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Special Collections: Home

This site contains items housed in the Special Collections Unit of the Sidney Martin Library, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.


This site contains items housed in the Special Collections Unit of the Sidney Martin Library, Cave Hill Campus, The University of the West Indies, Barbados.  The unit collects, preserves, documents and disseminates materials of special value from Barbados and the Caribbean region.  Access is made to a wide range of rare and unique primary research materials in their original formats which support information, instruction and research needs of the University of the West Indies.


Access is made to unique items, including personal book collections, papers, microfilm and artifacts of significance to the history of Barbados and the Caribbean region.

The Unit includes:

  • Collections of books and pamphlets published in and about the Caribbean
  • The memorabilia and papers of Excellencies, Dame Ruth Nita Barrow and Dame Mary Eugenia Charles.  
  • The personal library of Richard B. Moore and George Lamming.
  • Newspapers from the 1800s.
  • Rare books from 1800s
  • Caribbean studies research papers
  • Theses from students of the University of the West Indies.

Materials from the unit are available for reading room loan only for a period of 3 hours.  



  1. Walk with just a pencil to the SCU
  2. If you sit you have come to do serious research
  3. Group discussions detract from serious research in the SCU
  4. You will be served faster if loan forms are completed accurately
  5. When you leave the SCU you take knowledge and your pencil


Opening hours

Mondays to Fridays

09.00 am to 08.00 pm.


10.00 am to 06.00 pm.



Dame Ruth Nita Barrow

 (15 November 1916 – 19 December 1995)

The Dame, Barbadian by birth was the first and to date the only female Governor-General of Barbados, serving from 6 June 1990 until her death on 19 December 1995.  She was not the only one in her family to be a first in Barbados history as her brother The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow was the first Prime Minister of the country.

Dame Mary Eugenia Charles

(15 May 1919 – 6 September 2005)

The island of Caribs, Dominica, in its history thus far claims the first and only female Prime Minister on the island.  The Dame, sometimes referred to as the ‘Iron Lady of the Caribbean’ was the nation’s longest-serving Prime Minister from 21 July 1980 to 14 June 1995.  The Dame was also the first female lawyer of Dominica.

George William Lamming

(8 June 1927 - present)

Born in a small village near the capital of Bridgetown, Lamming became a Caribbean literary icon.  His works took him on journeys to many parts of the world, as far as Europe and Africa.  His first book “In the Castle of My Skin” won the Somerset Maugham Award which is a British literary prize given by the Society of Authors to the best writer or writers for the year.

Richard Benjamin Moore

(9 August 1893 - 18 August 1978)

He was born in Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados to middle class parents.  By the age of 22 he was living in the United States of America and began his political career in Harlem joining the 21st Assembly District Socialist Club. He was well known for his speeches on Black Nationalism and Marxism.  He argued in his book “The Name Negro: its origin and evil use” that Afro-American should be used instead of African American.

The Sidney Martin Library’s microfilm and microfiche collection covers information from the 1800s to 1990s.  Much of the content is about the time of slavery in the Caribbean and quite notably the colonial era.  The information contained is primary sources from materials such as letters, deeds and newspapers.  The collection is located in cabinets and is available for viewing.

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Ann-Marie White
Sidney Martin Library
The University of the West Indies
Cave Hill Campus
P.O. Box 1334
Bridgetown, Barbados BB11000
Tel. (246)417-4456 Fax.(246)417-4460

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Welcome Message

Welcome to the Sidney Martin Library of The University of the West Indies. 

Through a suite of resources and facilities the Sidney Martin Library supports the teaching, research, outreach and knowledge creation efforts of the various groups among our Campus community. This is accomplished through the range of services that are provided by our staff whose primary responsibility is to cater to your information needs. 

Whether you are now beginning or continuing your academic career at Cave Hill, we invite you to visit the Library – in person or virtually. One of our primary aims is to ensure that your interactions with us are memorable and academically rewarding. We look forward to assisting you with your research and information needs. 

Please contact our librarians via telephone, email and/or in person. Our main contact telephone number is (246) 417-4440.  You can also email us at


Unit Head  1(246)  417-4456       Office Clerks  1(246)  417-4457/4459        Front Desk  1(246)  417-4442