News Releases

Eric Williams Collection Celebrates 11th Anniversary

For Release Upon Receipt - March 19, 2009

St. Augustine


Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 will usher in the eleventh anniversary of the inauguration of the Eric Williams Memorial Collection (EWMC) at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago by former US Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell.  Dr. Williams, the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was heralded by Mr. Powell, who said, “No one was a greater fighter for justice and equality. No one was a greater leader.” 

Williams, who died in office on March 29, 1981, is regarded as a scholar and international statesman. The Eric Williams Memorial Collection consists of Williams’ Research Library, Archives and Museum.  In 1999, it was named to UNESCO’s prestigious Memory of the World Register. Available for consultation by researchers, the Collection amply reflects its owner’s eclectic interests, comprising some 7,000 volumes, as well as correspondence, speeches, manuscripts, historical writings, research notes, conference documents and a miscellany of reports.  Completing this extraordinarily rich archive are a three-dimensional re-creation of Dr. Williams’ study and a museum containing copies of the several translations of Williams’ seminal work, Capitalism and Slavery, as well as photographs depicting various aspects of his life and contribution to the development of Trinidad and Tobago.

In addition to its physical repository of materials, the Eric Williams Memorial Collection has initiated a biennial Essay Competition encompassing 155 schools in 17 Caribbean countries, instituted the first Caribbean Examinations Council CAPE Prize in History, and organised an annual Lectureship at Florida International University. In addition, the EWMC has collaborated with the Mayor of London in his 2007 Slave Trade Bicentenary Lecture Series, dedicated to Williams, and partnered with the University of Sheffield (UK) in an annual one-day seminar for Caribbean Masters and Doctoral students. The Collection has also been the subject of several academic papers, lectures and books.  In the future, the Collection will team up with Williams’ Alma Mater at Oxford University establishing a scholarship in his name in perpetuity.

Among those who have visited the EWMC Museum are the Vice President of India; the Prime Minister of St. Vincent/Grenadines, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the former Mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani, and two Nobel Laureates in Economics, Amartya Sen and Harry Markowitz.  Thousands of students from Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, US Virgin Islands, Barbados and USA have also toured the facility.

For more information, please contact Erica Williams Connell at or 305-271-7246 (Tel)  or 305-905-9999 (Cell) or send mail P.O. Box 561631, Miami, Fl  33256-1631, USA.