23.01.2017

Danish National Archives sponsors centennial lecture series

Press release from Rigsarkivet January 23, 2017

This week, on St. Croix and St. Thomas, seven researchers from the USA, Denmark and the US Virgin Islands will participate in a transatlantic lecture series about their shared history. The series is open to the public and sponsored by the Danish National Archives.

Denmark and the US Virgins Islands share a common history. This history is the subject of a series of lectures held this week on St. Croix and St. Thomas with the title “Histories from a Shared Past.”

The lectures are given by a group of researchers from both sides of the Atlantic. And in June, the lectures will also be repeated in Denmark, thus making the series a transatlantic event.

The event is organized by the Danish West Indian Society in collaboration with the Friends of Denmark societies of St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix and is sponsored by the Solar Foundation and the Danish National Archives. It is part of the celebration of the centennial of the transfer in 1917 of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix from Denmark to the USA.

“The main purpose of the Danish National Archives is to serve as a common memory. This includes the shared history of Denmark and the US Virgins Islands,” says Asbjørn Hellum, Director General of the Danish National Archives.

“Therefore, we have digitized the majority of the historic records from the colonial period, which we will make available to everyone online in March. It is for the same reason that we are sponsoring these lectures: To give people a chance to learn more about their history – both in Denmark and the USVI,” concludes Asbjørn Hellum.

Anne Walbom, who is the chairman of the Danish West Indian Society, adds:

“This lecture series is one of the projects that we have initiated to celebrate the centennial of the transfer of the former Danish West-Indies to the USA and the founding of the Danish West Indian Society.
We are looking forward to introducing both Virgin Islanders and Danes to new and interesting research from both sides of the Atlantic.”

The lectures will present research based on numerous historic documents drawn from the Danish National Archives and elsewhere. The lectures are all free of charge and open to the public. They will include topics such as “Runaway Danish Slaves in a Pan-Caribbean and Atlantic Perspective”, “Slave Complaints on St. Croix” and “Socio-Cultural Development in the USVI”.

The lecture series will take place on St. Croix on January 23 and 24 at the University of the Virgin Islands Great Hall from 9:00 AM. In addition, the series will also be held on St. Thomas on January
26 and 27 at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School Auditorium from 6:00 PM.

For more information, please contact:

Communications Consultant Julie Avery, the Danish National Archives

+45 41 71 72 41

jav@sa.dk