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Peter Abrahams Collection

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: PAC-072022

Content Description

The Peter Abrahams Collection (1939 – 2017) was organized by the WISC to maintain original order as the collection presented numerous instances where the creator tried to keep similar content together. This approach allowed for the assignment of logical access points for the research with an appreciation for the categories believed to be most meaningful to the creator. The Peter Abrahams Collection was organized using a Series or Sub-series approach, mostly to the folder level with a few series at the item level for those areas considered to be of a higher research value. The related material was sorted during the collection processing into the most appropriate subgroups and series thereby showing the relationships within the grouping. At the discretion of the librarian, some series, the collection might be further broken down to the item level once it has been determined this deep level or organization will allow greater access, discovery and research and scholarship. Basic and sometimes intensive preservation work was undertaken during the processing of the Peter Abrahams papers. The entire collection was fumigated and re-housed in acid free boxes and enclosures. Abrahams maintained correspondence as early as the 1930s, with most of these interactions relating to political, academic, broadcasting or business interests and these have been organized in Series 1. From this category, researchers would be afforded the opportunity to peruse Abrahams’ negotiations with publishers, close acquaintances, political figures and rights activists. Through the archival processing, it was established that this collection will allow for research into Caribbean broadcasting, explores issues of nationalism, race relations and literature. The early versions of some of Abrahams Coyaba novels can be viewed in Series 2 where the manuscripts and the editorial suggestions are located. In Series 3, Abrahams’ interest in societal affairs is evidenced by the reports, interviews and inquiries held in Jamaica. An extensive collection of literary works and artistic expressions in the forms of reviews, articles, poetry and plays written by Peter Abrahams and others are featured in Series 4. Content surrounding financial and legal information are covered in Series 5. Various aspects of Abrahams’ broadcasting career are featured in Series 6 with transcripts from radio broadcasts and the radio programme News Commentary covered. In Series 7 are statements and political documents, in Series 8 honours and awards bestowed on Abrahams and finally Series 9 features photographs.

Acquisition Type



The Peter Abrahams Collection was donated to The University of the West Indies, Mona Library in 2017 and added to its West Indies and Special Collections.

Language of Description


Restrictions Apply



  • 1930 - 2017


18 Cubic Feet (18 Archival boxes, 1 shoebox, 4 large volumes, 1 7 x 24.5 cm archival folder)

Language of Materials



Series 1: Correspondence PA S1. L1 – Personal Correspondence PA S1.L2 – Academic Correspondence PA S1.L3 - Publishing Correspondence PA S1.L4- Broadcasting Correspondence PA S1.L5- Political Correspondence PA S1.L6- Invitations PA S1. L7-Business General AKA Miscellaneous Correspondence Series 2: Manuscripts PA S2. L1- Books PA. S2. L2 - Articles Series 3: Reports/Inquiries, Interviews and Academic Conferences PA S3.L1- Reports/Inquiries PA S3.L2 – Inquiries PA S3.L3- Interviews PA S3. L4. - Academic Conferences Series 4: Literary Works Series 5: Financial and Legal Documents PA S5. L1- Financial Documents PA S5. L2- Legal Documents Series 6: Journalism PA S6. L1- News Commentary (1960 – 1998) PA S6. L2- Radio Broadcast Transcripts PA. S6. L3- T.V. Analysis/ T.V. Commentary PA. S6. L4- Local and General Election Commentary PA. S6. L5- Documentaries Series 7: Political Documents & Statements/ Addresses PA. S7. L1- Political Documents PA. S7. L2- Political Statements/ Addresses Series 8: Honours & Awards PA S8. L1- Honours & Awards PA S8. L1. F1- Jamaican Awards PA S8. L1. F2- South African Awards Series 9: Photographs PA S9. L1- Photographs of Peter Abrahams PA S9.L2- Photographs of the British West Indies PA S9.L3.F1 9.3 St Peters Hostel, Rosettenville PA S9.L4.F1 9.4 Photographs of Sculptures PA S9.L6.F1 9.6 Miscellaneous Photographs