchers to visualise record-connections and contexts.  These details always deepen the mystery, enrich the journey and enrich the ‘discovery’. All data maps are about ensuring all users find their ‘treasure’. After all, we–the staff of the Archives–have been preserving and securing these records all along.


The UWI Archives is the official repository for ALL UWI Records, with particular emphasis on the Records of the University College of the West Indies (purple), the Open Campus (orange), The Mona Campus (red) and the Vice Chancellery (green). The Archives also include Records and Materials that are Related  (mauve) to official records, such as the Records of the United Theological College of the West Indies or Papers of prominent professors and personalities.

Our newest data map depicts the record-relationship of all 4 campuses of the University and its administrative hub, the Vice Chancellery and these are differentiated by Colour.  The records are all related and inter-related.  Thus the work of the various committees in the Office of Administration, inter-relate with others from the Office of the Campus Registrars, and Office of Vice Chancellor.  The records in the Vice Chancellery relate directly to all the four (4) campuses, as the decisions and protocols define and impact on how The UWI is managed and operates.  The Related Records section is also very peculiar as this Sous -Fonds (sub group of related materials) of various collections are connected and inter-related with the main working of the University generally and specific campuses and academic departments in particular.

There are some records series (or groups) that no longer exists in the same way  those records were created–even though the particular function or activities are still being carried out by other offices or creators. For example, since 2014, the Office of the Deputy University Registrar, which had responsibility for university ceremonies no longer exists, even though the functions and activities   are still being carried out by a Senior Assistant Registrar in the Office of Administration, and the same type of records are still being created–albeit by another officer or sub-unit. These records are intimately related to the records of the University Singers (a student society) that performed at nearly all university ceremonies and events in Jamaica and around the Caribbean. The correspondence between the offices of the Deputy University Registrar and the Director, University Singers, illustrate the inter-connection between various roles and offices and responsibilities.

Confused yet?  How about this: Each Campus and the Vice Chancellery have similar committees, sharing the same names and mandates, but having different reaches. So while the University Finance and General Purposes Committee (UF&GPC)–which is a sub committee of University Council–having decision-making-impact for the entire university, the Campus F&GPC’s reach is specific to that campus. Yet, at least two (2) campuses have their campus F&GPC minutes kept at The UWI Archives, in addition to having the UF&GPC records preserved here as well.  In order to maintain the value of each of the records of these decision-making bodies, we have to ensure that their provenance is secured, in addition to the keeping the records in the order that they were created, kept, used and maintained.

The 1st  Installation

The First Installation on Princess of Athlone as Chancellor of the then University College of the West Indies, in the open air at Mona, February, 1950.

There are also some record groups that are specific to particular time periods in the university’s history. The Minutes of the Provisional Council for the University College of the West Indies (1947-1957) detail the foundational years of the university’s administration, while the  College Senate Minutes (1948-1958) document the decisions on academic formation, the development of faculties and departments, and student life and activities in the then fledgling university. Even though theoretically these records were part of the now defunct University College of the West Indies (UCWI), they still relate to the daily life of the 70 year old university.  Another fine example of this phenomenon are the records of the Extra Mural Studies Department, the oldest academic unit in the university–having been formed in 1947–among the 1st decisions of the Provisional Council of the UCWI. Yet, those records are directly related to the youngest and 4th Campus: the Open Campus. The philosophy, protocols, practices, and even centres established by the early Extra Mural Studies department inform the work of the Open Campus.

I can go on and on: The Papers of the distinguished first West Indian Professor  (of Education) John Figueroa are interconnected to the records of the then Faculty of Education, which now forms part of the Faculty of Humanities and Education.  The records of the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) are related to the Faculty of Arts and General Studies, now Humanities and Education. The UTCWI was one of the first Colleges and Institutions affiliated to The UWI in accordance with Ordinance 15, of the Royal Charter of The UWI.  Treated as the UWI’s Department of Theology, the records of the UTCWI are related to the records of the now Faculty of Humanities and Education as well as the entire university community.  The scholarship of the UTCWI’s 1st West Indian president, Rev Dr Horace Russell, a luminary in Caribbean Theology, distinguished researcher and author, are related to other distinguished academic works that emanated from the Faculty of Social Sciences.  The recordings of early Carol Services in the audio visual collection (Library of the Spoken Word) from the now defunct Radio Education Unit are related to the records of the University Singers, who actually sang at the various events, which are related to the records of the then University Registrar’s Assistant Registrar that organised chapel events  with the Chaplaincy and the Chapel Committee, which are reflected in their respective records: and all these are records  form the University Archival holdings, and can be found here at the University Archives.

