May 16, 2023

We are nearing the end of Phase 5 of the US Caribbean & Florida Digital Newspaper Project!

During this phase (2021-2023), the following newspaper titles from the US Virgin Islands were digitized in collaboration with the University of the Virgin Islands. The St. Croix Avis and the St. Croix Tribune are already live in Chronicling America, where all the newspapers we digitized are accessible to the public for free! The Home Journal, Daily News of the Virgin Islands, and West End News are in queue and should be live sometime this summer.

The St. Croix Avis

Approx. 66,595 pages of content from 1865-1963
This data represents total digitized content, including content digitized in Phase 4 and Phase 5.

The St. Croix Avis began publication in 1844 under the direction of editor and publisher Richard Hatchett in Christiansted, St. Croix (VI). It is a successor of the Royal Danish American Gazette, the first known newspaper published in the Virgin Islands. R. Hatchett published the Avis until the 1860s, under the authority of the Danish West Indian Government. From its inception until 1917, the Avis published a considerable amount of its content in Danish.  The shift to a primarily English-language publication began after the US purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917. The St. Croix Avis frequently reported on local weather and natural disasters, including coverage of their impact throughout the Caribbean. The content of the St. Croix Avis offers a critical reflection of its unique importance as the first newspaper of the United States Virgin Islands. The paper initially catered to colonials but has come to reflect the interests and experiences of native Virgin Islanders.

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The St. Croix Tribune

Approx. 3,076 pages of content from 1934-1937

The St. Croix Tribune was an English-language newspaper produced by the St. Croix Co-operative Society in Christiansted, St. Croix, V.I., between 1922 and 1937. It was released daily, except Sundays, with the motto “Let Justice Be Done Though the Heavens Should Fall.” The Tribune was edited by Ralph de Chabert, who remained the editor for the entire run of the paper. De Chabert went on to serve in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the local St. Croix government. The paper served as a valuable community resource, offering comprehensive coverage of diverse topics, such as local, national, and international news. It provided detailed accounts of critical local matters, national, and international news stories.

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The Home Journal

Approx. 4,099 pages of content from 1952-1958

The Home Journal, published by Earl B. Ottley from 1951 to 1973 in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, was a regional newspaper. It included weekly supplements and was separately sold on St. Croix as The Crucian Journal. The publication offered comprehensive coverage of Puerto Rico and featured a column in vernacular English. It also included updates on happenings within St. Croix and St. Thomas’ women’s leagues, a comics page, and a column with community perspectives. Public notices, bid requests, and legislative proceedings were covered in the “Journal of the Legislature” and “Journal of the First Legislature of the Virgin Islands” sections. Notable features included editorials by labor leaders and syndicated columns providing insights from editors of other U.S. newspapers.

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The Daily News of the Virgin Islands

Approx. 7,405 pages of content from 1962-1963

The Daily news of the Virgin Islands has been a prominent source of local news and information for nearly a century. Established in 1930 in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, The Daily news was founded by Ariel Melchior Sr. and J. Antonio Jarvis. The paper was published daily, excluding Sundays and holidays. Between 1955 and 1978, the paper featured a variety of recurring sections, including a classified ads section, a world news section, a section for recipes, a sports section, and syndicated columns such as “Advice to Lovelorn” by Beatrice Fairfax and “Look and Learn” by A. C. Gordon, among others. In addition, the paper incorporated a “Virgin Islands’ Only Color Comics” comic strip section, including the Blondie cartoon strip, and added a teen section and a “Solve a Crime” mystery section in 1962.  

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The West End News

Approx. 5,259 pages of content from 1953-1963

The West End News was established in 1912 in Frederiksted, St. Croix in the Danish West Indies. It was published by West End Pub. Co. and had several editors over its 61-year run. A November 1953 Publisher’s block reads: “The West End News published daily, Sundays and holidays excepted” although the distribution varied throughout the years. The paper was guided by three mottos: “Challenges Injustice to All,” “The Virgin Islands for All of the People,” and “Liberal Since 1912.” The paper covered a broad range of topics, including government news, board and council meeting notes, both national and international news. Editorials constituted a substantial element within the publication, with a primary emphasis placed on local politics and policies, alongside the dissemination of pertinent information about notable historical figures in Virgin Islands’ history.

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