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History

The origin of the Association of Caribbean Historians (ACH) is rooted in discussions on collaboration across the region initiated by Jacques Adelaide-Merlande of Guadeloupe with colleagues in the University of the West Indies (UWI).  In April 1969, Jacques invited UWI historians to participate in a colloquium on “From Slavery to Emancipation.”  Out of the subsequent discussion, first, between Jacques and Woodville Marshall, Carl Campbell and Neville Hall and, later, inside the UWI department of history, the UWI historians organized the second conference at UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados in April 1970.

At that conference, participants decided that that there should be an annual meeting and set up a Corresponding Committee to assist with the organization of the third conference at the University of Guyana. It is on this basis of non-formal contacts that conferences were organized in 1972 (Jamaica) and in 1973 (Trinidad). At the Trinidad conference, those initiatives were eventually consolidated in the decision to establish the Association and, at the Sixth Conference in 1974 (Puerto Rico), a constitution was formally adopted and Woodville Marshall elected as the first president. The Association of Caribbean Historians thus dates its formal organization from that 1974 conference, but full recognition must be given to the pioneering work of Jacques Adelaide-Merlande and the other participants in the 1969 colloquium.