If an archives staff member was trying to add the latest record acquisition to its accurate provenance grouping or if a researcher was trying to find a particular decision (referred to as Minute), then there is a definite need for a Map: a Data Map.  This Data Map then will enable easier ‘cataloguing’ as well as promote better or deeper research, as themes and connections are visually illustrated and the foundation for  fully described and accessible archival collections are clear.


Dr Griffin reviewing the new Archives Data Map

And so this is where my role and tenure as the Assistant Archivist/Officer-in-Charge at The UWI Archives ends. Wendy Duff and Allyson Fox’s article, “‘You’re a Guide Rather than an Expert’: Archival Reference from an Archivist’s Point of View” points to the challenge many archivists face in seeking to promote and provide access to their precious treasures.  When  I first came to the Archives in 2010, I had to learn fast to be that “Record Expert”, linking research needs and ideas to creating offices to particular records and then hand delivering those records to users. Fast forward to 2018, we now have four (4) Archives Assistants and an active–and growing Regional Online Database (see link here:, where we now serve as “Record Guides”. allowing users to make connections and see linkages between their research ideas and themes and our holdings. While this database is still developing, it has certainly enriched user research experience and broadened our user base. Any researcher using the Archives have access to both paper records and audio visual recordings about the same themes! Not many Archives can boast of such rich inter-format connections.

I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to contribute to the development of the UWI Archives from its most basic paper-manual stage to the fully automated operation it is today. Now that our staff are Guides, the treasures are even more accessible to wider audiences and available for broader research uses.  I am proud of the relationship we have with the Creating Offices in the Vice Chancellery, Mona Campus and Open Campus (our primary target clientele) as well as the Mona Campus Records Management Office, Registry Records Services and Records Centre. Through the high quality work of our Records Management Colleagues, the enduring value of the records that make their way to the Archives are sound and secure. I am also grateful for the rapport and interconnection with the Campus Records Managers and Archivists of the other three campuses.  The UWI is 1 University and that ‘oneness’ is a central theme found in all the records starting from 1947.  The UWI Archives is a vital expression of the University Archives and Records Management Programme. All that is done as part of records management impacts on our work at the Archives.

The archival records of the University are primarily the product of the University’s administration  and our work is as integral to the Administrators as we are invaluable to their decision-making process. I too want to commend the University Museum, a unit with the privilege of interpreting the university’s records in the greater narrative that is The UWI.  The relationship with the University’s Libraries, particularly at Mona, is also something to be proud of. We provide essential archival storage to several of their collections and they share in providing access to our audio visual materials. Long may this relationship be mutually respectful and collaborative.  Finally, the Archives is interconnected with the Mona Campus’ academic functions, primarily the Department of History and Archaeology and the Department of Library and Information Studies, particularly through their new BA Information Studies and MA Archives and Records Management programmes.  The UWI Archives is as much a teaching facility, as it is an Administrative unit as well as an operational Archives.  Long may this continue and develop!

Every good Map, with trained guides, erases the need for an expert, and so I leave The UWI Archives confident that the treasures of the University will not remain buried and unused, but more importantly, accessible and all the more valuable to the Caribbean.

Thank you! I wish the UWI Archives well!!


Stanley H. Griffin, PhD


So what does 70 years look like?: UWI Records at 70+


Some of the earliest records of The UWI, dating back to 1947, still kept and used in their original binding…

This year, 2018, The UWI celebrates its 70th Anniversary, under the theme “70 Years of Service, 70 Years of Leadership”. We, at the University Archives, have the custodial responsibility for managing every major decision, function and activity of this four campus regional institution. So what does 70 years of service and leadership look like?


These Bound Volumes and Indices detail the workings of Provisional University College Council, College Council, College Senate, College Finance and General Purposes Committee as well as several minor university committees.

The Archives of the UWI consists mainly of paper records, produced as part of the daily transactions of officers and decisions of committees, which through the auspices of sister-Records Management Offices, have been transferred to our custody. These records are both in files and bound volumes. Like all things created and used, paper records show the wear-and-tear of original office use, including paper-tears and (shoddy) tape repairs, as well as the fading of inks and ageing of paper.  The use, by researchers, over the years have also taken its toll.  In short, the early records of the UWI are starting to show its age and are in need of conservation (meaning, they need to undergo physical processes in order to prolong longevity). However, while it is our main task to preserve (that is, to create a most suitable environment for their long-term stability) these records, it is also our paramount duty to make these items accessible to users. Digitising these records would be the ideal way to provide greater access to the information, with less physical handling of the records.

