Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943

Uncommon Sense

The following is from the Uncommon Sense archives. It first appeared in the Fall 2003 issue, no. 117.

The Bahamas National Archives: A Brief History

Until the establishment of the Public Records Office (as The Bahamas National Archives was originally known), most government records and archives were kept in the Registry of Records. In the early years of the nineteenth century, the Colonial Secretary (then the highest ranking civil servant) held the office of Registrar of Records and a separate department was established in 1862. Other record–keeping offices which held large deposits included the Supreme Court, the Governor’s Office, the House of Assembly, and the Surveyor General’s Office, later known as the Crown Lands Office and today as the Department of Lands and Surveys.

As the years passed, the keeping of records in a well–organized manner became problematic. The government, well aware of the situation, appointed a Select Committee “to consider the advisability of collecting and preserving historic documents relating to the colony; with leave to sit during the recess and with power to call for persons and papers.”1 Unfortunately, no record could be found of the Select Committee’s Report. It can be conjectured that little was done, as in 1952 complaints were made of the inadequate accommodation for papers and records which were retained in their “working offices.” At that time it was recommended a “separate archives be set up to house those documents and records which for varied reasons cannot be destroyed and to which reference is . . . infrequent. 2 Despite this, record–keeping remained disorganized and a problem.

It was not until 1968 that the government moved to establish an archival system. In that year, it invited Dr. Robert Claus, United Nations Deputy Chief of Communications, Archives and Records Service, to make a brief survey of the Bahamian situation. Dr. Claus recommended that an experienced professional archivist be appointed and that suitable legislation for the preservation of records be passed; that provision be made for a suitable central records repository, and that a small staff be recruited and trained to assist the archivist. These recommendations have been implemented.

The government was fortunate that the United Nations Development Programme helped to sponsor Mr. Edward A. Carson (Archivist and Librarian of Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise, London) who was contracted by the Bahamas government for the year October 1970 to September 1971. The government also identified a Bahamian, Gail Saunders, and supported her training in Archives Administration and Records Management at University College, London, between 1968 and 1969.

Mrs. Saunders on her return to Nassau was posted to a desk in the Library of the Ministry of Education on East Bay Street. She surveyed records of all government departments and ministries, churches, private businesses, and some private citizens. She also preserved and listed the first major deposit, the Ministry of Education’s archives, including the Minutes and the Annual Reports of the Board of Education. These were kept temporarily on shelves behind her desk in the Library.

During the year 1970–1971, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Saunders worked together. Two major developments occurred. A “temporary” home for the Archives was located. The old Mackey Street Post Office became vacant and was converted to archival standards to house, preserve, and centralize government records and archives. A fire–proof storage area was created as well as a small search room and administrative and work areas. The Public Records Office or the Bahamas Archives was officially opened by the Minister of Education, the Honourable Carlton Francis, on September 15, 1971, four months before the legislation came into effect. 3 Mr. Carson returned to England and Mrs. Gail Saunders was appointed Archivist. It was not until 1988 that an extension was built to house the Department of Archives. In the intervening years the office functioned out of several locations.

By the Public Records Act passed in December 1971,4 the Chief Justice is generally responsible for the Public Records Office. For administrative purposes, the office is the responsibility of the Minister of Education. The Archivist (now the Director of Archives), under the direction of the Chief Justice, is responsible for the day to day operation of the Public Records Office; for the custody, preservation, arrangement, repair, and rehabilitation of records; for duplication and reproduction of records at the Public Records Office; and for the preparation and publication of inventories, indexes, catalogues, and other finding aids and guides facilitating the use of such records. The law also stipulated the rules of access. Public records are made available for public inspection when they have been in existence for thirty years or such other period, either shorter or longer, as the Chief Justice specifies. Regulations5 which were drawn up by the Minister of Education and Culture in 1972 laid down rules for inspections or searches of the records, the destruction and disposal of public records, and the setting of fees for copying services in the Public Records Office.

Training of staff began early. Two United Nations fellowships were awarded, one to Ms. M. Elaine Colebrooke, who was attached to the Jamaica Archives for six months, and the other to Ms. Sherriley Voiley, who trained at the Department of Archives, Barbados, and the Jamaica Archives respectively.

Most members of staff have received some archival training, either locally or overseas. Local training included a lecture series prepared by the archivist in addition to on–the–job training. Mr. Wood attended a three–month in–service course in Microphotography at the United States Virgin Islands Public Library in St. Thomas between July and September 1973. Miss Alexis Cancino completed a two–week course in Archives Administration at American University in October 1973 and attended University College, London, for a year’s post–graduate training in Archives Administration, 1974 –1975.

