The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 53, Issue 1

Article 6
First Day Covers: A Visual Archive of Caribbean History and Heritage

Allison O. Ramsay


A first day cover refers to a postage stamp on a stamped envelope or postal card franked on the first day the issue is authorized for use within a particular country. This article examines official first day covers produced by various postal services in the Anglophone Caribbean during the mid-twentieth to twenty-first centuries. The first day covers from places such as Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago commemorate several key events regionally and internationally. The article examines how the material culture of the post can provide a visual archive and narratives of the past, pertaining to the history, natural and cultural heritage of the British West Indies.