The UWI Museum is part of a whole series of networks: of other museums within the University of the West Indies system; of Caribbean museums; of university museums; of institutional museums broadly; of the global museum community in its many forms.
From October 21-25, we joined other museums from across the wider Caribbean at the annual conference of the Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC).
The conference focus was on collections policy and the preparation of collections for emergencies of various kinds (…and along came Hurricane Sandy, as mentioned in our last post!).
UWI Museum (UWIM) Curator, Dr Suzanne Francis-Brown and the Curator of the UWI Mona Campus (Jamaica)’s Geology Museum Dr Sherene James-Williamson both presented on their museums – present status and future plans.
There was great interest in the UWIM as a new museum (we started operation in June 2012) and this was a great opportunity to clarify the relationship between various museums within the UWI’s multi-country, multi-campus system. The Geology Museum and the Zoology Museum of UWI’s St Augustine Campus in Trinidad & Tobago are museums that have developed based on specialist collections within particular departments. UWI also has responsibility for curated special collections such as the papers, books and memorabilia of Trinidad & Tobago’s first Prime Minister, historian Dr Eric Williams, as explained by the head of the West Indies Collection at the UWI Main Library, St Augustine, Mr Glenroy Taitt. Trinidad’s National Herbarium, curated by Mrs Yasmin Baksh-Comeau and sited at the UWI campus, was also represented.
The UWI Museum, which is attached to the university’s overarching regional administration, is physically located at the Regional HQ building at Mona, Jamaica, but is broadly institutional and regional in scope.
UWI curators interfaced with colleagues from a range of museums in Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Lucia, St Marten, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, the British and US Virgin Islands, Colombia, Canada, the UK and the USA.
Meanwhile, our exhibition: ‘A Great Day for All’: Celebration, Ceremony and Academic Dress at the UWI, continues.