Most of the professional staff and some of the clerical staff (notably Mrs. Bernice Kelly, who worked as the director’s secretary for eighteen years) who entered the Archives without a degree have upgraded their qualifications over the years. Several have enjoyed the International Visitor’s Programme sponsored by the Department of State of the United States, including Gail Saunders (1973) and Jolton Johnson and Patrice Williams (1995). Mrs. Lulamae Collie Gray participated in a two–week attachment at the National Archives in Maryland in 2000. In April 2003 Miss Patrice M. Williams, Sherriley Strachan, and Mrs. Edith Sturrup executed a UNESCO Grant when they participated in an attachment at the Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Canada. Ms. Moira Lecky, Chief Repairer Binder, was granted a two–year award to pursue a certificate course in book binding at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London, England from 1975 to 1977.

Preservation of records and archives of The Bahamas is the main reason for the existence of the Bahamas Archives. Besides carrying out common–sense emergency preservation on documents which were falling apart, the Archives moved early (1973) to establish a repair bindery. At first it was located in four small rooms at the Ministry of Education and Culture’s Headquarters. It was relocated in 1975 to three rooms in the Learning Resources Unit on Mackey Street6 and in 1988 to the new Archives extension.

Mrs. Elaine Toote, who had sorted and listed many documents in the early years of the Archives’ existence, was the first chief repairer binder. She trained the small staff of three in hand paper repair. Mrs. Delores Ingraham and later Mrs. Moira Lecky Dean taught book binding. Mrs. Hazel Storr is now the chief repairer binder and supervisor this area. Ms. Ida Farrington is a trainee repairer binder.

Another method of preservation was utilizing microfilm. A microfilming program was started using the camera at the Department of Lands and Surveys. In February 1972, the Bahamas Archives purchased its own camera and is continuing its program under the supervision of David Wood. The Archives has also purchased microfilm copies of records pertaining to Bahamian history in foreign repositories including England, Spain, and the United States. The microfilm collection from the Public Record Office in London, which includes the main series on The Bahamas and other relevant documents relating to The Bahamas in other series, is extensive.

Besides preserving the records and archives of The Bahamas, the Archives makes them accessible to the public by preparing and publishing finding aids and guides which facilitate the use of such records.

The Bahamas Archives has extensive deposits of records ranging from the early eighteenth century to the present. Included among the records deposited are those from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The early executive branch records include those originating in the Governor’s and Colonial Secretary’s Offices. Governor’s Office records include Governor’s Despatches (duplicates from 1817 to 1923), Secretary of State Correspondence to the Governor (unbound 16 bundles, 1800–1921), Confidential Despatches (duplicates, 1874–1912), Executive Council Minutes (1787–1950), and various documents on government matters, trade defence, shipping, constitutional, judicial, and wrecking matters (1796–1919).

Legislative records include those of the House of Assembly, an elected body, which dates from September 29, 1729. These consist of Votes of the House of Assembly (1729–1979), Laws of The Bahamas (from 1729), Journal of the Assembly (1760–1848), Minutes of the General Assembly (1818–1839), Minutes of the General Assembly (manuscripts 1919–1923), and The Hansard (1979–1981).

The upper house is now known as the Senate. A nominated Council was appointed by Governor Woods Rogers in 1718. The Council was later, in 1841, divided into the Executive and Legislative Council, the Senate being the heir of the latter body. On January 7, 1964, the Senate was created when the new written Constitution came into effect. Among the records in its deposits are Council Minutes, (1721–1856) and Votes of the Legislative Council (1856–1952).

The Judiciary from the early eighteenth century comprised the Chief Justice, Attorney General, Solicitor General, Coroners, Provost Marshals and Police Magistrates. The courts in existence by 1825 included the Court of Chancery, the General Court, the Court of Error, the Court of Ordinary, the Court of Vice Admiralty, the Court of Admiralty Sessions, and the Inferior Court. Changes were made after 1875 when the judicial system in the United Kingdom adopted a new system which was made applicable to the colonies. In 1896, the Bahamas Supreme Court Act was passed consolidating several courts (e.g. the General Court, the Court of Admiralty, the Court of Common Pleas and the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, the Court of Bankruptcy and the Court of Ordinary) into the Supreme Court of Judicature for The Bahamas. The Supreme Court was declared to be a Superior Court of Record. In 1914 the Supreme Court Registry and the Registrar General’s Department were amalgamated but in 1965 became separate offices, there now being a Registrar General and a Registrar of the Supreme Court.

