West Indies Collection

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 3 DM 41
  • Dates of Creation
      1653 - 1998
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      English, and French.
  • Physical Description
      22 archive boxes, plus 23 more in related collections.

Scope and Content

For the most part, these papers originate from the 17th to 19th Centuries, though some academic studies are as recent as 1998. For the most part, these collections consist of legal papers such as leases, sales, mortgages and marriage settlements, although other papers are also represented, such as Privateers' Reports, papers of the Moravian Church and the West Indies Customs Ledger, 1715 - 1716. We also hold on deposit a large collection of papers relating to the Pinney family and their activities in Nevis and Britain. This collection is catalogued separately.

The collection contains materials on a number of islands in the West Indies as well as areas of mainland North and South America:Bahama Islands, Barbados, Barbuda, Bermuda, British Guiana, Colombia, Demerara, Panama,Berbice, Dominica,Grenada, Guadeloupe,Honduras, Jamaica, Leeward Islands,Lundy Island , Mauritius, Montserrat,Nevis,San Geronimo,St. Christopher or St. Kitts,St. Croix, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tobago, Tortola, and Trinidad

Administrative / Biographical History

The University of Bristol holds a large and comprehensive collection of papers pertaining to various aspects of the West Indies. The British Records Association pronounced the University of Bristol a worthy repository of knowledge regarding the West Indies in 1937, and has sent many documents to Bristol. The majority of these records are placed in Bristol on permanent loan, though some have been given to or purchased by the University.


These materials are kept in the order in which they are accessioned over 65 years in their separate caches.

Access Information

Accessible to all bona fide readers.

Acquisition Information

The majority of these records were acquired via the British Records Association, though some have been purchased or deposited by other sources.


Compiled by Martin Hall, Assistant Archivist, University of Bristol Information Services - Special Collections.

Other Finding Aids

Typescript catalogue available in Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission must be obtained from Special Collections.

Additional Information

The materials described in this entry originate from many more accessions than DM 41 - for full details, see handlist.