All resources in Virgin Islands History Buffs

The Colonial Archives of the United States Virgin Islands on JSTOR

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This article examines the relationship between custody, access, and provenance through a case study of the records of a former Danish colony, the United States Virgin Islands. In 1917, when the United States purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark, Danish archivists removed the majority of records created there during colonial rule and deposited them in the Danish National Archives. Following its establishment in the 1930s, the National Archives of the United States sent an archivist to the Virgin Islands to claim most of the remaining records and ship them to Washington. The native population of the Virgin Islands, primarily former colonials whose ancestors were brought from Africa as slaves, were left without access to the written sources that comprised their history. While all three parties have claims to custody of the records, the claim of the people of the Virgin Islands relies on an expanded definition of provenance that includes territoriality or locale, as well as on a custodial responsiblity for access. The competing custodial claims suggest a dissonance between legal custody, physical custody, and archival principles that may be resolvable through post- custodial management practices.

Material Type: Lecture Notes, Reading

Author: Jeannette Allis Bastian

Denmark and the US Virgin Islands

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The website ‘The West Indian Heritage’ tells its story using the buildings as a framework for understanding the structure, function, and people of the colony who were either forced to risk their lives producing the coveted goods or benefited from the profits on the goods throughout the first 150 years of the colony’s history.

Material Type: Lecture Notes

Author: West Indian Heritage

OUR-STORIES-A teaching material about Danish colonialism in the West Indies.pdf

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OUR STORIES is a teaching resource about Danish colonialism in the West Indies written with support from the Ministry of Culture Denmark. The Preface to this teaching resource states as follows: "On March 31st, 2017, the large atrium inside Copenhagen City Hall was resonating with voices. Around the atrium were numerous different exhibits with text, photos and other forms of creative expression, all made by high school students. They had all participated in a contest to create the best presentation of Danish-Caribbean colonial history with the theme of “Pictures from the Past for the Future”. Around the city hall itself, debates, workshops, film screenings and concerts dealing with the U.S. Virgin Islands and Danish colonial history were taking place. The event was happening because on that day, March 31st, 2017, it had been 100 years since the sale of the islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John to the United States by the Danish government. The event was attended by high school students from the U.S. Virgin Islands and by the Danish high school students who had created the exhibits in the atrium. All of them having explored the same stories, their discussions and exhibits became part of a conversation about the way history is experienced and remembered, how it is used and told. These questions will also be our point of departure when working with the present teaching material."

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

Authors: Ministry of Culture Denmark, Museum Vestsjælland: Kasper Nygaard Jensen and Ida Maria R. Skielboe

Title: "Creating a Progressive Virgin Islands: Pan-Africanism, Health Equity, and Imagining a Just Future"

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This lesson plan aims to educate students about the significance of Pan-Africanism, focusing on its relevance in the Virgin Islands and Liberia. Students will delve into the contributions of key figures like Reverend Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden and Dr. Melvin Evans, particularly in the realms of Pan-Africanism, politics, and health administration. The curriculum will address the historical context of healthcare in the Virgin Islands, emphasizing the disparities during Dr. Melvin Evans' tenure as the first Black governor. Through various activities, students will engage in discussions, research, and creative tasks to understand health disparities and propose solutions for a more equitable society. The lesson also integrates standards related to democracy, societal change, and local Virgin Islands pride. Materials for the lesson include biographies, information on Liberia, internet resources, art supplies, and potential guest speakers.  

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Stephanie Chalana Brown

International Day of Monuments and Sites

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International Day for Monuments discussion with Former Senator Myron Jackson about the bust of King Christian the IX being removed from the Emancipation Gardens public space as a result of public outcry. The measure appropriates $20,000 from the St. Thomas Capital Improvement Fund to cover the cost of removing and replacing the sculpture. Additionally, the program promotes new discourses, alternative and nuanced approaches to established historical narratives, and promotes inclusive and diverse points of view.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Lecture, Unit of Study

Author: Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education