Some records held by the Archives which originated in the Supreme Court include wills (1719–1930s), General Court Minutes (1788–1897), Court of Chancery Minutes (1788–1857), Vice Admiralty Court Minutes (1804–1911), Court of Bankruptcy Minutes (1846–1930), Court of Common Pleas Minutes (1858–1897), Court of Divorce Minutes (1860–1905), Court of Ordinary Minutes (1865–1897), Supreme Court (Civil) Minutes (1897–1963), Supreme Court (Criminal) Minutes (1890–1960), and Chief Justice Chambers Minutes (1892–1960).

In addition, the Magistrate’s Court holds Police Magistrate Notes of Evidence (1872–1883), Police Magistrate Minutes (1866–1922), Criminal Minute Books (1900–1967), and Civil Minute Books (1902–1966), Matrimonial Cases (1918–1969), Juvenile Court (1932–1965), and Traffic Minutes (1941–1966).

There are records from various government departments and ministries as well. Records have also been deposited from the Family Islands, formerly known as Out Islands, schools, churches, public corporations, and private families. There is a newspaper collection, (mainly on microfilm), a moderate map collection, a photographic collection, and a substantial reference book collection. The most substantial deposit from a school is that of Queen’s College, founded by the Methodist Church in The Bahamas in 1890. It includes: Minutes of the School Committee (1893–1961), Log Books (1902–1960), Account Records (1917–1960), and Scrap Books (1936–1959).

An interesting private collection is the O’Brien Family Collection. It contains correspondence between a planter and slave owner, Charles Farquharson on San Salvador (Watlings Island) and his relatives in Nassau. What is believed to be the original of Charles Farquharson’s journal of his plantation, “Prospect Hill” turned up in the collection which was deposited in 1976. Regrettably, it covers only 1831–1832, but despite its brevity, it gives us insight into the operation of the plantation. It is the only plantation diary known to have survived. Long before the Archives was established it was copied from the original, which was thought to have perished by fire. Edited by A. Deans Peggs it was published by the A. Deans Peggs Research Fund as A Relic of Slavery. Farquharson’s Journal 1831–1832 in 1957.

Church records include those of the Anglican Church of England or (Episcopalian) Methodist denominations and the Presbyterian Church. Anglican documents include Reports of the Synod and parish records of births, marriages, and deaths (from 1733) and the Nassau Quarterly Mission Papers (1886–1971). The main series in the Methodist Church Collection are Synod Minutes (1830–1957), District Minutes and Reports other than Synod (1819–1958), District Correspondence (1925–1951), and Baptism and Marriage records. These are a treasure trove for historians, genealogists, students, and the general public alike.

Newspapers have been published in The Bahamas since August 1784, when John Wells, a Loyalist, brought out the Bahama Gazette. This remained in print until 1819. Among the other historic newspapers are the Royal Gazette (1804–1813), the Bahamas Argus (1831–1840), the Nassau Guardian (1844–present), the Bahamas Herald (1849–1877), the Nassau Times (1868–1893), the Freeman (1886–1889), the Nassau Tribune (1904–present), and the Nassau Herald (1940–1985).

The photographic collection is not extensive, but includes images relating to archaeology, buildings, the Family Islands, Government officials, industries, and independence. There are a number of private deposits of photographs including one of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor c. 1940s.

In the absence of a National Library, the Department of Archives took the initiative of collecting books on The Bahamas and now boasts a large collection of Bahamiana.

Research at the Archives has increased tremendously since its establishment. During the first year that the Research Room was operational, only ninety–one researchers visited the office, using one hundred and seventy–nine documents. In 1976, two hundred and thirty–one researchers registered, using five hundred and ninety–seven documents. In 2002, two thousand three hundred and forty–two researchers visited, using three thousand two hundred documents.7 Researchers include high school, college, university, and post graduate students, writers, journalists, genealogists, and other interested persons. There is a vast variety of topics researched.

