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Early Danish West Indies Newspapers Digitized

Early Danish West Indies newspapers are being digitized and now available for researchers online, according to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

The latest digitization announcement was made last month by the Statsbiblioteket, the State and University Library located in Aarhus, Denmark.

“DPNR’s newspaper and documentary digitization projects will significantly complement the D. Hamilton Jackson featured exhibit, which has been on display for 10 months in the Florence Williams Public Library. This project will also complement the DLAM websites’ feature on D. Hamilton Jackson with links to additional historical information created in recognition and celebration of D. Hamilton Jackson,” DPNR Commissioner Dawn Henry said in a news release.

Danish West Indian newspaper titles being digitized by the Statsbiblioteket include The Bulletin, the Danish West Indian, Lightbourn’s Mail Notes, The Herald, The Royal Danish American Gazette, Danish West Indian Regierings Avis, St. Croix Avis, The Saint Croix Bulletin, The Saint Thomas Gazette, Sanct Thomæ Journal, the Saint Thomas Herald and The West End News.

In 2012, the Statsbiblioteket, a public institution operating under the direction of the Danish Ministry of Culture, launched a national historical newspaper digitization project for Denmark. As originally conceived, the project did not include the newspapers from any of the Danish colonial possessions. When the project launch caught the attention of several researchers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and elsewhere, they made known their interests in including the newspapers of the Danish West Indies.

“We have for many years received requests from users who demand exactly these titles,” Karen Williams of the Danish State Newspaper Collection Digitization Project wrote in her online project blog. “The inquiries have come from both Denmark and abroad, and it is therefore a great pleasure to finally be able to celebrate [with] so many people," she said.

Images of the Danish West Indian newspapers are expected to be freely accessible and searchable online before the end of 2016 through the Statsbiblioteket’s Media Stream Newspapers website at http://www2.statsbiblioteket.dk/mediestream/avis.

“The project will be contributing to the many activities surrounding the 100th anniversary of Denmark’s sale of the West Indies to the United States,” Williams said in her blog.

The Territorial Archives is also digitizing for free public access issues of D. Hamilton Jackson’s newspaper, The Herald, in collaboration with the Digital Library of the Caribbean and the University of the Virgin Islands. More than 3,000 pages already are available for viewing and downloading online through DLoC. The link to the DLoC website can be found online at the home page for the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums at www.virginislandspubliclibraries.org.

More information on accessing these documents is available by contacting Territorial Archivist Susan Lugo at 340-774-0630 or via email at susan.lugo@dpnr.vi.gov, or Director of Libraries, Archives and Museums Ingrid Bough at 340-773-5715. The division’s website is at www.virginislandspubliclibraries.org. 

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