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VI Historians to Hold Annual Meeting at UVI Jan. 16

UVI's Division of Humanities and Social Sciences will cosponsor the 24th annual conference of the Society of Virgin Islands Historians from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, at the Great Hall of the Northwest Wing Annex on the University's St. Croix campus. The theme for the annual meeting is "Virgin Islands Crossroads: Managing our Cultural Resources."

Presenters include Dr. Jeannette A. Bastian, associate professor and Director of the Archives at Simmons College in Boston, Mass. Her paper, "'Play Mas': Carnival in the Archives and the Archives in Carnival," will be followed by a workshop. Cultural production workers wishing to participate in her blog, and a post-lecture on-site workshop ("Community and Culture") at UVI, may contact Dr. Bastian at:

Last summer, Dr. Bastian presented this paper at a conference in Australia. The Society of Virgin Islands Historians now provides a territorial opportunity before her paper is published in Archival Science, an international journal which focuses on archival theory.

Dr. Bastian has previously been a librarian and archivist in the U. S. Virgin Islands for 30 years. Her Virgin Islands-related 2003 book, "Owning Memory: How A Caribbean Community Lost Its Archives and Found Its History," is published with Libraries Unlimited, Westport, Conn.

A second presenter will be Milagros Flores Roman, who for the last 21 years has been Historian Fortification Specialist for the National Park Service. Flores currently serves, regionally, as the Historian for the six national parks in the Caribbean which are located on Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John. She is also historian at, among others, the Virgin Islands National Park, the Coral Reef National Monument, the Christiansted National Historic Site, the Salt River Bay National Park and Ecological Preserve at the Buck Island Coral Reef.

Milagros Flores is also president of the International Scientific Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage. She has served as coordinator of UNESCO's Meeting of Experts for the Recuperation of American Fortifications, World Heritage Center, Mexico. Her work in the Organization of the Wider Caribbean on Monuments and Sites, will offer a pan-Caribbean perspective to territorial considerations of cultural resources management.

The third presenter, Susan Lugo, is Territorial Coordinator for Archives for the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, for the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Her presentation, "General Remarks on the Status of the Territorial Archives," will be followed by a surprise guest.

Lugo earned the designation of Certified Archivist from the Academy of Certified Archivists. She is active in many library and archive professional organizations including the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Standing Committee on Genealogy and Local History, the Society of American Archivists as senior co-chair of SAA's Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives Roundtable, and past president of the St. Thomas/St. John Library Association. In 2000 Lugo co-founded the Caribbean Genealogy Library, a non-profit organization. She has served continuously on its board, an held several terms as its president. She has been a senior presenter at the International Federation of Library Association's 2008 World Library and Information Congress in Quebec. Later that year Lugo was a guest speaker at an IFLA seminar on "Challenges for Libraries and Archives: Hidden Histories," convened in Rio de Janeiro.

Her 2008 paper - "What a Pistarckle! Access to Caribbean Records for Family History Research" - may be viewed online at

The annual meeting will conclude with a panel of stakeholders discussing the National Heritage Area designation expected for St. Croix. The panel includes Claudette Young-Hinds (SUCCEED); Olassie Davis (Cooperative Extension Services, UVI); Joel Tutein (Superintendent, VINPS); Ingrid Bough (Territorial Director of Libraries, Museums and Archives); and Gerville Larsen (Chair, Board of Trustees, STX Landmarks Society).

The Society of Virgin Islands Historians 24th annual meeting offers free admission and refreshments to the general public. Dr. Bastian's presentation and workshop project are funded, in part, by the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.