The special collections represent social science research material on the terminal phases of colonial rule of the former British West Indian region from both official and private sources, as well as contemporary research papers by outstanding Caribbean scholars in the social sciences.
Colonial Office Records
From the Public Record Office in Britain, the following are the main sets of copies of documents so far collected:
- The near complete collection of the papers of the influential Moyne Commission on socio-economic and political conditions in the West Indies during the 1930s
- Insurrections in the West Indies during the 1930s
- development and welfare programmes in the West Indies
- The development of adult suffrage, political parties and trade unions
- The negotiations for, and the establishment of, American bases in the West Indies
- The founding of the regional University of the West Indies
The Creech-Jones Papers
Creech-Jones was Secretary of State for the Colonies in the post-World War II Government of Britain and was for many years a keen Fabian Socialist with a deep interest in West Indian affairs. The original papers are located at Rhodes House Library, Oxford.
The Richard Hart Papers
Hart was a radical political activist in the People's National Party of Jamaica, from which he was expelled in 1952. He was also the first secretary of the Caribbean Congress of Labour.
The George Beckford Collection
Beckford was one of the intellectuals in the modern era who grappled with the nature of the Caribbean neo-colonial society and economy. His monumental work, "Persistent poverty", examines the contours of the problems of the dependent plantation economy, explaining the causes of poverty and disposition of the black majority in Jamaica and the Caribbean. He was involved in the ISER as a teacher, researcher and an active public political educator for over 25 years.
The Carl Stone Collection
Stone was a scholar of international repute, teacher, prolific writer and columnist whose analytical insights into a wide range of sociological, economic and political issues forced the society to come to grips with critical questions thus bringing a new dimension to public debate on national issues. He was responsible for bringing Jamaica into the forefront of modern public opinion ... practice by taking the pulse of the community with his national polls for over two decades, now known as the Stone Polls. He also made a major contribution to institutional building, public sector reform and academic activism. The collection includes some of his research papers (usually policy-oriented) and his personal books.
The Archie Singham Collection
Radical economist, confidant of Michael Manley and Cheddi Jagan, he taught at the Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI for 10 years, introduced Caribbean studies at Howard University and Brooklyn College, wrote the definitive book on Grenada's charismatic and authoritative system, "The hero and the crowd in a colonial polity". The collection consists of his personal books.