The National Library of Jamaica
In 1979 the Jamaican institutional landscape was forever changed went the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ) was established. The NLJ stands on the very spot at 12 East in Kingston where world renowned nurse and one of the ‘Greatest Black Britons’ Mary Seacole once lived.
The National Library of Jamaica was founded at a turbulent time in Jamaica’s history, many institutions that existed before it and some that came after it are no longer around, but the NLJ still stands. When it was initially established the NLJ was a division of the Institute of Jamaica but a law passed by the Jamaican Government has made the NLJ an autonomous institution. The National Library was established to collect preserve and make available for consultation all materials regarding the nation’s history and heritage.
Since those early days the collections of the library have grown exponentially. It not only holds books but also audiovisuals, maps, newspapers, prints, journals and many other materials that help to mold Jamaica’s story. The NLJ is open to all those desirous of peering into Jamaica’s history and heritage indeed records of the most historic occasions of this nation all reside at the NLJ. Since its inception the National Library of Jamaica has positively affected the lives of thousands of people, it truly is, Living History, Shaping Lives.