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Welcome to the Museum library! We look forward to helping with your research ...

The library contains about 3,100 publications in Antigua and Barbuda and the Greater Caribbean, along with photographs, a computerised local newspaper database and a knowledgeable staff to assist you and much more! You may learn more about bush teas, shipwrecks or what High Street looked like in the last century. You could also learn to identify artifacts and perhaps sift through excavation pits!

Here is a very small sampling of historical resources (some of which are reprints or copies) in the Museum's possession:

Breton: 1665 Dictionaire Caraïbe-François (Carib Dictionary). Useful for investigating the Amerindian way of life, original names of the Eastern Caribbean or finding a name for something.

Thome & Kimball: 1838 Emancipation in the West Indies: A Six Month's Tour. This is an original report of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

Anon: 1844 Antigua & the Antiguans. Tells us of post emancipation life and descriptions of various places in Antigua.

Oliver: 1898 The History of the Island of Antigua (3 vols). Concentrates mainly on the colonial Antiguan families

Lowes: 1987 The 1918 Riots: The Planter's Got Well Shook up.

Bush: 1990 Slave Women in Caribbean Society






Anon                 Antigua & the Antiguans, Vol I - II          972.974  MAB, Public Library.

Aspinall, A.       Pocket Guide to the West Indies, MAB (Museum of Antigua & Barbuda)

Bessie Harper    Found in her personal papers                  MAB or Archives

Bosun Fox's Journal (At the Antigua naval Yard)               Museum of Ant.& Bar.

Bridenbaugh      No Peace ...English in Caribb,1627-90     MAB 792.9

Burns, Sir Alan   History of the British West Indies           MAB 972.9

Bush, Barbara    Slave Women in Caribbean Society         MAB: 236.00

Buxton, T.F.      Buxton Memoirs. edited c.1924 by grandson.      

Coleridge, H.N. Six Months in the West Indies                 Museum of Ant.& Bar.

Colonial Office   Colonial Reports: Leeward Is. 1953/62    MAB 317.97

Crewe, D.          Yellow Jack & Worm. (Naval Admin. 1739-1748). MAB 359.8

Dunn, Richard   Sugar and Slaves                                    MAB 630.729

Dyde, Brian       History of Antigua: The Unsuspected Isle MAB 972.974

Edwards, Bryan  History of the West Indies                      MAB E-25

Ferguson, M.     The Hart Sisters: Early Caribb. Writers   MAB 200.00

Gannon, J.P.     Papers relating to captured Africans        MAB-G5

Gaspar, David   Bondmen and Rebels.

Gloucester Records Office, D 1610,Vol I.                          Museum of Ant.& Bar.

Goodwin, C.      Sugar, Time and Englishmen                   MAB

Gordon, Sally     Household Economic Strategies               MAB F17

Gurney, J. J.     A Winter in the West Indies                    DYM 910

Hall, Douglas     Barbuda. Private Property                       972.43  Pub. Library. MAB

Harris, David R. Plants, Animal&Man in the Outer L.Is. -  574.5 Museum of Ant.& Bar.

Hart(pub)1836   A Catechism of Morals, Social & Civil       MAB M4

Historical Society Newsletter

Henry, Paget (Ed.) Antigua and Barbuda Forum                 MAB 972.974'005'

Hood, Adm. 1803/05     His letters to Commissioner Lane at the Antigua Naval Yard

Horsford           Antigua Almanacs,1843,1872,1878.          MAB 317.9

Horsford, John  A Voice from the West Indies                   J. Fuller

Lazarus-Black    Legitimate Acts & Illegal Encounters in  Ant. & Bar.   972.974'043'

Lowe, Robson    The Codrington Correspondence,1743-1851 Public Library. MAB

Lowenthal & Clarke Slave-Breeding in Barbuda: The Past of a Negro Myth    MAB S-47

