Edmeade stated that the National Archives continues to be restricted in its ability to provide the level of service it is required to.
“The issue of space continues to linger into fiscal year 2012. The Archives still however remains a high priority for the Ministry and considerable time and energy have been spent trying to solve funding issues,” Edmeade added.
He said the Ministry has therefore begun to think about the refurbishment of an appropriate property that is already owned by government which will surely utilize far less funds than a completely new project.
The National Archives is presently housed on the ground floor of Government Headquarters on Church Street and is home to hundreds of thousands of documents including death registers from 1880; marriage bonds and registers from 1771; The Register of Slaves, Compensation Claims of 1834 for St. Kitts and Anguilla; birth, marriage and death records from January 1859 to the present; Cabinet Submissions dating back to the 1960’s; Court Records from the 1750’s and land records from the 1690’s.
Local newspapers include the St. Christopher Gazette and Caribbean Courier from 1882; The Independent from 1882; the St. Kitts-Nevis Advertiser and the Intelligencer from 1878; The Daily Express from 1789, the Union Messenger from 1923.
The inscription of the St. Kitts Registry of Slaves is on UNESCO’s Memory of the World.
The National Archives also launched the website “Basseterre, Past and Present, Tomorrow” at http://www.historicbasseterre.com.