The Department of Archives was determined to establish a Records Management Program. Two surveys were completed in the 1970s, lecture courses were conducted by Archives staff for administrators and clerical staff at the Public Service Training Centre, and space was sought in which to store the non–current records of government. Serious problems made it impossible to implement a satisfactory program. It was not until 1985 that a Records Centre was established in a newly–renovated building on Moss Road. Despite the optimism and success of the Records Centre, which was headed by Elaine Toote, when two members of staff resigned and their posts remained unfilled it was temporarily closed and, because of the isolated location of the Records Centre, it deteriorated and the records had to be transferred to two rooms in the Ministry of Education’s Learning Resources Unit. A Records Centre was completed as an extension to the Archives complex in 2001. There is still a shortage of staff and limited work is being accomplished. There are plans to rejuvenate the entire program.

From very early in the Archives’ existence, the Archivist and the Advisory Council on Public Records felt that it was important to educate the Bahamian public about its history. Most Bahamians in my generation had never been taught Bahamian history in schools. In order to achieve the task of disseminating Bahamian history, annual exhibitions have been mounted since 1973 and facsimile booklets printed to distribute to the schools and sell to the general public. Topics for exhibitions varied and included aspects of Bahamian slavery, industries, the Loyalists Bicentennial, the Family Islands, the history of Nassau, a chronological journey through Bahamian history from the Lucayans to the present and the peoples of The Bahamas. Patrice Williams, now Assistant Director of Archives, has coordinated exhibitions since 1982 and is now being assisted by Assistant Archivist Sherrine Thompson.

The archivist and staff at the Archives recognized the significance of oral history and in the early 1970s began interviewing scores of senior citizens on cassette tape. The late Horace Wright, then Audio Visual Officer in the Ministry of Education and Culture, was instrumental in instructing Archivist Gail Saunders on the subject. The Department of Archives has also recorded many talks of historical interest and has transcribed a number of taped interviews. The oral history program has recently been revitalized under the leadership of Sherrine Thompson, Assistant Archivist. Researchers have made much use of these tapes and transcripts.

Because of the absence of a National Museum system, the Department of Archives was designated in the early 1980s as the organization in charge of The Bahamas’ material heritage, historic buildings and sites, and archaeology. The development of museology began slowly. Sheena Wilson, the first person to be trained in Museum Science, worked with the Bahamas Archives between 1978 and 1984, resigning in the latter year to study law. Fortunately, two enthusiastic and well–qualified history and social studies teachers, Ms. Grace Turner and Ms. Kim Outten, transferred to the Department of Archives in 1985 and 1986, respectively. Along with Consultant Archaeologist Anthony (Tony) Aarons (1988–1993), a Jamaican national, they revived the museum’s section, expanding its functions to also cover archaeology and historic preservation, and stimulated further development in conserving The Bahamas’ material culture. Between 1988 and the present, great strides were made by the Department of Archives in spearheading and controlling archaeology, the documentation and preservation of historic buildings, the curation of artefacts, and the establishment of a number of museums.8

Significant archaeological excavations spearheaded by the Department of Archives included the Clifton Plantation, the Promised Land Plantation, the Southwest Bay Plantation at the South Ocean Golf Course, the Fort Charlotte compound, Cartwright Cave at Mortimer’s, Long Island (where three duhos were found), and the Ricco Hill site in Abaco. The museum’s staff also assisted with many other excavations, including the Ocean Bight Cave Site, Steventon, Great Exuma, Preacher’s Cave, North Eleuthera, and the Long Bay Site, San Salvador.

Major archaeological finds were the three wooden duhos, or Lucayan ceremonial stools, in 1988. These were discovered in a cave by a fisherman, Carlton Cartwright, in Mortimer’s, Long Island.9 Another fascinating find was the skulls and skeletalia in the Sanctuary Blue Hole in the Bluff, South Andros, in 1991 by the well known cave diver Rob Palmer (now deceased). He also discovered the Lucayan canoe in the Stargate Blue Hole, South Andros, in 1995.10 These artefacts are being conserved and preserved and some have been transferred from the Bahamas Archives to the Antiquities, Monuments, and Museums Corporation, which was established in 1998 encompassing the Museums Section of the Bahamas Archives.

The Museum Section, Department of Archives, also was actively involved in historic preservation. Along with the Quincentennial Commission and the Ministry of Works, the Department spearheaded the restoration of Vendue House, Bay Street, Nassau, which was funded by the Bacardi Company. The Department mounted an exhibition, “Road to Freedom: Slavery and Emancipation in The Bahamas,” which was officially opened to the public by Prime Minister Rt. Honourable Hubert A. Ingraham in September 1992. The Department of Archives organized the Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation in Vendue House and its museum section moved there in January 1993. Similarly, the Department also advised the Central Bank of The Bahamas on the restoration and refurbishing of Balcony House, which was first operated by the Archives and now is under the Antiquities, Monuments, and Museums Corporation. Along with the Kiwanis Club of San Salvador, the museum section set up exhibits in the San Salvador Museum and advised on the restoration of the building, the old Commissioner’s Office and Gaol, in which it was located. The museum is soon to be relocated.

