March 19, 2004 If you're interested in Virgin Islands history or are exploring your family's roots, the U.S. Virgin Islands-Denmark Bilateral Archival Commission wants to help.
Next week in St. John and St. Thomas, the commission plans to tell you about its numerous resources and how to use them at forums entitled "Virgin Islands Land Records, 1671-1917."
The forums will be held Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Legislature building in St. John and Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Government House in St. Thomas.
"There's been a demand for the community to access land records," said Myron Jackson, director of the State Historic Preservation Office in the Planning and Natural Resources Department.
He said the locations of many Danish records are included in "A Finder's Aid from Denmark 2002."
"This is a very big accomplishment," Jackson said.
This book has the titles in English, although the records may be in Danish.
The Bilateral Archival Commission was formed in 1999 when Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and the Danish minister of culture reached an agreement to share historical records. Many of the territory's historical records were sent to Denmark after the 1917 transfer.
Jackson said the historians David Knight, Sven Holsoe and George Tyson will speak at the meetings.
Additionally, commission members Poul Olsen and Erik Goebel, both from Denmark, will attend. Jackson also expects Peter Norack, director of the Danish archives, to be at the meeting.
Staff from the Recorder of Deeds and Cadastral office is also scheduled to attend.
The forums are part of the annual U.S. Virgin Islands-Denmark Friendship Month. The month concludes with an observance in honor of the March 31, 1917, transfer of the Virgin Island from Denmark to the United States.
For more information, call 776-8605 or 773-1082.
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