Lowes, Susan    The 1918 Riots:" Them Planters Got well shook up. MAB

Luffman c.1787 His Letters in Oliver                              MAB & DYM

Mannix, Daniel Black Cargoes: History of the At; antic Slave Trade MAB 326

Margetson, R.   The Cultural Heritage of Ant. & Bar.       Cultural Office

Marx, Robert     Shipwrecks of the W. Hemisphere, 1492-1825.     MAB & DYM

Mary Prince       The History of Mary Prince, Slave, by herself.       MAB 236

Matthias:1988   Moravian Unity Synod 1988.                                 MAB 972.974

Maynard, G.      History of the Moravian Church,                           MAB E56.

Moreau J-P.       Guide des Tresors archeologiques sous-marin       MAB

Museum            Journal of Barbados Mus. & Hist. Soc.      Museum of Ant.& Bar.

Nagatz              Guide for the Study of Caribbean History  MAB 972.974

Naval Officers   Antigua Navy Yard Correspondence in Nelson's D/Yd Ref. Library

   Vol. I - From Naval Officer Antigua Yard 1755 - 1794

   Vol. II -                   ditto                      Jun 1795 - May 1800

   Vol. III -                  ditto                      May 1800 - Jun 1810

   Vol. IV -                  ditto                      Jun 1810 - Jan 1824

   Vol. V - Navy Board                               1758 - Dec 1781

                                                              Jan 1824 - 1825

   Vol. VI -   ditto                                      Dec 1781 - 1784 (Some ref. Capt. Nelson)

   Vol. VII -  Expense Book  

New Yorker        A Reporter at Large: Ancient Rights         MAB B-34

Newspaper        Antigua Newsletter of 1946 & 1947           MAB N17

Norie, J.W.: 1836 W.I. Directory for Navigating  Caribb. Museum of Ant.& Bar.

Oliver, Vere: 1894 History of the Island of Antigua. Vol I.Archives Office, MAB

Sanders, Ron     Ant. & Bar, Little Bit of Paradise":1993       MAB

Sanders:1984    An End to Racism, Beginning of Humanism. MAB

Sheriden, R.B.   Letters from a Sugar Plantation,1739/58. 972 MAB 972.974

Smith, Keithlyn & Fernando. To Shoot Hard Labour:Life & Times of Samuel Smith. MAB

Southey, T.       Chronological History of the W.I.              MAB 972.901

Thomas, Aaron  His Journal. Ref: HASNL#67.                   Copies DYM & Internet.

Thome&Kimball Emancipation in the West Indies: A Six Months Tour: 1838  MAB 326

Tudway Papers. Various Letters from Parham Hill Plantation,1752-1807.  MAB

Wallace&Hinds  Our West African Heritage                      MAB 960

Walvin, James   Black Ivory                                             MAB 236

Watkins, Fred.: 1924     Handbook of the Leeward Islands MAB 972.974

Watters, D. R.   Codrington Castle, Barbuda, W.I.            MAB B36



The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda's collections contain many significant artifacts from both prehistoric and historic times. We use a specially written Microsoft Access programme to record these artifacts and to date we have over 4,000 in the database that includes an 'easy search' element.

Some of the most interesting prehistoric artifacts are from the internationally known Jolly Beach, Indian Creek, and the Royall's Amerindian sites as well as many others. In this prehistoric collection are stone axes, shell hand adzes, shell jewelry, whole earthenware containers and sherds with delightful designs.

Probably the most interesting from historic times are those recovered during the reconstruction of the Nelson's Dockyard stone wharf laid down in the 1820's. Found were warship's fittings as deck lights, tools, cannon and bar shot the latter for destroying enemy rigging. The greatest problem in this latter collection is the matter of conserving underwater artifacts, a universal challenge in Caribbean museums.



So far, only one of our databases (28 lists totalling 34,800) is on the internet. This is the 'tombstone inscriptions' database, useful for genealogy. This is to be found at Tombstones. (Includes Barbados)

All databases listed below are searchable at the Museum, where limited printouts are available.

