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The Eric Eustace Williams materials in the Digital Library of the Caribbean include a bibliography and a growing body of works by and about Dr. Williams, the first Prime Minister of the Trinidad and Tobago and often called the "Father of the Nation." Dr. Williams' importance as an historic figure in the Caribbean, indeed in North America and within the British Commonwealth, however, is as much as a philosopher as a politician. The works collected here should provide the researcher with the raw materials to study how he married his academic and political pursuits and how the character of the man fostered independence throughout the Caribbean. The works listed and collected here include Dr. William's many monographs and essays, together with his political speeches and other published works. Also included here is a characterization of Dr. Williams' political life as reported by the Trinidad Guardian.
About the Digitization
Digitization of Dr. Williams' works is on-going and currently compelled by the work of volunteers. The creators of this collection trust, as this effort continues, that researchers will avail themselves of Dr. Williams' works, collected by and available through Inter-Library Loan from libraries through out the Caribbean, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In particular, we hope that researchers will extend their support to the Eric Williams Memorial Collection on the St. Augustine, Trinidad campus of the University of the West Indies, which has been named a World Heritage Resource by UNESCO.
The bibliography is the work of both librarians at the University of Florida and of Erica Williams Connell. Digitized works collected here were contributed largely from the in the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida in Gainesville but also from the in Miami. And, news reports from the were reproduced, with the kind permission of the Guardian's publisher, the Trinidad Publishing Co. LTD., from the microfilm archive created by the Preservation Department of the University of Florida.
Dr. Eric Eustace Williams was born to Henry and Elisa Williams on September 25, 1911 on the British Caribbean Island of Trinidad. Williams studied at Queen's Royal College in Trinidad and continued his studies, as the recipient of the "Island Scholarship", at Oxford University in England. In 1938, he received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford. His dissertation, later published as Capitalism and Slavery, documented the economic aspect of the slave trade and slavery in the Caribbean.
In 1939, Dr. Williams took a teaching position at Howard University in Washington, D.C. During World War II and while still in the United States, he served as a consultant to the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission, which had been formed to outline the status of Caribbean following the war. In 1948, leaving Howard University, Williams assumed the chief position of the Commission’s Research Branch. Williams resigned the position in 1955 to protest the Commission’s policies and returned to Trinidad and Tobago.
In 1956, Dr. Williams formed the People's National Movement (PNM), a political party, which won national elections in September of that year. Dr. William’s political life was a series of increasingly important positions. From 1956 to 1959, he served as first Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. From 1959 to 1962, he served as the country's Premier. And, from 1962 until his death on March 29, 1981, Williams served as its Prime Minister. One of the Caribbean's greatest men, Dr. Eric Eustace Williams was often called the "Father of the Nation", leading it into the Federation of the West Indies, the political union of British Caribbean territories, and in 1962 to independence within the Commonwealth.
ELECTRONIC RESOURCES ON-LINE
LECTURE SERIES & SYMPOSIA
- Helenese-Paul, Kathleen. OPReP Editorial [Published by the Oral and Pictorial Records Programme, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad.]
- Helenese-Paul, Kathleen. OPReP Pictorial [Published by the Oral and Pictorial Records Programme, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad.]
- Samaroo, Brinsley. An appreciation of Eric Williams and the Eric Williams memorial Collection. [Published by the Oral and Pictorial Records Programme, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad.]
- Trinidad Express. "Remembering Eric Williams" (April 5, 1998)
- Trinidad Express. "Tribute to a very special dad" (March 22, 1998. Section 2, page 3) in which Erica Williams Connell share recollections of her father and her aspirations for the Memorial Collection.
- Trinidad Express. "What we owe to Williams" (Editorial. March 22, 1998)
- Trinidad Express. "Powell: I am one of You" ( March 23, 1998)
- Trinidad Express. "Testimony to late PM" (March 23, 1998)
- Trinidad Express. "Common Entrance to go in tribute to Williams" (March 23, 1998)
- Trinidad Guardian. Editorial (March 23, 1998) regarding dedication of the Eric Williams Memorial Collection.
- UNESCO. Memory of the World Register: Documentary Heritage designation.