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Lesser Antilles (The Beinecke Collection)


The Beinecke Collection is the pièce de résistance of the Hamilton College Library collections. It is the preeminent collection of materials on the Lesser Antilles, largely from the 16th-19th centuries. The collection includes hundreds of rare original documents, fifty maps, plantation reports, correspondence, and oil paintings and watercolors.


The Library's collection is complimented by the Wellin Museum's holdings of prints, drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. See Wellin's Beinecke Collection of the Lesser Antilles.


This collection was originally developed by Walter Beinecke, Jr., and donated to the Hamilton College Library. The Library has added to the collection in recent years when possible.

Digitized materials

  • The "Ten views in the island of Antigua" is 10 colorful drawings of the Island published in 1823.
  • The "Gordon Estates" is a first-hand account of life on plantations on the islands of St. Kitts, Antigua, and Saint Vincent.
  • There are over 20,000 pages of manuscript materials in this collection being digitized as of August 2013. They will be posted here as digitization is completed.

Finding Aid

There is a printed catalog of the Beinecke Collection (Hough, Samuel J. The Beinecke Lesser Antilles Collection at Hamilton College: A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts, Prints, Maps, and Drawings, 1521-1860. Gainesville, University Press of Florida, 1994), 0813012929 (Hamilton call number, F2001 .H68 1994)

Online Finding aid: Full Text of The Beinecke Lesser Antilles Collection at Hamilton College (available online).


Christian Goodwillie, Director and Curator of Special Collections and Archives
Telephone: (315) 859-4447


Special Collections
Burke Library
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

(Reviewed: march 28, 2018)



Manuscript Collection
Wellin's Beinecke
Lesser Antilles