Thankfully, we have expert help, right here in Jamaica! Our colleagues at the Jamaica Archives and Records Department (JARD) have the expertise and experience to do both: Conserve and Digitise!


Mrs Racquel Stratchan-Innerarity, Senior Archivist at the Jamaica Archives (JARD) with colleague heads of Conservation and Reprographic Units respectively about to start the conservation assessment.

The Jamaica Archives and Records Department (JARD) is the main governmental archival department with responsibility for “ensuring the efficient and effective management and use of official records/information, at all stages of the life cycle and to preserve those official and other archival records for current and future use, by the government and citizens of Jamaica, in order to strengthen national development.” JARD has three (3) Units – the Archives Unit, the Audiovisual Unit and the Government Records Centre, each playing a separate role to fulfil the Mission of the Department.

Archives Unit (Spanish Town)

This Unit is the main repository for the country’s archival collections, which dates back to the 17th century.  The holdings include records from local and central governments, statutory bodies, private collections as well as records from different religious organisations.  The Unit also houses facilities for the preservation and conservation of its holdings.  This is undertaken by the Conservation Section which consists of the Bindery and the Reprographic areas.  This section ensures the protection and preservation of records that are in a state of disrepair for future use and posterity using different conservation methods and microphotography.

In their recent visit, JARD staff assessed the quality and stability of the papers, inks, and bindings to determine how best to proceed with digitisation and conservation repairs needed.  Once the report is received, the University Archives will ensure that the decisions that made The UWI the noble institution that it is, will continue to be available and accessible in order to inform the next 70 years–and beyond!


Happy 70th, UWI!



Records Management Training Held in Antigua

Antigua and Barbuda, a twin island state known for its 365 beaches and pink-coloured sand, among other things, was recently visited by Mrs Sharon Alexander-Gooding (acting University Archivist) and Dr Stanley H. Griffin (Asst. Archivist/Officer-in-Charge at Mona) to conduct a week of training on Records Management.

This training course was arranged and hosted by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s Training Division with participants from across the Public Service. The aim of the workshop was to ensure participants learn about the international standards and best practices in managing the active, semi-active and archival records.  Held in St John’s, the state capital, at the Division’s Training Room, some 43 participants covered the fundamentals of records management theory, the influential factors and traditions  in Caribbean record-keeping, active and inactive records management, managing records centres and elements of archives management as well as care and handling of records.

On the final day of the week, the Chief Training Officer, Mrs Miguelle Christopher, noted that the purpose of this week of training was to renew the professionalism of staff involved in processing records or ministry registry offices.  Participants were expected to return to their offices and implement the best practices taught. Mr Joseph Prosper, Director of the National Archives, encouraged participants to fulfil their roles in order to safeguard the documentary heritage of the nation and assist the National Archives in fulfilling its legislated role.

In addition to training staff members, Mrs Alexander-Gooding and Dr Griffin led a morning Records Management Awareness Session at the Cabinet Office with executive members of the Public Service, which included the Cabinet Secretary,  Permanent Secretaries and senior officers of the security forces and government agencies. The aim for this session was to inform the leaders represented about the training course, and to encourage them to support their direct reports in implementing new procedures and practices that were taught.

Outreach and training are key activities for members of staff in The UWI’s Archives and Records Management Programme. It is not uncommon for our Records Managers and Archivists to provide consultancies to organisations, and conduct staff training and community workshops.  This is in addition to the six (6) week summer Certificate Course in Records and Information Management at Cave Hill Campus, Barbados and Mona Campus, Jamaica.  Members also teach in the BA (Information Studies) and MA (Archives and Records Management) Programmes in the Department of Library and Information Studies (DLIS).

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Blog post by Stanley H. Griffin, PhD



The UWI Archives and Records Management Programme (UARMP) endorses the new offering of a Master of Arts Degree in Archives and Records Management by the Mona Campus, Department of Library and Information Studies.

ARCM Flyer (2)

For the first time in the English-speaking Caribbean, a graduate programme specifically for Archives and Records Management is being offered.  The UWI Archives endorses this initiative and will  support the DLIS in facilitating this programme.  Classes will be both ONLINE AND FACE TO FACE. 

