Tuesday, 4 February 2014

UWI library digitizes newspaper clippings chronicling the history of the steel pan

Author: Ray Funk and Andrew Martin
Title: T&T steelpan newspaper history now on the Web... Just a click away
Source: The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian
Date Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
URL: http://guardian.co.tt/carnival/2014-01-27/tt-steelpan-newspaper-history-now-web


The article discusses the UWI St. Augustine library's digitization project chronicling the history of the steel pan through library clippings from Trinidad and Tobago's newspapers. Dubbed the UWI digital Steelpan Newspaper Collection, the main person behind the initiative, is steelpan historian and arranger Dr. Jeannine Remy. Remy, a senior lecturer in the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) at UWI, St Augustine approached the UWI library in 2011 with a plan to digitise her collection of newspaper clippings and create a database of these documents to preserve the information. Remy sought a grant as the library reported not having the financial budget to fund the project. This resulted in the award of a faculty research grant to complete the project in December 2012. 

Further details are provided about the work involved in the project including the scanning of the articles as well as summarizing and identifying keywords for each article to make it searchable, and linking all this information to the UWI library's Web site. Other participants in the project are named including Librarian Marsha Winter and the primary student research assistant, Aniya Carty.

Further details are provided about the project including the aim of project co-ordinators to upload more than 1,000 articles to the Web in the next few months. It is also reported that the current available articles can be accessed the UWI Website http://uwispace.sta.uwi.edu/dspace/handle/2139/17577. These available articles are also accessible via search through major online search engines like Google and Bing by entering in the search terms  and adding “uwispace” to limit the search to the UWI digital Steelpan Newspaper Collection. It is also reported that the articles from the UWI library collection that forms the UWI digital Steelpan Newspaper Collection include articles gifted from Remy’s personal collection as well as those of a number of her students and colleagues. Future plans for the project are also outlined.

One scholar, Mia Gormandy, a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at planning a dissertation on the pan in Japan, is also cited as praising this new digital resource as well as expressing appreciation for the initiative.


The history of steelpan as chronicled in Trini­dad newspapers is now only a click away. As a result of a grant from UWI and collaboration between students at UWI and the UWI library, more than 4,000 newspaper articles related to the history of steelpan in T&T will be uploaded to the Web.

Many articles can already be viewed now with more being added in the next several months.

The project is the brainchild of steelpan historian and arranger Dr Jeannine Remy, senior lecturer in the Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA) at UWI, St Augustine....

More info

UWI digital Steelpan Newspaper Collection is just one of the historical collections that the library at UWI is looking to digitise and make accessible to the public on the Web. [Special Collections Librarian Lorraine] Nero further notes that the Special Collections department is always seeking donations of material of historic significance. Nero can be reached at wimail@sta.uwi.edu . If anyone has clippings or photos or other steelpan memorabilia that they want to contribute to this project, it is not too late and they should feel free to contact the library. The UWI Library continues to explore the acquisition of funds to support the digitisation initiative. Sponsors interested in contributing to this effort can contact the Campus Librarian, the Alma Jordan Library at 662-2002 ext 2009.

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