Managing schema evolution is a problem every persistent system has to cope with to be useful in practice. Schema evolution consists basically of supporting class modification and dealing with data objects created and stored under the old class definitions. Several proposals have been made to handle this problem in systems that follow a full orthogonally persistent approach, but, until now, there has not been any proposal to support it in container-based persistent systems. In this paper we describe a schema evolution management system designed for Barbados. Barbados is a complete programming environment which is based on an architecture of containers to provide persistent storage. Barbados does not provide full orthogonal persistence, but, as will be described in this paper, its architecture has several other advantages. Among them is the fact that this model is especially suitable for solving the schema evolution problem. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.