3 February 2021 Snapshots Of The Past

Snapshots of the Past: Selections From the Old Pictures Exhibition, 2007

Snapshots of the Past: Selections from the Old Pictures Competition, 2007.
Verna Penn Moll, Editor. Road Town, Tortola BVIs: Virgin Islands National Archives, 2010.

‘Snapshots of the Past: Selections from the Old Pictures Competition, 2007’, is a picture gallery selected from the Old Pictures Exhibition, sponsored by the Archives Unit and the Friends of the National Archives on April 16, 2007. The Exhibition ranged from maps and drawings to paintings and photos of Virgin Islands scenery and faces, friends and family, sportspersons and musicians, community and official events, architectural forms, royal visits, and newspaper clippings.

The purpose of the book is to preserve and share some of the images and excitement of the Exhibition. The oldest pictures are the 1798 Plantation Map of the Virgin Islands, the 1867 Tsunami in the Virgin Islands, and the 1880 picture of an original painting and portrait of Henry Bedford Creque, who was born in Anegada, Virgin Islands in 1832. There is an Appendix, which further explains some of the pictures.

From the Foreword: ‘Snapshots of the Past’ is a priceless collection of rare photos and artwork which, chronicles the lives of Virgin Islanders from the late 1800s to the mid-1990s. These fascinating images capture the history of a people who have progressed over time in architecture, in community life, in culture.

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ seems a fitting adage to describe this pictorial journey in Virgin Islands history, when life was simple, though not lived simplistically. 

Life was beautiful but not gilded as a lily: market women displaying goods made with their own hands and produce grown in their own gardens, taking time to engage in conversations; mule-drawn carriages ambling through the only street in Road Town. 

There were shingle-sided thatch and galvanised – roof structures housing families, our schools, our churches; the excitement of villagers at the launching of a village-built boat; coal pit burning producing coals for cooking and ironing at home, and for exporting to St. Thomas US Virgin Islands, next door; grinding sugarcane or baking cassava bread; our religion, our music, our dance, our dress, our modes of transportation- all steeped in cultural traditions of yesteryear. (V. Inez Archibald, Deputy Governor)

Snapshots of the Past Reviews

… “A fascinating glimpse into the past’; thank you”.  David and Susan Pearey

“Good record to show where we came from.”   Barbara O’Neal

“It is wonderful taking a trip back in time.”    Zebulon McClean

” A truly wonderful perspective of BVI past.”  Gabrielle Bardo

“Wonderful to see the Islands from the 1830s”  Andrew and Judith Huggins

” The preservation of History is always fascinating.” Lucia Penn

“Simply excellent.” Lisa Penn Lettsome

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