ARCM-page01 (1)ARCM-page02 (1)

For Further Information, please contact the DLIS at or 1876.924.277

Manage, Not Just Digitize, Your Records…

“We will be digitising our Records” is a popular headline around the Caribbean in recent days. No doubt this is marvellous news.  It is always thrilling to hear initiatives that will incorporate modern technology in the workflow of organisations.   DSC_1574

From handwriting to typing to ‘word processing’, technology has changed the way we go about doing making transactions. Using technology, particularly information technology systems, is often promoted as the solution to otherwise troublesome and tedious matters. Yet, records, i.e. the materials that are created as part of the processing or transactional activities of the organisation, still need to be used and kept in an organised manner in order to remain accessible and authentic. Technology has the wherewithal to allow for these record keeping functions. However, a poorly managed analogue or manual records system, which is converted to digital formats, is still a poorly managed records system.

The unfortunate reality is records are not treated as essential components to the business process, whether it is for a government office, the medical clinic, the church, school or that business place. No amount of technological advancement can replace the time and money spent in organising your records. Failing to do this will always result in lost files, misplaced information, and inefficiency.  This scenario is commonplace: Records are stashed away in some back room, filled with floor to roof stacks of paper files, often disorganised, dark, hot, and usually pest-infested. In fact, paper files are not alone in this treatment. Photographs, tape recordings, maps, artefacts like plaques and awards, are also handled in this way.  The usual crisis occurs when a particular record is urgently needed and cannot be found.  Moreover, the usual solution is to simply ‘digitise’ everything, ‘place it all on a computer’ and magically the physical madness becomes virtually organised and efficient.  However, after much time, effort and money is spent on investing in a ‘system’, the virtual paradise crashes because no one considered the need to structurally manage the organisation’s records.

Managing Digital Records Wkshp LOGO

The computer as source and resource for creating and accessing records

Digitisation, according to the Pearce-Moses’ Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology is “The process of transforming analogue material into binary electronic (digital) form, especially for storage and use in a computer.”  It usually involves some forms of scanning, photo imaging, and data entry using some software system that promises to capture and maintain your now digital materials, with the hope that it improves job efficiency and productivity.  What digitisation does not, in itself, do is arranged your files and records according to subject, chronology, theme or activity.  A computer could be as disorganised as a paper file cabinet. A server packed with digital assets could very well mirror that dark back room stashed with files.  A company’s poor records management system is symptomatic of an organisation that is not fully in control of its services, staff, and output.  Additionally, this company is sure to have problems articulating its vision and mission simply because the records that speak to the organisation’s enduring values have neither been identified nor safeguarded. This entity, with its poor system for managing its records, is simply a disaster waiting to happen.

Digitisation is no magic wand for resolving troublesome and tedious concerns such as managing records. It is essential to consider the role records play in the workflow of your organisation before seeking a solution that will improve the process and not recreate the problem. It is useless trying to digitise your company’s records if you are not willing to convert your business processes accordingly. A company’s records and information are the genetic codes that details, shares and retains its fundamental and distinctive characteristics and should be treated as such.

So consider the way you or your organisation creates, uses and manages its records. Whether you are still basically using paper files or digital software, managing your information is paramount, digitising your information.  Should you need any advice on how to manage your records efficiently, please feel free to contact the UWI Archives at or 1876.935.8614/1876.977.6704. We would love to assist you!!

Stanley H Griffin




-Dr. Stanley H. Griffin is the Assistant Archivist/Officer-in-Charge at the UWI Archives, Mona.




IAD 2016 Workshop & Lecture


On June 15, we held a workshop entitled “Managing Digital Records and Information: Strategies for Business Leaders.” The facilitator of the workshop was Dr. Victoria Lemieux who has experience as a Senior Public Sector Specialist (Information Management), an Associate Professor of Archival Studies at The University of British Columbia and also a former University Archivist at The UWI.

The Acting University Archivist Mrs. Sharon Alexander-Gooding stated in her introduction that the aim of international archives day is to bring persons a greater awareness of archives, records and how they should be managed.


The workshop focused on how to effectively include records management and information governance within the work/business flow and structure.


On June 16, we ended our IAD activities with a public lecture entitled “Social and Economic Transformation: Records in the Digital Era.” Dr. Lemieux’s lecture focused on Big Data as a catalyst for managing and transforming a society, how governments and social users could get a sense of social issues and how social change is triggered by these informational activities. She also focused on how social media postings, such as tweets and Facebook posts, are indeed the historical and archival records of the future and as such must demand the attention of Archivists.

