Some artifacts have particularly rich potential as research resources. At the UWI Museum, one close to our hearts is the Pelican magazine – a student production of the 1950s – 1970s that is jam-packed with contemporaneous reports on student life inside the young university, starting with its years as the University College of the West Indies (UCWI).

The Pelican was the second, known UCWI student publication. The first was The Barb, a mimeographed sheet who’s most famous writer/editor etc would have been poet and playwright Derek Walcott, while an Arts student at the UCWI in 1950. The Pelican started out as a monthly in 1951, continuing consistently until 1960 and then occasionally appearing. From 1955-1967, it was more famously an annual publication, with careful reports on a wide range of campus activities and personalities, as well as photos of graduates. The university took its first cohort of 33 medical students in October 1948, subsequently adding Natural Science in 1949 and Arts in 1950. It remained a single campus, West Indian regional university until 1961.


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