Christian Goodwillie, director and curator of Special Collections and Archives at Burke Library, traveled to Saint Kitts and Nevis from Jan. 27 to Feb. 1. Goodwillie is a member of the Charlestown (Nevis) World Heritage Committee, which is seeking recognition of Charlestown as a World Heritage City from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Founded in the 17th century, the town was, for a time, the capital of the Leeward Islands Colony of the British Empire and a Caribbean hub of the Royal African Company's slave trade. It was also the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton.
While on Nevis, Goodwillie met with visiting experts sent by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), who spent three days assessing the buildings and landscape of Charlestown and other plantation and fort sites on Nevis to determine if they possessed "outstanding universal value." These experts will consult with additional ICOMOS experts and render a judgment in April.
During his visit, Goodwillie met with the Governor General of Saint Kitts and Nevis Sir Tapley. He also met with Shawn Richards, the Minister of Culture of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Premier Mark Brantley of Nevis; and other ministers of the Nevis government. Ambassador Everson Hull was also on the trip. Hull visited Hamilton in 2016 and has been working to strengthen the bond between the College and Nevis.
Goodwillie is also actively pursuing an opportunity for a small group of Hamilton College students to travel to Nevis to digitize historical manuscripts in a cooperative effort to preserve the island's heritage and complement the Beinecke Lesser Antilles collection.