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Nevis Historical and Conservation Society

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Title: Nevis Historical and Conservation Society  
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Subject: Nevis, Saint George Gingerland Parish, Saint James Windward Parish, Saint John Figtree Parish, Saint Thomas Lowland Parish, Vincent K. Hubbard, Nevis Peak
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Nevis Historical and Conservation Society

The NHCS's Alexander Hamilton Museum, located in the capital of Nevis, Charlestown, is situated in the lower floor of the restored Georgian building where Alexander Hamilton was born and lived during his childhood.

The Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) was, until 2012, a nonprofit non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in the Caribbean island of Nevis, which is part of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, in the Leeward Islands, West Indies. In 2012 this organisation lost its non-governmental status and became the "Nevis Historical and Conservation Trust".

The NHCS, founded in 1980, was charged with protecting the cultural and natural heritage of Nevis. The mission of the society was "to conserve the natural, cultural and historic fabric of the Island of Nevis and her surrounding sea for all its people." [1]

The organization was funded through local and international memberships, donations, museum admissions and sales, annual fundraising events, and an endowment fund.

In the years since it was founded, the NHCS became one of the most respected organizations of its kind in the Caribbean. It instituted projects and policies designed to preserve the island's unique history and environment, and to make that heritage accessible and intelligible to locals and visitors.

The NHCS maintained two museums on the island.

The Alexander Hamilton Museum

A closer view of the east end of the Hamilton House
This museum is located in the Hamilton House, on the waterfront near the center of Charlestown, the capital of Nevis. Hamilton House is a restored Georgian building. The American statesman Alexander Hamilton is believed to have been born in this house and lived there during his childhood. The museum features a presentation about his life and times. The upper floor of Hamilton House hosts the Nevis Island Government's Legislative Offices, The Nevis Island Assembly.

Together with the Trott House next door, which was acquired by the society in 2011, the two buildings and their immediate surroundings are known as the "Nevis Heritage Centre".

The Nelson Museum

The NHCS also maintains another museum, located just to the southeast of Charlestown at Bellevue. This facility houses the Nevis Island Archives of historical records. It also features an extensive collection of Admiral Horatio Nelson memorabilia.

When Nelson was a young sea captain, he was stationed on Nevis during the mid-1780s. In 1787 he married Frances (Fanny) Nesbit, a young widow who was a Nevis plantation owner's daughter-in-law.

Joan Robinson Biodiversity and Oral History Resource Centre

The Bellevue facility also houses the Joan Robinson Biodiversity and Oral History Resource Centre, which was opened on April 22, 2009, and which currently consists of two laboratories. One is dedicated to recording and preserving the flora and fauna of Nevis and the other is a video editing suite, which is designed to preserve the oral history of the island by digitally recording the oldest people on the island, to preserve their memories of life on Nevis during the early parts of the 20th century.

The Biodiversity and Oral History Projects are jointly funded by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO; the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CIDA); the British High Commission (Barbados); and The Strabon Project (French Embassy, Saint Lucia).

One of the unique aspects of these two projects is that local high school students perform most of the work. During the process they learn technical and scientific skills from NHCS staff and other experts in a wide variety of disciplines, including but not limited to, archaeology, marine and terrestrial biology, botany, GPS/GIS mapping and surveying techniques, still and video photography, website design and maintenance, video editing and production, and desktop publishing.

NHCS publications

The society puts out a quarterly newsletter, "The Gathering", which details its current and ongoing projects.

In 2000, the society published a 69-page book entitled The Natural History of the Island of Nevis. [2]

In 1989, the NHCS published a 56-page booklet The Birds of Nevis written by Paul Hilder. The list of species included in that publication has now been considerably expanded and updated, see the relevant NHCS website pages: [3], and the PDF list at [4].

See also


  • Robinson, David, & Jennifer Lowery (Editors), 2000. The natural history of the island of Nevis. Nevis Historical and Conservation Society Press, Ithaca, New York
  • Paul Hilder, 1989, introduction by Bruce Horwith and Kevel Lindsay. The birds of Nevis, Nevis Historical and Conservation Society, ASIN: B0007BR014

External links

  • NHCS website: [5]
  • The NHCS biodiversity project website: [6]
  • The NHCS Nevis Oral History & Verbal Patrimony Project website: [7]
  • The Nevis Strabon Project: [8]
  • The St. Kitts & Nevis Observer, NHCS Holds GPS/GIS Training: [9]
  • The Leeward Times, NHCS Opens New Resource Centre: [10]
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