In photo above, Cheryl-Ann Solomon, Administrator of the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy, Tobago House of Assembly cuts the ribbon to re-open the Tobago Archives. Looking on are (left to right) Nichelle Denoon, Librarian III, Tobago Library Services, Liselle Isaac, Archives Manager, Tobago Archives, Avril Belfon, Government Archivist, National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago, and President of the Caribbean Branch of the International Council on Archives (CARBICA).
The Tobago Archives was officially re-opened on Wednesday 26 June 2019 at the Scarborough Library in Tobago.
Delivering the feature address at the re-opening was Dr. Rita Pemberton, historian and former Head of the Department of History, University of the West Indies, and past President of the Association of Caribbean Historians. Other speakers included Ms Cherryl-Ann Solomon, Administrator of the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy, Tobago House of Assembly; Reginald Dumas, former Head of the Public Service; Avril Belfon, Government Archivist, National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago; Nichelle Denoon, Head Librarian, Tobago Library Services.
Following the 1997 earthquake which destroyed the old Scarborough Library, some archives were transferred to the Charlotteville Branch Library for safekeeping while the rest were sent to the National Archives in Trinidad for restoration until a new library was built and the space was outfitted to house the archives.
Equipped with both Conservation and Digitization Labs, the National Archives was able to restore and digitize seventy percent of the Tobago collection sent to Trinidad.
The Tobago Archives collection includes records dating back to 1763 and includes slave records; colonial records related to the establishment of Tobago – churches, villages and plantation estates; Minutes of the House of Assembly; Laws of Tobago; Tobago court records; Tobago Gazettes; newspapers and digitized records of maps, photographs and numerous other documents of historical importance.
Tobagonians can now have ready access their own history and documentary heritage without having to travel to Trinidad. Digital copies are also available.
The Tobago Archives serves various groups of users such as researchers, students, scholars, journalists, family historians, and the general community. It will aim to raise the awareness of the existence of the Archives and to foster a greater appreciation of history and documentary heritage.
Opening hours from Monday to Friday are from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Appointments are advised prior to visits. Interested persons can contact the Liselle Isaac, Archives Manager, The Tobago Archives at 639-2256 Ext 1205 / 1220 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Tobago Archives is located on the second floor of the Scarborough Library.
Dr. Rita Pemberton, historian and former former Head of the Department of History, University of the West Indies, and past President of the Association of Caribbean Historians, delivers the feature address at the Re-opening of the Tobago Archives.