British Virgin Islands: Political Parties Material

Scope and Content

Material relating to the politics of the British Virgin Islands including platforms, posters, election leaflets, constitutions and manifestos issued by the People's Party (British Virgin Islands), the Third Electoral District Committee (British Virgin Islands), the United Party (British Virgin Islands), the Virgin Islands Party and various independent candidates.

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Virgin Islands were granted a limited form of self-government in 1967, and following the extension of these rights with the introduction of a new constitution in 1977 the British-appointed governor is now responsible for little more than security and the administration of the courts. Its political history has generally been short of controversy, with the two main parties (the United Party and the Virgin Islands Party) alternating in power with the support of a variety of independent candidates until the emergence of the National Democratic Party which eventually took power in 2003. The material here mainly dates from the 1986 election and reflects the significant role of the independent candidates and the genteel electioneering atmosphere.


Alphabetically by party, and then in rough chronological order.

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.

Acquisition Information

Institute of Commonwealth Studies


The Political Archives Project was a 2.5 year project to catalogue political archive material held in the libraries of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas to the University and present it as a cohesive virtual collection. The project was successfully completed in July 2005. Descriptions of all the documents may be found by searching the library catalogue at, or via the Political Archives website:

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The ICS political parties collection was begun in 1960-1961, with special emphasis being placed on primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos. Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant. More recently material has been collected by means of downloading documents from the websites of the major parties.


Further accruals are expected, some in electronic form.

Related Material

See also Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.