March 2021 marked the 40th anniversary of the passing of this country’s first Prime Minister, Dr Eric Eustace Williams.
It also marked the 23rd anniversary of the inauguration of the Eric Williams Memorial Collection Research Library, Archives and Museum by former US secretary of state Colin Powell at UWI's St Augustine campus.
A year after its inauguration, the collection was named to Unesco’s prestigious Memory of the World Register.
The collection is housed at the campus’s Alma Jordan Library and consists of Williams's library and archives. It is available for consultation by researchers and amply reflects its owner’s eclectic interests, comprising some 7,000 volumes, as well as correspondence, speeches, manuscripts, historical writings, research notes, conference documents and a miscellany of reports. The museum contains a wealth of emotive memorabilia of the period which spans from colonial to independent Trinidad and Tobago.
Photographs depicting various aspects of his life and contribution to the development of Trinidad and Tobago complete this "extraordinarily rich" archive, a release said.
Speaking on the importance of the collection to the campus, campus librarian Frank Soodeen, in the release, described Williams as “an eminent, globally celebrated Caribbean historian who has left an indelible mark on TT, the Caribbean and academia.” Soodeen emphasised the library’s commitment to collecting, preserving, and making accessible unique Caribbean resources. The Alma Jordan Library is the repository for over 150 special collections, three of which are named to the Unesco Memory of the World register: the Derek Walcott Collection, the CLR James Collection, and the Eric Williams Memorial Collection.
While pandemic restrictions have limited physical access to the collection, the library is pleased to share a curated virtual version of the exhibition that was done in partnership with the University of Texas. UWI supplied the data for the virtual exhibition and the University of Texas acted as the curator and host.
This virtual resource can be accessed at: https://bit.ly/3mLuWUU and https://bit.ly/3sfAacu