In cooperation with the Preservation of Historic Buildings Committee of The Bahamas National Trust, the Department of Archives’ museum section prepared a Register of Historic Places of New Providence which was presented to the Minister of Education, Mr. C.A. Smith, in 1993. The Register of Family Islands historic places is in progress under the Antiquities, Monuments, and Museums Corporation.

In the years leading up to the Quincentennial celebrations, there was feverish activity. The Museum Section advised on the building of a number of Lucayan canayes and also a Lucayan village in San Salvador, which was constructed in 1992. The first Lucayan canaye was developed in May 1991 from plans prepared by Mr. Tony Aarons at the Bahamas National Trust. Included among those constructed was one on the grounds of the Department of Archives, at the Quincentennial Commission, and the Spanish Well Museum. Advice was given to the Roker’s Point School, Exuma, St. Augustine’s College, Bahamas National Trust Rand Nature Centre, Freeport, on canaye construction. Additionally, the Department assisted with the construction of the Lucayan village at Landfall Park, Long Bay, San Salvador.

Between 1991 and 1999, the Department of Archives assisted the Ministries of Transport and Finance in the administration of “The Abandoned Wreck Act” (1965) by reviewing salvage permits issued, in verifying of inventories of artefacts, and in giving advice on the Government’s selection of historic artefacts.

From 1995, the Director of Archives (Gail Saunders) has been involved in the National Art Gallery Committee. In 1996, then Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham appointed Gail Saunders and Vincent D’Aguilar as co–chairs of the National Art Gallery Committee. Mr. D’Aguilar later resigned and Dr. Saunders took over as Chairperson. The goals of the Committee were to restore Villa Doyle, an historic residence, a part of which dates to the 1860s, purchased by the government of The Bahamas in 1995, and to convert it into the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. The restoration of Villa Doyle is complete and the National Art Gallery was officially opened on July 7, 2003, by the Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister, in the presence of H.E. Dame Ivy Dumont, Governor General, and about 500 guests.

The mission of the National Art Gallery is to collect, exhibit, preserve, and document a National Collection of Art for the benefit and education of Bahamians and the wider international audiences. It will also encourage the enjoyment of art, offering insights into history, culture, society, and the individual. It was opened with three exhibitions, including the Inaugural National Exhibition, a juried exhibition of art work of Bahamians since 1973, curated by Erica James. Hopefully some works will be purchased for the permanent collection. Also displayed is the first of the Collectors’ Series of exhibitions curated by Petrine Archer Straw and entitled “One Man’s Vision,” comprising a selection of works from Vincent D’Aguilar’s collection. A photographic exhibition, “Bahamian Visions—photographs, 1870–1930,” curated by Krista Thompson, is also on display.

From early in its history, the Bahamas Archives recognized the importance of creating ties with international and regional bodies. The archivist assisted in revitalizing the Caribbean Historical Archives Association and organized an executive meeting in Nassau in 1972. A conference was organized in Guadeloupe in 1975 at which Dr. Saunders was elected president for four years. The Caribbean Historical Archives Association became a regional branch (CARBICA) of the International Council on Archives at that meeting. The third Caribbean Archives Conference was hosted by the Bahamas Archives in 1979. Dr. Saunders also served as secretary and treasurer of CARBICA and the Deputy Director, Ms. Elaine Toote, also served as secretary and is now treasurer of the organization.

The Department of Archives is also a longstanding member of the International Council on Archives (ICA), the Commonwealth Archivists Association, the American Society of Archivists, the Society of Archivists (Great Britain), and the British Records Association. Dr. Saunders served as a member of the executive of the International Council on Archives between 1974 and 1982.

