Global Legacy

“Eric Williams managed to produce a work that now has to be considered central in the historiography of slavery and abolition.”

Dr. William Darity, Duke University, Callaloo, Vol. 20, No. 4. 1998

More than 75 years after its initial publication, Capitalism and Slavery has never been out of print. What was termed by The Nation in 1956 as “a minor classic in the field of race relations” continues to inform international scholarship and study. Capitalism and Slavery has been translated in nine languages, including Turkish, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. The first Dutch translation is currently in progress.

“Eric Williams’ legacy cannot be contained within four walls or behind glass. It must be lived!”

Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Vice President and Saunders Director at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation

The Eric Williams Memorial Collection, Research Library, Archives & Museum (EWMC) at The University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago was inaugurated on March 22, 1998 by General Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State from 2001-2005. Powell heralded Williams, “No one was a greater fighter for justice and equality. No one was a greater leader.”

In 1999, the EWMC was named to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The EWMC contains the books, papers and memorabilia of Dr. Eric Williams. It includes approximately 7,000 books, journals, and papers—personal, historical, and governmental.

“[Those] who labored in the organizational, financial and other vineyards to create the Collection, have provided a unique intellectual gift, not just to Trinidad and Tobago, but to the entire region.”

Ivelaw Griffith, Dean, Florida International University, Honors College, 2005

“Keep this signature. I have been inspired to accomplish even greater heights for T & T and the Caribbean.”

Keisha Lewis, first year UWI student, 1999

“Thank you for treasuring what is really ours.”

Kimberley Correia, Trinidad and Tobago high school student, 2002

The EWMC is the largest research collection at The University of the West Indies. The first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean, it has served as a model for cultural heritage institutions across the Caribbean, including the museums of the Trinidad and Tobago Central Bank, the College of the Bahamas, and the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in the British Virgin Islands.

In addition to the repository, the EWMC has established an Oral History Project, an annual Caribbean Examination Council CAPE Prize in History, and in 2007, the Eric Williams 'School Bags' Essay Competition. The Competition is open to students from 17 English-speaking Caribbean countries, in 178 schools. It's first winner, Dr. Dexnell Peters from Trinidad and Tobago, is now the Bennett Boskey Fellow in Atlantic studies at Oxford University. The EWMC is currently working on an anti-teen pregnancy pilot project, the Baby Think It Over Program, among several other initiatives.