Brief introduction to the history of the colony and new perspectives generated by digitizing the records

The purpose of the Danish National Archives’ digitization project is to allow the largest possible audience to get access to the original records. A number of individuals give their different perspectives on what it means that the records have been digitized.

With support from the Danish Ministry of Culture the Danish National Archives has made a series of short films, which introduces the history of the Danish West Indies and presents a number of individuals with different perspectives on what it means that the records have been digitized.

Watch the trailer:

The Danish West Indies has a long and a chequered past. Erik Goebel, senior researcher and archivist at the Danish National Archives, gives a short introduction to the history of the colony.

The artist Jeanette Ehlers utilizes the history of the colony in her work. Here she talks about the strong impression she had when she read the original regulation concerning the punishment of enslaved workers.

Many volunteers help transcribe the records from the Danish colonial era. One of them is Jens Willumsen. When he signed up as a volunteer he felt that he got closer to history. He hopes that the records will grant a similar experience to others.

Vibeke Tuxen’s great-grandparents lived in the Danish West Indies. When she found a diary from her great-grandfather she became interested in genealogy and started researching her family history in the records from the three islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John held at the Danish National Archives. This is why Vibeke Tuxen today feels that she knows her great-grandfather.

Find the entire playlist here.