[NOT ACTIVE HERE sample only]

Main Menu -To use: go to the Museum in St. John's or use email  with your question. These databases are not on the Internet yet, except Tomb Inscriptions, click Tomb Inscriptions.


All Written in MS Access


Name of database


Accessions, Museum


 Includes Dockyard Museum

Archaeological Congress papers


 IACA papers read 1961-2001

Botany, uses of plants




 Includes Dockyard Museum

Cultural, Antigua & Barbuda


 Music, proverbs, expressions etc.

Dockyard Buildings, Shirley Hts


Dockyard Employees


Document Drawers


 Documents in stock, both museums

Historical Persons, Estates


Historical site carbon dates


Historical site excavations


Historical sites


 Antigua & Barbuda

History, Antigua


History, Barbuda


History, Redonda


History, Sailing Week


 From 1967

Library, Museum


 All books, pubs and papers

Library, Dockyard


Maps & Plans list


 Known for Antigua & Barbuda

Military artifacts


 Buttons, buckles etc.

Nat.Geographic titles from 1959


Naval History


Newspaper articles (current)


Photos, Antigua


 Search by keyword

Photos, Dockyard




 Interests of visitors & those thru mail.



Tombstone readings, (to 1900)


 On the internet as well.




By Dr. Reg Murphy

The Arawaks and The Caribs
When the Europeans arrived in the Caribbean, they suggested that the Amerindians they met and recorded in their journals were two different peoples, the
peaceful Arawaks and the
warring Caribs.

In fact, the true Arawak and Caribs lived side by side in the Guyanas and still do to this day.

The Siboney versus Archaic Peoples
It is commonly held that the first people who lived on Antigua were the Siboney.

In fact, the Siboney never existed on Antigua. We use the term Archaic People to describe these stone aged settlers.

Columbus landed on Antigua
It is falsely believed that Columbus landed on Antigua and that Santa Maria Hill near Cedar Grove was named by him.

The reality is that Columbus never landed on the island. On his second voyage in 1493, Columbus sighted Marie Gallant close to Guadeloupe and Dominica and from there headed north, naming many islands in the chain of Lesser Antilles--Santa Maria de Guadeloupe, Santa Maria de Montserrate, Santa Maria la Redonda. It was close to Redonda that Columbus saw Antigua on the horizon and named the island Santa Maria la Antigua. He continued sailing until he reached Hispaniola.

Volcano under the St. John's Cathedral
The Anglican Cathedral in St. John's is thought to be built on a volcano.

In fact, it is actually built on a fossilised reef.

Clarence House was built for the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV
It is believed that Clarence House was built for the Duke of Clarence when he visited in his ship, HMS Pegasus.

In fact, Clarence House was not built until 1806, twenty years after he had come and gone. It was built for the Dockyard Commissioner. It was later called "Clarence House" after the building was used as the Governor's weekend residence.

Nelson's Bed in the Dockyard
"Nelson's Bed" in the Dockyard Museum is Regency style, about 1820..  Nelson died in 1805, many years before
the bed was built.

The Caribs were cannibals
Completely false.

The need for the Caribs to be labeled as cannibals was linked with the need for the arriving Europeans obtaining permission for acquiring and exploiting their land.

The Caribs lived in the Caribbean
...........unlikely, but it’s a long story!

Bat's Cave leads to Dominica
Bat's Cave leads to Dominica and that slaves escaped through it or raiding Carib warriors, who carried off governors' wives.

False. The depth of water between the islands means that the cave would have to be more than three thousand feet underground.

Definitely false, but what a story!

Barbuda was a Stud Farm

Waladli versus Wadadli
The actual "Carib" name for Antigua is Wadadli.

In fact the name was Waladli. The mistake occurred when a popular band, wrote a song using Wadadli. From this time on Waladli became Wadadli.