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The Collection of Lucille Mathurin Mair




“Undoubtedly then, woman’s most creative act must be to relocate herself within humanity, to recreate the identity of her Self, by her Self; the assertion of being as person, full and human, not merely part of the cosmos – and a redefinition for herself of her role and her place.” (July 1980)

The Hon. Lucille Mathurin Mair’s pioneering study, A Historical Study of Women in Jamaica, 1655-1844 which was completed in 1974 and published in 2006, explored at length the invisibility of women in historical scholarship. In analyzing the variety of issues which confronted women of all classes during slavery, she sought to emphasize the fact that it was the black woman who labored but the brown and white women who benefitted. Since then and throughout the entirety of her career, Lucille Mathurin Mair fought to centre the issues and challenges confronted by women of colour. She explored issues such as gender equality, the role of women in the workplace and poverty alleviation. The Lucille Mathurin Mair Collection now housed at the West Indies and Special Collections (WISC) of The UWI Mona Library reflects this journey.

The Collection:

  • Consists of twenty-seven boxes which spans four decades: the 1970s to the early 2000s and includes papers from a variety of conferences, seminars and meetings which focus heavily on her years serving in several capacities within the United Nations including her role as Secretary-General.
  • Reflects her work researching and writing about the issues facing women in developing countries, particularly in the Caribbean.
  • Includes correspondence detailing her work with many other organizations, e.g. the National Council of Churches and the International Development and Research Centre.
  • Includes handwritten notes which are some of the truest reflections of her thoughts and interests and drafts of books and chapters, given to her by persons who valued her insight and opinion.
  • Includes her distinguished awards: the Order of Jamaica and the Order of Distinction: Commander Class and honorary degrees from several institutions such as the Universities of Florida and Ulster and of course, the University of the West Indies, all of who recognized the impact and importance of her work.

To those who wish to chart a blueprint into the early research and work of women in the Caribbean, this collection is an ideal place to begin with one who is considered the pioneer in the field. Tracing her path through this collection will indeed provide researchers with a necessary tool in not only general research in the field but also in exploring the life and work of this Jamaican icon.


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                                          Citation - University of Florida

                                            Honorary degree 



                                            Honorary degree - University of Ulster



Newspaper clipping