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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
HomeArts-EntertainmentFYAH to Host Community Archival Workshop Saturday in Frederiksted

FYAH to Host Community Archival Workshop Saturday in Frederiksted

Young woman traverses Harden Gut, where laundry was once done. (Photo courtesy David Berg)

Find Your Archives a Home (FYAH), a nonprofit organization dedicated to locating, preserving, and sharing archives focused on the Virgin Islands, invites the community to attend their upcoming workshop on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the Chant Building located in Frederiksted, St. Croix. Participants will learn how to comb through the archives and navigate photos, documents, and census records while connecting with fellow history enthusiasts.

David Berg, a fine art photographer residing on the island of St. Croix and the co-founder of FYAH alongside Juliana Berry, has always been a purveyor of Virgin Islands history but found his passion for his community’s history deepened in 2018 when he began exploring the archives.

“I have always been fascinated by our island’s history, particularly its visual aspects. Delving into the Virgin Islands archives was a profoundly moving experience. It was like uncovering cherished memories I didn’t even know were missing,” said Berg.

Old photo of a desolate roadway in the Virgin Islands. (Photo courtesy David Berg)
In 2020 the desire to establish a nonprofit centered around archival research began to bloom but wasn’t quite cemented until Berg and Berry made a trip to Denmark where they realized how imperative it was for Virgin Islanders to connect with the archives and their historical lineage. The acronym FYAH is a coincidental derivative from a tragic fire that took place at Berg’s family home, where almost everything was lost two years ago.

One of the reasons why this workshop is so invaluable is because navigating the archives can be challenging. Various barriers, such as language variations and interpreting complex government documents, can stymie a person’s ability to explore the records.

A group of women, believed to be family, take turns doing each other’s hair.
(Photo courtesy David Berg)
“We want to support our community in developing the skills necessary to engage with the archives. Unintuitive websites, unfamiliar terminology, and mislabeled images often organized by individuals unfamiliar with our unique history are roadblocks that can deter people before they ever get a chance to see the value in the information that they have access to. Our workshops will equip you with the tools and strategies to overcome these obstacles and unlock the rich history hidden within these records,” explained Berg.
“By teaching others how to access this treasure trove, I hope to share this sense of rediscovery and connection to our shared heritage. A community engaged with its archives is a community empowered, and together, we might even bring our historical records back home where they belong,” he said.
For questions about the Archival Workshop, contact David Berg and Juliana Berry at fyahvi@gmail.com.
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