Listen to the following for a snippet of Dr. Lemieux’s presentation during the workshop:

From Our Records: Preserving Archives

storm clouds

Storm clouds approaching the Mona, Jamaica, area.

This time of the year is known as hurricane season in the Caribbean.  Disasters can emerge at the drop of the proverbial hat.  A nice sunny day could suddenly erupt into bleak and stormy.  Authorities such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency encourage preparation as the most effective way to cope with such emergencies.  While we may prepare our homes and offices for disasters, we often forget to pay attention to the needs of our records.

A key function of an archivist is ensuring the preservation of archival materials. This we do by ensuring the physical stability of the item, whether it is a file, photograph, a vinyl tape, cassette tape or book and it’s intellectual value, by protecting its usage and content.

In this entry, we feature an interview with Ms Elizabeth Williams, the third University Archivist of the UWI. Here she is discussing preserving books with Dr Suzanne Francis-Brown, now Curator, University Museum. This excerpt was taken from the radio programme “Cover to Cover” which was originally broadcast on the former Radio Mona in 2003.

Ms Elizabeth Williams, former University Archivist, 2002-2007

Ms Elizabeth Williams, former University Archivist, 2002-2007

Ms Elizabeth Williams served as University Archivist from 2002 right up until her untimely death in 2007. She was instrumental in revising the proposal and securing the funds from university administration for a permanent repository for the University Archives. This repository, she felt, would improve the quality of archival services to the university. It is for this reason, the room where such services are provided, has been named in her honour.

The Elizabeth Williams Reading Room

The Elizabeth Williams Reading Room

We hope this information will help you to think practically and prepare adequately for any disaster that may arise in this hurricane season.

UARMAC Meets in Trinidad & Chair Retires

The University Archives & Records Management Advisory Committee (UARMAC) met recently at the UWI St Augustine Campus in Trinidad.  UARMAC is a cross-campus Committee (UARMAC) which deliberates on policy and all matters relating to the effective management of university records and archives across the four campuses of the UWI.  UARMAC had its genesis in 1988, when a consultant was engaged to conduct a survey on the state of record keeping at the University and to make recommendations.  In preparation for his visit, records committees were established at all three campuses to gather information on existing policies and practices and to work with the Consultant when he visited the particular campus. Among the recommendations of his report was that an archivist and records managers be appointed.

After the Archivist was appointed, the campus records committees were disbanded and a cross-campus University Archives and Records Management Committee (UARMAC) was appointed.  In September 1993, the Committee endorsed a comprehensive position paper on the principles, policies, procedures, plans and priorities of the Programme and this was approved by the Finance and General Purposes Committee on behalf of the University Council in January, 1994.  In 2012, the Finance and General Purposes Committee approved the revised University Archives and Records Management Policy.

The UARMAC continues to be relevant to the management of records and archives at the UWI. At the October meeting matters such as the treatment of confidential records and access to archival records inter alia were considered and deliberated.

This meeting was further significant as the Chair of UARMAC, Dr Kusha Haraksingh, formerly Dean of the Faculty of Law, St Augustine Campus, presided over his last meeting  on his last official work day prior entering retirement.  Dr Haraksingh was thanked by the University Registrar, Mr William Iton, for his chairmanship over the last four years during which several landmark decisions and policies were made, including the approval of the University Archives and Records Management Policy.

On behalf of the  Members,  Mrs Sharon Alexander-Gooding, Campus Records  Manager–Cave Hill, presented a small token and photographic memento to him in appreciation for his leadership of the Committee.

A poster of Dr Kusha Haraksingh, Chair of the UARMAC 2008-2013, in the various activities of the University Archives & Records Management Programme.

A poster of Dr Kusha Haraksingh, Chair of the UARMAC 2008-2013, in the various activities of the University Archives & Records Management Programme.

UARMAC Oct 2013 Trinidad

The October meeting of UARMAC in progress, UWI St Augustine Trinidad.

University Archivist, John Aarons, makes a point during the UARMAC meeting, October 2013.

Chair and CRM-CH

Mrs Sharon Alexander-Gooding, Campus Records Manager–Cave Hill Campus, makes presentation to Dr Kusha Haraksingh, Chair, UARMAC, on behalf of Members.

