Books and Pamphlets
The foundation of the Library, the book and pamphlet collection epitomizes our core function. It consists of most of the significant works published about Jamaica and the Caribbean, primarily by Jamaican and Caribbean authors from the seventeenth century to the present. The collection numbers forty-seven thousand (47,000) titles and includes as well as contemporary material, many rare and valuable books which contain early historical and descriptive accounts of the island:
Blome, Richard. A Description of the Island of Jamaica, with the other Isles and Territories in America to which the English are Related.
Published in 1678 at the request of Charles II, King of England.
Gage, Thomas. A New Survey of the West Indies: Being a Journal of Three Thousand and Three Hundred Miles within the Main Land of America.
Published in 1656.
Sloane, Hans, Sir. A Voyage to the Islands, Madera, Barbados, Nieves, St. Christopher's and Jamaica with the Natural History of the last of those Islands.
Published in 1707.
The Library has copies of publications which are the only known ones to have survived. Two such works are A letter from Don Blas de Lezo, the Spanish Admiral at Carthagene, to Don Geraldino...and A letter from Don Geraldino in answer to Don Blas de Lezo at Carthagene. They were printed in Jamaica in 1740 by the same family who introduced printing to the island in 1718.