News Releases

Continuing to Honour Trinidad and Tobago’s First Prime Minister

For Release Upon Receipt - April 16, 2021

St. Augustine

March 2021 marked the 40th Anniversary of the passing of this country’s first Prime Minister, Dr. Eric Eustace Williams. March 2021 also marked the 23rd Anniversary of the inauguration of The Eric Williams Memorial Collection Research Library, Archives & Museum by Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. One year after its inauguration, the Collection was named to UNESCO’s prestigious Memory of the World Register.

The Collection is housed at the Campus’ Alma Jordan Library and consists of the late Dr. Williams' library and archives.  It is available for consultation by researchers and 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. The Museum contains a wealth of emotive memorabilia of the period which spans from colonial to independent Trinidad and Tobago. Photographs depicting various aspects of his life and contribution to the development of Trinidad and Tobago complete this extraordinarily rich archive.

Speaking on the importance of the Collection to the St. Augustine Campus, the Campus’ Librarian Frank Soodeen described Dr. Williams as “an eminent, globally celebrated Caribbean historian who has left an indelible mark on Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and academia.” Soodeen emphasized the Alma Jordan Library’s commitment to collecting, preserving, and making accessible unique Caribbean resources.

The Alma Jordan Library is the repository for over 150 Special collections, three of which are named to the prestigious UNESCO Memory of the World International 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 is pleased to share 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. This virtual resource can be accessed at: and




About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. 

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(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)