This letter from Jim Lynch was recently posted on BFP’s January 18, 2007 article Old Barbados Newspapers Are A Treasure Of History. Some of our readers had previously criticised Mr. Lynch for what they perceived as over-pricing his products. We have to strongly disagree with those readers and wholeheartedly side with Mr. Lynch in his one man mission to preserve Barbados history before it is forever gone.
Sometimes I think that Bajans as a people believe that everything creates itself and they deserve it all for free. When I think of the hundreds or even thousands of hours that Mr. Lynch has spent preserving our history, I have to admire his vision and dedication to his chosen cause.
Contrast his efforts with the despicable people at the Barbados Advocate who hide even their recent archives for political reasons so they and the elites can rewrite history as they choose.
Mr. Lynch is a true hero of Barbados.
Marcus & the BFP crew
Bajan In Canada Offers Re-Prints Of Old Barbados Newspapers & Books
I am Jim Lynch, the re-publisher of these Old Barbados Newspapers books, now resident in Toronto.
I am a Bajan who started doing his own family’s research in 1996 when I was forced into medical retirement from flying for LIAT (based in Antigua), came to Canada to live, and discovered that these old books and newspapers were in danger of disappearing due to natural disasters, man-made disasters (lack of interest, dumping) and destruction by insects.
So I invested a considerable sum in finding copies of these items and spent a long three years researching locations and persuading certain institutions to let me have copies. Some made sure I paid dearly for them – one place charged me nearly US$3 per side to photocopy, and then whacked me another enormous sum for shipping…
“Without my intervention, in one generation’s time these books would no longer be available, and all the information in them would be gone.”
The rest refused to even consider copying their precious books because they might self-destruct under the light. But I know that in 25 years they will have handfuls of dust – and no information – and certain other institutions will be able to boast of having an almost brand new set, available to the public… those who treated me fairly were shipped complete sets of whatever they sold me, also free of charge.
The books are also made to last another 200 to 300 years, great care taken to compose them of quality buckram binding, double-thickness paper with the grain in the correct direction so the pages do not crack in 200 years when the papoer has dried out, carefully bound by an old-world craftsman, and so on.
Other books made in the same quality fashion are Vere Langford Oliver’s “Caribbeana” and “History of Antigua”.
Yes, the prices are high, but my costs were – and still are – high. I invested what little I had left in ensuing that future generations will still have access to these documents long after the corrupt politicians and disinterested populations have gone to their just rewards, and it is only fair that I see a small profit after years of no return.
As to copyright, the period of coverage is 100 years. I went as far as to acquire the death certificate of Vere Langford Oliver so as to be completely sure that what I as doing would survive for the greater good.
I did contact the Oliver family and offered them a set of each free of charge, but all I received was snubs. Later there was a public comment that they deserved some royalty, but I made the effort and am within my rights to decline further contact. Continue reading