the history and development of the University of the West Indies – the oldest and premier university in the region and the longest existing, truly regional university; and the West Indies region itself.
UWI Regional Headquarters, Mona, Jamaica.
The idea of a UWI Museum dates back to the first plans drawn for the university – then the University College of the West Indies (UCWI). British architects Norman & Dawbarn included a museum in their early drawings – interestingly, in much the same location, though they saw it as a standalone structure. Through the years, several persons have raised the idea, but without success. But when planning started for the Regional HQ, Vice Chancellor Nigel Harris made provision for a museum, and that space, just off the lobby, now serves that function.
Steps Along the Way:
October 2011 – The walls start going up. All the interior walls are reinforced to allow hanging: essential for an exhibition space.
April 2012 – A historic map of the West Indies underscores the regional focus of the UWI Museum
May/June 2012 – Designer Sarah Jackson works on the logo and initial signage, as well as the posters for the first exhibition
June 7 2012 – The Trinidad & Tobago High Commission joins with UWI to mount an exhibition of 50 years of Trinidadian art: 1962 marked independence for Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, and the UWI which became an independent university. It was previously a college of the University of London.
June 27 – Official opening of the Regional HQ. The Museum mounts an exhibition titled: Origins – the Roots & Symbols of the UWI.
A Work in Progress:
Work continues, focusing on structure, administration, collection, exhibition etc.
We’ve been having visitors – including alumni of all ages, and even a group from a summer camp at Mona.
While there is much to be done, you are welcome to visit, though we do not yet have a fixed schedule. Generally speaking, visitors can come in between 10 – 2 on weekdays. But call 977.6065 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org just to be sure.
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