By Arnold R. Highfield
The present volume is in effect a 40-year memoir by Virgin Islands historian Professor Arnold R. Highfield, who dedicated his career at the University of the Virgin Islands to the study of the history and culture of the DanishWest Indies (1671–1917) and the Virgin Islands of the United States (1917–present). Over the years, his labors have resulted in extensive research and in numerous publications.
Recently, it became apparent that his research databases contained literally thousands of records that would never be available to the general public. He therefore decided to organize those materials into a single volume that might be useful to people interested in working within the scope of Virgin Islands studies, namely general readers, students, teachers, researchers, scholars, librarians, archivists, and others. To that end, the materials have been arranged around the concept of central topics, connected to satellite articles by means of detailed cross-referencing and the interlocking of relevant sources.
By way of illustration, the article “Slavery” is a central topic with vectors extending outward to other articles such as the Slave Trade, Slave Traders, Amelioration, Abolition of the Slave Trade, Resistance, Revolts, Emancipation, andmore.The reader can therefore simply read the central topic of interest, here Slavery, or then pursue the subject in greater detail in the satellite articles.
The 900-odd articles treat a broader variety of topics, including individual people, groups, events, and important documents.
ARNOLD R. HIGHFIELD, a retired Scholar-in-Residence and Emeritus Professor at the University of the Virgin Islands, has published some twenty plus books on the Virgin Islands, including: St. Croix: 1493, An Encounter of Two Worlds; Time Longa’ Dan Twine; St. Croix 1650–1733: A Plantation Society in the French Antilles; Sea Grapes and Kennips; and Crucian Recollections to mention only a few of the more recent volumes.