See the Blogs section for details of excellent online journals about St Helena. More links will be added to this list in time.
St Helena Community website
This is an evolving website that aims to become a hub for bringing together people, organisations and websites with an interest in St Helena. It’s run by a UK-based Saint. One to watch.
St Helena Government news
See the latest press releases and sign up for email alerts (not all SHG stories will appear on St Helena Online).
Friends of St Helena
The Friends have a vast wealth of island-related material on their site, although some of the most interesting content is only available to members. At present the site is looking for a new webmaster, so it is not as active as it has been. Offers of help will be welcome!
St Helena Government
This is the place to go for statistics, laws and official reports. SHG is adapting to the idea of open government, so there’s a growing range of documents here, though few date back before 2010. An exception is the 2008 Census report. One document that’s not as boring as it sounds: the 2012 draft Sustainable Development Plan. It’s unusually candid about some of the social problems on the island, and the scale of the challenge it faces if it is to lay the foundations for any sort of economy by the time the first air passengers arrive. The Statement of Activities reports for the health service also reveal a breathtaking range of work – and the breathtaking scale of the diabetes problem on the St Helena.
St Helena National Trust
This is probably the best place for an informed introduction to all the things that make St Helena special: its extraordinary built heritage, its endemic plants and invertebrates, the unique wirebird, and even, to some extent, its culture. The National Trust has substantial funding from the Darwin Initiative to enhance local biodiversity. It also works with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to maintain the vulnerable wirebird population, and is the driving force behind the Millennium Forest – planting an entire woodland of another endemic species. The website has great photographs, too. Membership is inexpensive, and a good way for visitors to contribute something to the island.
St Helena Development Agency
They’ve had a long wait for an airport to give St Helena at least the prospect of establishing some sort of economy, but now it’s under construction, the SHDA may come into its own. It’s a good place to start for anyone considering doing business in St Helena, but it is also has material setting out the way the island might develop in the future. There’s a detailed document, for instance, on how to deal with the whole of the historic waterfront between Bank’s Battery and Lemon Valley, including James Bay. It also lists a useful set of contacts. You can sign up for email alerts from them.
Miles Apart mail order bookshop
Ian Mathieson has assembled a very extensive array of new and secondhand books, maps, charts, articles, DVDs and postcards, which he sells by mail order from his home in Lincolnshire, UK. Some items cost just a few pounds; if you’ve got £650 to spare, you can be the happy owner of Tracts Relative to the Island of St Helena Written During a Residence of Five Years, dated 1816. Ian usually has a stand at Reading sports day – a big event in the expat Saints’ calendar – and at the annual meetings of the Friends of St Helena and the Tristan da Cunha Association. He also exhibits at the Travel Bookfair in London in April, Cambridge bookfair in February, and elsewhere. His latest catalogue will be found on the website.
The Saint Helena Virtual Library and Archive
Barry Weaver’s extensive site provides electronic versions of literature related to St. Helena and also maps and views – especially older, more scarce material (books published prior to 1900; maps and views published prior to 1800).
Wirebird is the journal of the Friends of St Helena (it also publishes an annual newsletter). The magazine’s content is a mix of the scholarly and the anecdotal – it often features tales by recent visitors to the island. History is a strong theme, but there is no aspect of St Helena that is excluded. A full list of articles can be found on the Friends’ website, though the pieces themselves can only be read online by members. A few examples: Jonathan of Saint Helena (a description of St Helena’s ancient tortoise); The liberation of slaves in St Helena; Fernao Lopes – St Helena’s first settler; and Where have all the beaches gone (why the island’s marine sand is located over 1,500 feet above sea level).
The St Helena Institute
Alexander Schulenberg’s St Helena Institute was founded in the UK in 1997. It provides bibliographies for academic research, especially on history, as well as resources for people researching St Helena island history. However, it does not provide much in the way of general-interest reading – that’s not what it’s for.
Defra web page for St Helena (UK government)