A Historical Perspective
From a very early age, Mr. Maduro has been a fervent collector of documents, books, manuscripts, archivalia and periodicals relating to Curaçao and the Dutch West Indies.
These ranged from publications of major historical significance (such as paper clippings and photos of Lindbergh’s visit to Curaçao) to the mundane (calendars and invitation cards, menus and other day-to-day items which provide insight into everyday life). The collection is carefully complimented with postcards, phonograph records, stamps, bank notes and coins. Naturally, documentation on the history of the Jewish community in Curaçao also forms a major section of the library.
Some unique publications included in this collection are a comprehensive, chronical description of the Urbina invasion of 1929. The Jewish roots of the local community are firmly captured in the pristine “Memorias Senior” (c.a. 1750) and “Memorias Curiel” (c.a. 1730). Finally one of the earliest documents “exposing” the indigenous “Papiamentu” language can be found in the form of “Ill dialetto Curassese” by Teza (1863).
The Ena Dankmeijer-Maduro Pavilion is named after Mongui’s daughter, Ena, President of the Board of Directors. This state-of-the-art, innovative library was designed by Lyongo Juliana and Cees den Heyer. These architects used modern architecture to integrate the new building with the old plantation house, taking “green and nature” into account.
The library has been inaugurated on April 7, 2010 (in memory of the birthday of Mr. Mongui Maduro). It allows the public to share its extensive collection of Antilliana and Judaica which dates back to the 17th century as a reference collection.
The rooms are climate-controlled for the conservation of the library’s valuable books and unique documents.
Part of the collection can already be digitally consulted.