UARMP leadership

The leadership of the University Archives & Records Management Programme (the University Archivist, Campus Records Managers and Assistant Archivists) share in a pre-UARMAC luncheon meeting…

UWI Archives Blog attracts 10,000+ Viewers

10,000+ Viewers

The University Archives of the UWI entered the world of blogging in November 2010, entitled “The Roots of The West Indian Pelican”, in tribute to the archival records of the UWI. And after 24 months, 57 posts, and 154 photographs uploaded, we’ve hit the 10,000 viewers mark!!

We are happy to report that our blog has attracted views from around the Caribbean, the Americas and all parts of the world, including Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Greece, India, Israel, Kenya, Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Thank you all for the support! You can “follow” us by clicking on the “follow tab” in the menu bar and “like” us on Facebook (see link on left hand side of screen!).

Here’s to 10,000 more viewers!!


This is the title of a display of framed photographs, citations and awards from the collection of the late  Professor the Hon. Rex Nettleford, Vice Chancellor of the UWI 1998-2004, which the University Archives and the University Museum have mounted in the corridor of the East Wing of the UWI Regional Headquarters Building.  The items must have been highly prized by Rex Nettleford for they were in his Office of Vice Chancellor Emeritus from which location they were transferred to the University Archives.

The portraits – one of which is a painting –  depicts him in various poses and reflects  various periods of his life.   The citations are from a number of institutions including the University of Technology, the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation and the UWI itself.

The Citation from the UWI was given to him to mark the Commemoration Celebrations and Alumini Week in 2004, a few months before he demitted office as Vice Chancellor.    After extolling his work and linking his career to the life of the University itself, the Citation ends with the following majestic words:

         Qualis lux?          Talis Homo!          Rex Universitatis Nostrae!

       What a light!        What a Man!        King Indeed of our University!

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About  Rex Nettleford

Professor the Hon Rex Nettleford‘s  Vice Chancellorship was special. He is the University’s first graduate to assume the office of the Vice Chancellor.  Professor Nettleford was an internationally renowned Caribbean scholar, trade union educator, social and cultural historian, political analyst and a man of the performing arts. Oxford University, to mark the centenary of the Rhodes Scholarship, selected him, out of 4000 Rhodes Scholars, as one of 4 to be conferred with the Doctor of Civil Laws honoris causa, describing him as “a man of the greatest versatility, effective in action, outstanding in erudition, and most supple in dance”.  He was the founder, Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica.  His service to the international community was tremendous. He received numerous awards both within Jamaica, including the high national honour of Order of Merit, and outside Jamaica.  His honorary degrees are numerous. He is only the third Caribbean scholar on which Oxford Doctor of Civil Laws honoris causa has been conferred.  Throughout the years, from Director of Extra Mural Studies to Vice Chancellor, Rex Nettleford’s mark on The UWI is such that the names Rex Nettleford and The UWI seem synonymous.

From Our Records: Cave Hill @ 50! From Evening Institute to Liberal Arts College to a full-fledged Campus:

The third article in the series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of The University of the West Indies as an independent degree granting institution

The iconic clock tower and main entranceway to several faculties and the Campus Library.Image credit:

The iconic clock tower and main entranceway to several faculties and the Campus Library.
Image credit:

This year, 2013, the Cave Hill Campus of The University of the West Indies celebrates its 50th anniversary.  But did you know that The UWI in Barbados had its genesis in the idea that an Evening Institute be established by the new University of the West Indies? A quick perusal of the Minutes of University Council, its sub-committee—the Finance and General Purposes Committee, (F&GPC) and University Senate indicates the importance the stakeholders gave the project.

Highlights of the Meetings are as follows:

January 1962: the University Senate received correspondence from the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Barbados requesting the University to consider establishing an Evening Institute in the island. This Evening Institute was to cater to about 100 students and provide courses leading to degrees for persons who have attained Higher School or Advanced Level Certificates. The proposal stated, inter alia, that “the Government (would) supply a site for the erection of the Institute, possibly near the proposed Extra-Mural Centre in [Pine] St. Michael” now the present-day Open Campus Barbados Country Site.

February 1962: University Council approved this idea.

November 1962:  At the meeting of the F&GPC, this idea blossomed into a Liberal Arts College and was agreed upon, with proposed funding from the British Government.

Things moved speedily along.

March 1963: The expenditure for the hiring of academic and administrative staff was approved.

April 1963:  Meeting of F&GPC noted that the University Senate Committee on Estimates endorsed the decision of the Finance & General Purposes Committee on the provision of funds for the establishment of the Liberal Arts College in Barbados and for the post of Senior Assistant Registrar at the helm of the new venture’s administration.

June 1963: At the meeting of the F&GPC, a paper was tabled “which contained letters from the Ministry of Education, Barbados, and the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Barbados, Incorporated, dealing with the handing over of the Trade Fair Site to the University of the West Indies [near the Bridgetown Harbour] for use as temporary Lecture rooms and administrative offices for the College of Arts & Science until such time as the permanent buildings of the College were ready. The paper referred also to the grant of $ 85,000 made in favour of the University by the Junior Chamber of Commerce Incorporated towards the furtherance of University education in Barbados.”

The Caribbean Trade Fairs site at the Harbour, Bridgetown Barbados Image Credit:  "UWI Cave Hill: Forty Years: A Celebration", 2003, p.10-11

The Caribbean Trade Fairs site at the Harbour, Bridgetown Barbados
Image Credit: “UWI Cave Hill: Forty Years: A Celebration”, 2003, p.10-11

July 1963:  F&GPC Meeting dealt with finalising the funding, academic staffing and language courses to be offered and considered the appointment of a Principal for the College of Arts and Science, Barbados.

September 1963:  The Vice-Chancellor reported to F&GPC that Mr. L.R.B. Robinson, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Head, Department of Mathematics, had accepted the invitation to act as Principal of the College of Arts & Science, Barbados.

October 1963: ceremonies were held at the Harbour Site in Bridgetown Barbados, which the Vice Chancellor reported, to the UF&GPC,  “were a great success and paid tribute to the excellent work done by Professor H.D. Huggins, Pro-Vice-Chancellor [at St Augustine, Trinidad], Mr. L.R.B. Robinson, the Acting Principal in Barbados, and the various Advisory Committees.  Teaching at the College began thereafter with 118 registered students.

"The first batch of overseas students in their pristine academic gowns". Image Credit: "UWI Cave Hill, Forty Years: A Celebration, 2003, p.56

“The first batch of overseas students in their pristine academic gowns”.
Image Credit: “UWI Cave Hill, Forty Years: A Celebration, 2003, p.56

December 1963: UF&GPC agreed that the name of the College in Barbados should be “The College of Arts and Science, Barbados”

1966: The existence of the Cave Hill Campus began when the Chancellor, HRH Princess Alice, laid the foundation stone for the buildings at the site on January 25.

1967: The first phase of the building programme was completed in the summer, and the College moved to its present site at Cave Hill in August.  On October 16, the College of Arts and Science at Barbados opened the academic year at the new university buildings at Cave Hill, on a 45 acre site provided by the Government of Barbados.

"The distinctive clock tower, with scaffolding still in places, rises above the new buildings, designed by Barbados' distinguished government architect, Captain "Tommy" Tomlin. Image Credit: "UWI Cave Hill, Forty Years: A Celebration", 2003, p.33

“The distinctive clock tower, with scaffolding still in places, rises above the new buildings, designed by Barbados’ distinguished government architect, Captain “Tommy” Tomlin. Image Credit: “UWI Cave Hill, Forty Years: A Celebration”, 2003, p.33

1968: To mark the opening of the College campus at Cave Hill, staff of the College organized a formal opening ceremony held on February 6, at which the Chancellor, HRH Princess Alice received the 1967 graduates.

1970: With the establishment of the Faculty of Law, the name of the College was changed to the Cave Hill Campus of  The University of the West Indies. It maintains close relationships with Codrington College (founded 1745) and the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), both affiliated institutions of the University of the West Indies.

Students in matriculation gowns viewing the plaque in front of the Arts Lecture Theatre.

Students in matriculation gowns viewing the plaque in front of the Arts Lecture Theatre. Image Credit: “UWI Cave Hill, Forty Years: A Celebration” 2003, p.37

Did You Know?!: We’re on Facebook!!

Did You Know?!: We're on Facebook!!

The University Archives of The UWI is on Facebook. And this week, we’ve hit the 100 mark!! Thanks to all who have ‘liked’ us!! And if you haven’t ‘liked’ us, please do so now!! The Facebook page highlights new special university records, visitors to the archives, and the happenings at the archives! If you haven’t ‘liked’ us as yet, please do so today!