Not only did the Department of Archives strive to preserve and conserve, it sought to disseminate historical information which had been largely neglected in the past. Mr. Edward Carson and Dr. Gail Saunders prepared A Guide to the Records of The Bahamas, published in 1973 and later the Department published a Supplement to the Guide. A facsimile booklet of each exhibition was prepared, and the majority printed, since 1973. Additionally, various other publications—including A Guide to Selected Sources for the History of the Seminole Settlements at Red Bays, Andros 1817–1980, compiled by David Wood; The Life and Times of the Lucayans the First Bahamians, by Tony Aarons; Official Reports of The Out Island of The Bahamas, by Chapman Harvey, 1858, edited by Peter Dalleo; A Guide to African Villages in New Providence, 1979, by Patrice Williams; Report on The Bahamas 1861–1876, Colonial Secretary’s Papers, edited by Patrice Williams; and San Salvador (Cat Island) Described 1885–1889, 1998, by F.B. Matthews (sometime Rector), edited by Patrice Williams—were printed. “Aspects of Bahamian History,” a monthly newspaper article published by the Nassau Guardian, was inaugurated in 1986 and several special publications were prepared for the Quincentennial. Under an Organization of American States (OAS) grant, two teams of the Archives staff travelled throughout the Family Islands disseminating historical information to high school students.

Additionally, the Director of Archives and professional staff of The Bahamas Archives give numerous lectures and talks to schools, Rotary Clubs, Bahamahost groups, and various audiences in New Providence, the Family Islands, and abroad. The director and deputy director have also given papers at CARBICA conferences and Dr. Saunders, Ms. Williams, and Ms. Turner have also presented academic papers, particularly at Association of Caribbean Historians’ meetings. Dr. Saunders served as secretary treasurer of the Association of Caribbean Historians from 1986 to 1992 and as President, 2000–2002. The Bahamas Archives assisted the College of The Bahamas in hosting three ACH conferences in 1986, 1992, and 2002.

The Department of Archives and its Director, Dr. Saunders, felt honoured to have been chosen to head the research component (while the Ministry of Tourism was the lead coordinating agency) for the Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival in 1994, which featured The Bahamas on the Washington Mall. Archives staff members served as researchers and coordinators for the Festival. The Director and the two Museum Curators also served on the committee spearheaded by the Ministry of Education and Training, which produced the Smithsonian Bahamas Education Kit for schools in The Bahamas. Several members of the staff served as presenters at The Bahamas Heritage Festival 2003, and the Director of Archives edited a booklet of essays entitled Cultural Perspectives.

Despite many problems, especially that of insufficient storage and working space, under funding, and in some areas a shortage of staff, The Bahamas Archives has made great strides in preserving and conserving the historical written record and the material culture of The Bahamas. It also has assisted the Government in establishing two sister institutions, the Antiquities, Monuments, and Museums Corporation and the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. It now faces the challenges of the twenty–first century and is actively planning the complete automation of both the administrative machinery and the professional aspects of the Archives. It is looking forward to expanding its Records Management Programme.

The Bahamas Archives has in its 32 years of existence developed as an essential institution of which The Bahamas is proud. More than that, it has sensitized the Bahamian public to the significance of its history and culture, and the part these play in moulding the Bahamian character and its society. It has also catered to an international clientele which has come to appreciate The Bahamas’ rich heritage.

Gail Saunders, (PH.D), O.B.E.
Director of Archives

This is the twenty–first in Uncommon Sense’s ongoing series of reports on centers and sources for scholarship on early America.


1. Votes of the House of Assembly, January 27, 1938. See also Nassau Guardian, January 28, 1938.

2. Review of the Administrative Organization and Procedure. Assignment conducted by J. E. Dunkley, Organization and Methods Division, H.M. Treasury, London, January 1952.

3. The Public Records Office Act, 1971 (No. 26 of 1971) and The Statute Law of The Bahamas, 1799–1987, Govt. of The Bahamas, 1988, Vol. III, Chapter 177. The 1971 Act was slightly revised in 1985. The name Public Records Office was changed to The Bahamas Archives.

4. The Public Records Office Act, 1971. (No. 26 of 1971) and The Statute Law of The Bahamas 1799–1987, Government of The Bahamas, 1988, Vol. III, Chapter 177.

5. The Public Records Regulations, 1972, Ministry of Education and Culture, S.I. No 160 of 1972.

6. The First Ten Years 1969 1979. History of The Bahamas Archives, Public Records Office, Nassau, December 1979, 8.

7. Annual Report, Department of Archives, 2002.

8. See Annual Reports, Department of Archives, 1988–1992.

9. George Anthony Aarons, “The Lucayan Duhos: 1829–1988,“ Journal of The Bahamas Historical Society, October, 1989, Vol. II, No. 1, 3 11. Nassau Guardian, August 8, 1988.

10. Nassau Guardian, September 18, 1995.