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Sources for Jamaican History: Libraries, Archives & Museums

This guide provides descriptions and links to useful databases, websites, digital collections and other resources for researching Caribbean History.


Jamaica Archives and Records Department (JARD)

JARD manages official records at all stages of the life cycle and preserves those official and other archival records. The Jamaica Archives and Records Department has three units:

The Archives Unit located in Spanish Town is the main repository of Jamaica's archival collection. Dating back to the 17th century, the collection includes, maps, plans, manuscripts and records such as those from the churches, Colonial Secretary's Office, ministries angencies and Departments, municipal boards, slave registers and parish registers.

The Audiovisual Unit

The Government Records Office


The University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Library

UWI Mona Library has various formats of materials on History, accessible online or in a physical format.

 UWILinC is the e-information portal for The UWI Libraries allowing access and discovery in all formats including UWI's intellectual output, subscribed resources (electronic journals, databases, electronic books) and the catalogues for all four UWI campuses. Search UWILinC now

National Library of Jamaica

Established in 1979, the National Library of Jamaica's collection was built on the collection of the West India Reference Library, which was founded in 1894. The National Library of Jamaica has a collection rich in primary and as a result of its mandate to collect materials published by Jamaicans, in Jamaica and about Jamaica, it has a collection rich with Jamaican content.

Search National Library's catalogue now! 

How to Search UWI Library Catalogue


National Museum Jamaica

The National Museum Jamaica is the repository of Jamaica's national collection of material culture. It houses more than 17,000 artefacts from the prehistoric to contemporary era. National Museum manages six museums across the island:

-Taino Museum of the First Jamaican

-The People's Museum of Craft & Technology

-Museum of St. James

-Hanover Museum

-Fort Charles Museum

-Military Museum

Natural History Museum of Jamaica

Natural History Museum of Jamaica grew out of the Science Museum established in 1879. The Museum staff research, classify, identify, document, exhibit and disseminate information on Jamaica's natural history. It is the repository of Jamaica's fauna and flora.

Marcus Garvey Multi-media Museum

The Marcus Garvey Multi-media Museum, under the auspices of Liberty Hall, houses a permanent exhibition titled Marcus Garvey; the Movement and Philosophy.

Jamaica Music Museum

Jamaica Music Museum archives, research and exhibits Jamaican music forms. Its collection includes musical scores, photographs, musical instruments, research files, correspondence, among other things.

Privately Owned Museums

Bob Marley Museum

Money Museum - Bank of Jamaica