The website Basseterre Past and Present is a project of the National Archives, St. Kitts, produced with funding from UNESCO in keeping with its mandate to encourage developments in areas of education and cultural diversity.
The holdings of the National Archives consist of administrative and legal records and newspapers, a small collection of prints and maps as well as a growing collection of photographs starting from the early 20th Century. A more comprehensive listing of the collections can be found at www.nationalarchives.gov.kn.
In recent years, the National Archives has become more directly involved in the community through lectures and school visits, exhibitions, publications and radio programmes as well as collaboration with cultural organizations. Teachers, students and researchers have all expressed a desire to see material on line. This on-line exhibition and resource is an attempt to satisfy a growing demand for historical information of a local nature and to present the evolution of Basseterre through the records and images held in its repositories. It is also hoped that it will generate a sense of pride and achievement in young Kittitians as well as give nationals living abroad a chance to remain connected with their heritage. Scans of original documents will allow teachers to extract interesting topics to use in class. Where possible we have included ideas that can be used as Teaching Points in the class room. Student achievers have the opportunity to explore these records on their own and possibly use them as the start of a more involved research project. Many will enjoy seeing the changes or similarities in images provided.
The website is a work in progress. We have every intention of continuing the research on locations in Basseterre and personalities that are connected with them. Our choice of material has been directed by the availability of information and images. We encourage visitors to tell us what they think of the website and to share with us any information and images that they might have as well as ideas of different ways in which the material can be used.
Victoria Borg O’Flaherty
Design and Development:
St. Christopher National Trust
Physical Planning Unit, Ministry of Sustainable Development