Collection C025 - Alfie Roberts and Patricia Cambridge collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Alfie Roberts and Patricia Cambridge collection

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Object
  • Cartographic material
  • Sound recording

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1916 ; 1934-2010 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 24 m of textual records
1008 photographs
89 moving images
35 posters
13 drawings
12 objects
11 sound recordings
6 floppy discs
6 maps
4 optical discs

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Alphonso (Alfie) Theodore Roberts was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on September 18, 1937. He attended St. George’s Anglican School and St. Vincent Boy’s Grammar School. Roberts was awarded a scholarship to study at Queen’s Royal College in Trinidad and Tobago where he was selected to play cricket internationally for the West Indies cricket team. He later stopped playing cricket as his interests in politics and education grew over sports. He worked as a civil servant in St. Lucia between the years 1958 and 1962 and moved to Canada at the age of 23 to study at Sir George Williams University in Montreal (Quebec), where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Sciences. He later obtained a graduate diploma in Public Administration from Carleton University.

Roberts was involved in several community organizations in Montreal. Significantly, he was a founding member of the St. Vincent and Grenadines Association of Montreal. He also helped establish the International Caribbean Service Bureau and was a member of the Emancipation 150 Committee, which organized the Emancipation 150 Conference. After working for 20 years at the administration department of SIDBEC, a steelworks company in Montreal, Roberts decided to return to his studies and registered at Dawson College as a full-time mature student in the Political Science program.

Roberts was a political activist. Along with contemporaries like Franklyn Harvey and Rosie Douglas, Roberts organized conferences and events that supported several major political movements in the Caribbean. These events also brought renowned Caribbean thinkers and writers - including C.L.R. James and George Lamming - to Montreal.

During the independence of St. Vincent 1979, Roberts submitted a proposal to the government highlighting the importance of adding the smaller islands to the country’s name. His proposal was accepted by the government, renaming the country St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Alfie Roberts was Married to Patricia Cambridge with whom he had a daughter and two sons. He died in Montreal on July 24, 1996.

Name of creator

(1939 - [1998 ?])

Biographical history

Patricia Cambridge was born on November 18, 1939, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She migrated to Canada in the 60s and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Concordia University and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from McGill. Cambridge was involved in several community organizations and for several years she was the coordinator of the St. Vincent and Grenadines Association of Montreal’s annual Pageant and Dance. She was also involved with Project Genesis, a community organization that assists individuals affected by social inequalities. Cambridge worked as an Urban Planner for the Quebec Human Rights Commission, the City of Châteauguay, and the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She also worked as a freelance for the Afro-Canada Citizens Enhancement Society and the Black Community Council of Quebec.

Patricia Cambridge and Alfie Roberts had a daughter and two sons.

Custodial history

Materials were previously in the collection of the Alfie Robert's Institute in Montreal. The first accession was donated to the Library’s Special Collection on March 28, 2019.

Scope and content

The collection documents the life, work, and interests of Alfie Roberts and Patricia Cambridge. It includes documentation about their post-secondary studies, their work experience in different companies and organizations, their contribution to the black community and their affiliation with various community organizations such as the St. Vincent and Grenadines Association of Montreal, the Emancipation 150 Committee, the Black Community Council of Quebec and the Project Genesis. The collection provides information about several Black community organizations in Montreal, the rest of Canada and North America, including promotional material of events, which provide an overview of the cultural activities held between the 60s and 90s. In addition, the collection contains numerous publications such as periodicals, booklets and books that were part of Roberts and Cambridge’s personal library and the Alfie Roberts Institute. Some of the periodicals found in the collection include issues of The Vincentian, Afro-Can, Gramma, Uhuru, Caribbean Contact, The Afro Canadian, The Militant, The Struggle, Outlet, Focus Umoja, Justice, Freedom, The Crusader, Nam Speaks, Speak Out, Day Clean, Forum, and New Beginning, among others publications. The collection covers topics that are related but not limited to Black history, imperialism, slavery, racism, liberation, colonialism, Marxism, communism, socialism, housing and segregation, urban planning, labour, history of Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Alfie Roberts and Patricia Cambridge Collection is divided into four series:
C025/A Personal Records
C025/B Community relations
C025/C Library and Research Documentation
C025/D Biographies

The collection contains correspondence, handwritten notes, assignments, essays written by Alfie Roberts and Patricia Cambridge, reference and research documentation, books, periodicals, newspaper clippings, booklets, speech transcripts, flyers, drawings, conference documents, posters, objects, pamphlets, brochures, leaflets, newsletters, bulletins, meeting minutes, agendas, photographs, maps, sound recordings, and objects.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first deposit was donated to the Library’s Special Collection on March 28, 2019. The second deposit was donated to the library on September 25, 2019. The last deposit was donated on December 18, 2020.


Materials have been arranged by the archivist. Objects and oversized materials are stored separately.

Language of material

  • Creole or Pidgin
  • English
  • French
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swahili

Script of material

    Language and script note

    Textual records are in English, French, some are in Spanish, Creole and Swahili.

    Location of originals

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    Restrictions on access

    Access to some documents is restricted.

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    Reproduction for research or private study may be permitted.
    Use of material in publications cannot be done without the permission of the copyright holder(s).

    Finding aids

    Finding-aid and box listings are available.

    Associated materials


    No further accruals are expected.


    Copyright belongs to the creator(s).


    Documents were placed in acid-free file folders and archival quality boxes. Oversized materials were flattened and placed in large-size archival folders. Photographs are in Mylar enclosures, and objects were rehoused and placed in separate archival-quality boxes.

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