Thursday, January 24, 2019

Special Book Donation Offers Unique View of History

Color, culture, picturesque beauty and history set the tone for the University of the Virgin Islands as the 2018-19 Holiday season saw the University receiving a special book donation, “Postales, Salvadoreañas del Ayer.”

"Postales, Salvadoreans del Ayer"

Written by Stephen Grant, “Postales, Salvadoreañas del Ayer,” Spanish for “Postcards of El Salvador 1900-1950,” is a postcard and photo book of El Salvador. While this is not the first time the University has received a book donation, this book is different because of its unique design, and what it encapsulates.

The book breathes new life into over 200 Salvadoran picture postcards of the 1900’s, adding color and illuminating commentary. The rich cultural heritage of El Salvador is unearthed as each page delves deeply into the everyday life of the city.

Grant gives readers a clearly painted insight through the display of public buildings; streets and squares in the capital; ports and markets; hotels, lakes and groups of Indians. The book also pays tribute to the men responsible for the photography, production, and distribution of postcards.

Postcard used in Postales, Salvadoreans del Ayer

 Postales, Salvadoreañas del Ayer” is the brainchild of internationally acclaimed author, Stephen Grant. Grant is a passionate deltiologist (postcard collector) who has written about old picture postcards in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. His work not only provides readers with a panoramic view of scenery, monuments and buildings, his handsome book constitutes a rare and exquisite patrimony of invaluable richness from historical, anecdotal, and cultural perspectives.

Left - Right: President Hall and book author, Stehphen Grant 

Grant is the author of several other books; one on the Folgers, a couple who followed the works of Shakespeare and established a theatre and library of Shakespeare's works in Washington, District of Columbia.

Over the Holiday break, UVI President David Hall hosted visitors, Bill and Debbie DeLone. These longtime friends and family of the UVI community, facilitated this special book donation.

Left -Right: Bill DeLone and Debbie DeLone

Accompanying the DeLones’ and the author, Stephen Grant was Henry Wheatley, a native Virgin Islander. Grant was supervised by Henry during the time he served in the Peace Corp and wanted to dedicate the book and gift to Henry’s wife, Artrelle Wheatley.

Left - Right: President Hall, Stephen Grant and Henry Wheatley

Mrs. Wheatley, at one time, worked at UVI in Access and Enrollment Services. Hence, the symbolic meaning behind Grant gifting the book to the University – an institution that holds significant value to the Wheatley’s. A special inscription in the University’s copy recognizes her.
Inscription dedicated to Artrelle Wheatley (wife of Henry Wheatley)

The book will be officially handed over to the Ralph Paiewonsky Library by President David Hall.

“I hope this book will inspire our students because of the cultural creativity they find within these pages. The culture of the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean can also be majestically and creatively captured and unveiled for future generations.”  Dr. Hall said.

President Hall upon receipt of  "Postales, Salvadoreans del Ayer"

Prior to the DeLone’s relocation from the Virgin Islands to Washington, D. C., Bill DeLone was a professor of Computer Science at UVI. He was also very instrumental in the establishment of the RT Park, where he later served as a Board member.  His wife, Debbie is a native Virgin Islander who has held positions in both the public and private sectors in the Virgin Islands.

Debbie DeLone has collected a series of postcards from the Virgin Islands and is interested in providing them to the University if there is a student or faculty member who is interested in developing a similar book project with guidance and advice from Stephen Grant. President Hall is exploring the possibility of creating such a project at UVI.

Left - Right: Dr. Marilyn Brathwaite Hall (wife of President Hall), President Hall, Stephen Grant, Debbie DeLone, Bill DeLone and Henry Wheatley

Postales, Salvadoreañas del Ayer” was conceptualized, researched, developed, designed and printed in El Salvador. The book which is written in both English and Spanish, is available for purchase on