Federal Archives Essay

5190 words - 21 pages


The Federal Archives Fonds

Ref N° 2008-01


The West Indies Federation (1958-1962) was a political federation of ten territories in the Anglophone West Indies. Its formation signaled the beginning of a new era of decolonization for the region of the West Indies in the post-World War II period. The history of the West Indies is inextricably linked with the histories of other former British colonies, which include portions of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States of America. The Federal Archives reflect the interconnectivity of these histories and ...view middle of the document...

Kitts/Nevis/Anguilla, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. British Guiana and British Honduras were associated territories. The information documented in the records relates to all twelve of these territories and give a comprehensive view of the social, economic, political and cultural situation in the British West Indies at the time of the Federation. Further to this, the records also reveal the bond that developed between the West Indies Federation and Canada, which served as a ‘big-brother’ to the West Indies Federal Government. The Canadian Government was a source of critical support as it had gone through a process of Federalism and therefore had faced similar challenges to the West Indies. The records also provide evidence of linkages to other existing contemporary federations such as Australia, where references are made to the provisions in the Australian Constitution, which served as a model for up-and-coming Federal movements.
Five notable West Indians who were either major players or served as luminaries in the Federal period are, C.L.R. James, Derek Walcott and Sir Arthur Lewis, Dr. Eric Williams and Sir Shridath ‘Sonny’ Ramphal. These individuals were born, bred and have had their lives shaped by their experiences living in the West Indies in the pre and post Federal period. Ultimately, the outstanding body of records that constitute the Federal Archives fonds reveal the decisions and policies, plans and strategies, hopes and aspirations of West Indian peoples at a time when dramatic changes were taking place on the world scene.
1. Name: The Federal Archives Centre
2. c/o Cherri-Ann Beckles (Mrs.) – Assistant Archivist
3. Contact person(s): Cherri-Ann Beckles or Sharon Alexander-Gooding (Head Archivist)
4. Address: The Federal Archives Centre
The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, West Indies
Telephone: 246-417-4052/62
E-mail: cherri-ann.beckles@cavehill.uwi.edu, archives@cavehill.uwi.edu

1. Name and identification details of the items being nominated:

o The Federal Archives Fonds

o xx The Records of the West Indies Federation

2. Description:
The fonds consists of a range of formats including administrative files, registers, the Federal flag, the Governor General’s flags, a metal seal encased, minute books, pamphlets, debates, statistical data, court cases, reports, card indexes, visitor’s books, oath books, newspapers, press releases, sound recordings, reel-to-reel film, legal instruments, the Coat of Arms on a mahogany plaque, correspondence, Seal of the West Indies, savingrams, telegrams, gazettes, photographs, original instruments and architectural plans.

3.3 Referees:
Drs Nolda Romer-Kenepa
National Archives of the Netherlands Antilles

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