“For the Encouragement of Literature, Science and Art in Jamaica”
The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) was established in 1879 by Sir Anthony Musgrave, then Governor of Jamaica. Located at 10-16 East Street Kingston, the IOJ is led by its mandate, “For the Encouragement of Literature, Science and Art in Jamaica ”. The Institute has responsibility for the following organizations:
- The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica /Jamaica Memory Bank (ACIJ/JMB)The Jamaica Music Museum (JAMM)
- Liberty Hall: Legacy of Marcus Garvey – a project of the ACIJ/JMB
- The Junior Centres (Programmes Coordination)
- The Natural History Museum of Jamaica
- National Museum Jamaica
- The National Gallery of Jamaica
The function of the Institute varies according to the role and responsibilities of each Division. These include:
- National Museum Jamaica: To establish and maintain museums and galleries for the collection, preservation and presentation of artefacts and art treasures.
- Natural History: To maintain and display Jamaica’s flora and fauna collections
- ACIJ/JMB: To document and disseminate information on the impact of the African presence inJamaica and the wider Caribbean . Liberty Hall: Legacy of Marcus Garvey is a unit of the ACIJ formed to promote the memory of Marcus Garvey among Jamaicans through educational programmes, exhibitions among others.
- Junior Centres: To develop the potential of children in visual and performing arts and to broaden their appreciation of Jamaica’s culture.
- National Gallery: To acquire Jamaican art for Public display
Libraries of the Institute of Jamaica
The Institute of Jamaica , the cultural agency of the government, charged with the mandate of promulgating the advance “For the Encouragement of Literature, Science and Art in Jamaica,” operates four Special Libraries, each attracting its own target audience. These are The Science Library, The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ) Library, The Garvey Research and Reference Library and the Junior Centre Library.
The Science Library, which forms part of the Natural History Division, maintains an effective and efficient collection of resource material on the flora and fauna of Jamaica. The library provides among other services, rich textual images of Jamaican animals and plants and maintains an efficient collection of resource material, scientific books and access to over 10,000 volumes, many of which are rare publications.
The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank Library boasts a wide collection of reference and audio visual materials as it pertains to African retention in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean . The facility, which is widely utilized by secondary and tertiary students and other researchers, is a reference library and therefore materials from the collection may only be used in-house. It features a reference collection of approximately 6000 volumes and an audiovisual collection of over 300 videotapes and over 4000 audiotapes; all showcasing Jamaica’s heritage. The ACIJ itself has authored several publications based on research undertaken on different aspects of the Jamaican culture.
The Garvey Research and Reference Library, located at 76 King Street, Kingston, features manuscripts, books, CDs, cassettes, articles and others publications about the life and work of former Pan-African Leader and National Hero of Jamaica, Marcus Mosiah Garvey. The library also holds publications on the work of other African leaders and people of African descent within the African Diaspora.
The Junior Centre Library, established in 1939 as the chief cultural centre of the youths and Jamaica ‘s first lending Library, extends membership to students aged 6-18 years.
It aims to foster the intellectual, aesthetic and cultural growth of youths and provides all the services of a public library, granting access to literature of all sorts.
The Institute of Jamaica is an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture.