Campus news

Eric Williams Collection commemorates the life, work of the late Prime Minister on the anniversary of his passing

By Shereen Ali

March 2021 marked the 40th anniversary of the passing of Trinidad and Tobago’s first Prime Minister, Dr Eric Williams. It also marked the 23rd anniversary of the inauguration of The Eric Williams Memorial Collection Research Library, Archives and Museum by Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell at UWI St Augustine.

The Collection is housed at the Alma Jordan Library and consists of the Dr Williams' library and archives. It is available for consultation by researchers and contains 7,000 volumes, as well as correspondence, speeches, manuscripts, historical writings, research notes, conference documents and reports. The Museum contains a wealth of memorabilia from the period which spans from colonial to independent T&T. Photography depicting aspects of his life and contribution to the development of the twin island republic complete this rich archive.

Speaking on the importance of the Collection to the St Augustine Campus, Campus Librarian Frank Soodeen described Dr Williams as “an eminent, globally-celebrated Caribbean historian who has left an indelible mark on Trinidad andTobago, the Caribbean and academia.”

Mr Soodeen emphasised the Alma Jordan Library’s commitment to collecting, preserving, and providing access to unique Caribbean resources.

The library is the repository for over 150 Special collections, three of which are named to the prestigious UNESCO Memory of the World Register: the Derek Walcott Collection, the CLR James Collection, and the Eric Williams Memorial Collection. While pandemic restrictions have limited physical access to the Collection, the Alma Jordan Library shared a curated virtual version of the exhibition that was done in partnership with the University of Texas. The UWI supplied the data for the virtual exhibition and the University of Texas acted as the curator and host.

The exhibition can be accessed at: and

Shereen Ali is a photographer, writer and marketing and communications professional.