The Danish West Indies – the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix – were a traditional Caribbean colony, characterised by sugar production, trade, and shipping. The colony was under the Danish flag from 1671 until 1917, since which time the islands have been known as the United States Virgin Islands.
The archival sources for the history of the three islands are first and foremost in the Danish National Archives. These records are exceptionally comprehensive and their research potential is enormously rich, as the Danes have been meticulous in documenting almost everything that happend in the colony and in preserving the records. The Danish archival sources are therefore unique historical resources today.
The book is a thorough guide to the vast Danish West Indian material in Denmark, including detailed catalouges of the archives of the most important colonial offices in Copenhagen. It also includes a valuable bibliographical essay on the literature on the history of the Danish West Indies.
Erik Gøbel, born 1949, is a historian and Senior Resarch Archivist at the Danish National Archives. He has published a considerable number of books and articles in both Danish and English on archival matters end economic and social history. He is a specialist in the history of trade and shipping and an expert on the history of the former Danish colonies, particularly the Danish West Indies.