Research is a key part of developing any exhibition, and a trip to the archives is often a step in getting the research done. And as researchers know, sometimes you go looking for something specific and you find that and move along; and sometimes you trawl through, like a fisherperson exploring the depths, and you may come up with unexpected delights.
The UWI Museum has on display material that have been the result of both types of archival journey. And some of those stories were shared in celebration of International Archives Day, in a session at the University of the West Indies Archives on June 6. Curator Suzanne Francis-Brown acknowledged the importance of archives internationally, and focused on experiences in the UWI Archives as part of research for the book Mona Past & Present, as well as in developing exhibitions for the Museum.
She joined a panel that was chaired by Prof. Verene Shepherd, head of UWI’s Institute of Gender & Development, Professors Emeriti Patrick Bryan and Carl Campbell, and History Department lecturers Dave Gosse and Khitanya Petgrave.
Archives, of course, are collections of primary source material generated over time by an individual, organization, country or multinational group. And they are particularly important for topics that are not already a subject of study and scholarly writing.