Readers who occasionally bemoan DNO’s tardiness in posting their comments may be interested to learn that they can now kill time by browsing through copies of the Dominica Dial from the 1880’s. The British Newspaper Archives have just added scanned copies to their on-line collection.
This snippet of information came to me from my brother in the UK. He specifically drew my attention to an announcement on front page of the issue that illustrates this commentary: “T. Y. Polo Photographic Artist and Artistic Poser…” By way of our respective blog posts we have both been lamenting on current trends in the visual arts and in particular the dependency of copying from photographs rather than working from life. They include my brother’s satirical entry to the 2021 Sky TV Landscape Artist of the Year Competition and my own passion for confronting the real thing.
Of more general interest, on the front page of the September 14th 1880 edition of the Dominica Dial are For Sale Notices for the Melville Hall Estate and the Bath and Emsall Estate. Lot 3 notes that the Government has offered to purchase 35 acres for a Botanical Station. Lot 4 includes a fine set of Works newly covered…the mill is by Fletcher; horizontal and driven by a 30-feet water wheel. The newspaper’s header lists “Politics and Mouthpiece of Public Opinions”. At least that has not changed over the years.
While I am pleased that the British Newspaper Archives have added a Dominican publication to their collection, of equal importance is the work of our own excellent Library and Information Service. Their website sets the benchmark for other government services to aspire to. The library’s National Archive Unit lists no less than twenty newspapers published in Dominica between 1765 and 1977.
Considering the excellence of our public library service, it beggars belief that the government has made no attempt to restore the historic Roseau Library building since the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria. This shameful disregard for Dominica’s heritage will not bode well with future generations. History judges civilizations by their quality of life, culture, artefacts, architecture, art and libraries.
The websites referred to in this commentary are as follows: