In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, this exhibit showcases one object from every national park museum collection in the Virgin Islands. We invite you to explore museum collections from Christiansted National Historic Site and Buck Island Reef National Monument.
Buck Island Reef National Monument supports a diverse marine ecosystem. One of the most interesting natural collections from the island consists of 254 species of fish collected in 2001 Cryptic Fishes Inventory conducted by USGS (Phase I) and NOVA SE University (Phase II) in 2005. Fishes are currently curated at Florida Museum of Natural History, Division of Ichthyology under a 25-year loan agreement. The collection, consisting of over 3,500 lots containing over 18,000 specimens of tropical coral reef fishes, focuses on cryptic species.
Buck Island Reef National Monument, BUIS 2491
Enslaved Africans on St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix developed Dutch Creole, a language combining Dutch and African influences. The Dutch language influence is from interaction with Dutch planters on the islands and contact with Dutch slave traders on the West African coast prior to departure to the New World. Missionaries in the Danish West Indies reinforced Dutch Creole as the language of the enslaved by publishing a bible and hymnals in this language. Christiansted National Historic Site preserves and protects Danish colonial history from the mid-1700s through the 1800s; the majority of structures at the historic site were built by enslaved Africans, some of whom used a bible like this one.
Christiansted National Historic Site, CHRI 4144
Park museum staff from: Christiansted National Historic Site and Buck Island Reef National Monument.
National Park Service, Museum Management Program Staff: Amber Dumler, Stephen Damm, Ron Wilson, and Joan Bacharach.