Celebratory Events at the University Archives

On January 21 2013 the cross campus University Archives and Records Management Committee (UARMAC) had its first meeting in the UWI Regional Headquarters building where the University Archives is situated. The occasion was doubly significant in that it was also the first time the Committee was meeting under its revised policy which had been approved by the University Finance & General Purposes Committee in October 2013.The Archives decided that this significant event should not go unnoticed so it organized three events to commemorate the occasion.

Audience in University Archives.

Audience in University Archives.

A ceremony to mark the establishment of the University Archives in its permanent home.

This was held in the Archives’ spacious Reading Room immediately after the meeting on January 21 2013.  It was attended by senior university officials including the Vice Chancellor, the University Registrar, University Bursar, the University Librarian and the Chairman and members of the UARMAC. Also in attendance was Mrs Gloria Barrett-Sobers, University Registrar 1997 – 2007 and members of the family of the late Elizabeth Williams, who served as University Archivist, 2002 – 2007.

The University Archivist, Mr John Aarons explained that although the building had been blest and officially opened in June 2012, he had felt that the establishment of the Archives in a purpose  built facility after fifteen (15) years in temporary accommodation, was worthy of a celebration.

The highlight of the Ceremony was the unveiling of a plaque naming the Reading Room in memory of the late Elizabeth Williams, the first West Indian University Archivist who died in June 2007. She had worked hard for a purpose built archival facility and had died before her dream was realized. The plaque was unveiled by her sister Miss Grace Williams and the Vice Chancellor, Professor E Nigel Harris.

The event was an emotionally filled one for many persons including members of Elizabeth’s family and colleagues who recalled her tireless advocacy for improved facilities for the storage of University records. (See link: images of establishment ceremony)

Vice Chancellor, Professor E. Nigel Harris and Ms Grace Williams unveil the plaque naming the Reading Room in memory of Ms Elizabeth Williams, former University Archivist.

Vice Chancellor, Professor E. Nigel Harris and Ms Grace Williams unveil the plaque naming the Reading Room in memory of Ms Elizabeth Williams, former University Archivist.

Presentation on Archival development in the Caribbean region with emphasis on the role of the University of the West Indies 

The Archives felt that the first public event it hosted in its new home should reflect on the University’s involvement, chiefly through the Department of History, in the archives of the region dating back to 1948, and the role it should continue to play and this was endorsed by the UARMAC.

This function was held in the newly named ‘The Elizabeth Williams Reading Room’ on January 22, 2012 and attracted an attendance of over sixty (60) persons.  It was literally standing room only!  Presentations were made by Mrs Sharon Alexander-Gooding, Senior Assistant   Registrar, Archives & Records), Cave Hill, UWI and  Dr Stanley Griffin, Assistant Archivist, University   Archives, UWI on archival development in the region.

A special feature of the function was the reading of a Citation to Professor Emeritus Sir Roy Augier, former Pro Vice Chancellor and long serving member of the Department of History at the University of the West Indies. He was honoured for his contribution to archival development in the region and in particular for his involvement in the regional survey records in the 1950’s and in the organization of the 1965 Caribbean Archives Conference, held in Jamaica. The Citation was read by Dr Kusha Haraksingh, the chair of UARMAC on behalf of the Committee. (See link: Archival Presentation)

Professor Sir Roy Augier receives citation from Dr Kusha Haraksingh, Chair of the UARMAC.

Professor Sir Roy Augier receives citation from Dr Kusha Haraksingh, Chair of the UARMAC.

Annual General Meeting of the Archives & Records Management (RAM) Section of the Library & Information Association of Jamaica (LIAJA)

This meeting was held on Wednesday January 23, 2013 and was chaired by Dr Stanley Griffin, the Chair of RAM. Prior to the meeting, members toured the University Museum & University Archives. This was followed by a panel discussion on the role of museums and archives in an institution.  The panellists were Dr Suzanne Francis-Brown, Curator of the UWI Museum and Mr John Aarons, University Archivist and the discussion was moderated by Mrs Celia Stephens, the Records Manager at the Port Authority and the Vice Chair of RAM.  (See link: LIAJA-RAM Visit)

Mrs Ceila Stephens, Vice Chair, leads discussion on the role of archives and museums in an institution with panellists Dr Suzanne Francis-Brown, Curator, and Mr John Aarons, University Archivist.

Mrs Ceila Stephens, Vice Chair, leads discussion on the role of archives and museums in an institution with panellists Dr Suzanne Francis-Brown, Curator, and Mr John Aarons, University Archivist.