About the Project

Documenting Barbadian Voices from Emancipation to Independence
Project Grant

The Barbados Ephemera Collection includes over 1000 objects that cover the decades following the Independence of Barbados (1966) and the subsequent transition from colony to independent state. Items in this collection, now openly available for use by scholars, teachers, Barbadians and others around the world, reflect and document the lives of ordinary people beyond elite voices at a foundational period in the history of Barbados. While items in the collection are specific to Barbados, they address broader global movements of the 20th century, including civil rights struggles, women's rights, identity formation, and political realities.

To cite material from the Barbados Ephemera Collection: [Object title], Barbados Department of Archives, Ephemera Collection, Accessed at Modern Endangered Archives Program at [full web address].

Project Lead

Amalia Skarlatou Levi

Host Institution

Barbados Archives, HeritEDGE

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Collection Details

The colonial history of Barbados has been a focal point for scholars studying the region, while its more recent history has not been adequately studied. Scholars have not had access to the resources necessary to research the years leading to Barbados' Independence (1966) and the following decades. This project aims to bridge this gap by providing access to material that document the formative decades following Independence.

The HeritEDGE Connection’s project with MEAP provides open-access to a collection selected from the Barbados Department of Archives that covers life in Barbados from the 1930s, leading through the transition from colonialism to independence in the 1960s and to the ensuing decades (up to 2010’s). This collection of ephemera includes material that cover a wide array of topics such as politics, business and industry, education, women’s movements, civil rights, religion and more.

This collection reflects Barbados’ transition out of a colonized state,a process with reverberations in modern-day life. These materials will allow users in Barbados and beyond to better understand the multiple ways that the citizens of the newly independent country (in 1966) sought to redefine their national identity, unique consciousness, and cultural belongings.

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