The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has described as “historic” today’s signing of the Deed of Gift under which the Coverley Collection has been turned over to the National Library of Jamaica, an agency of the Ministry.
The Coverley Collection includes a wide range of items from both Miss Lou and her husband Eric Coverley, who was a calligrapher and draughtsman. With the signing, the National Library of Jamaica has become the official repository of the Collection.
“This is a proud moment for me as Minister as we are just two days away from the 99th Anniversary of the birth of Miss Lou and from the unveiling of the statue in her honour at Gordon Town, the place where she grew up. And here we are signing this Deed of Gift,” Miss Grange said.
The Minister said that “the Collection is organised into ten main series including correspondences, legal and financial documents, writings and performance, published and printed material, personal and professional documents, academic papers, artefacts, photographic and audio-visual material, Eric Coverley papers and books and periodicals.”
Minister Grange thanked the Louise Bennett Coverley Estate for sharing the works of Jamaica’s cultural icon and expressed confidence that the Collection will be “secured, protected and preserved by the National Library of Jamaica and be made available to all who might wish to conduct research and for other purposes.”
She said also that the Miss Lou archives is housed in a Special Collections at the National Library of Jamaica and that “the intellectual property rights to the works of the Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley rest with her estate and in part the NLJ. Permission to copy, distribute, perform, broadcast, make adaptations or in any way utilise her works must be made with her estate through the National Library of Jamaica.”