150 years of the Public Health Act 1867

150 years of the Public Health Scotland Act 1867

Public Health Scotland Act 1867

Public Health Scotland Act 1867

To commemorate 150 years since the Public Health Scotland Act of 1867, the Tasglann has been busy researching what this meant for the Western Isles. To coincide with the First Minister’s visit to officially open the Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean, we have put together a small exhibition in the archive.

The Public Health Scotland Act meant a lot of changes for the islanders that included making conditions better and reducing the impact of infectious diseases as well as building hospitals, new housing and bringing in doctors and district nurses. All of this meant big changes.

Regulation stipulating the cleaning of school slates for hygiene purposes.

Regulation stipulating the cleaning of school slates for hygiene purposes.

Some of the highlights of our collection include a Cleansing register that schools used to register the cleaning regimes within the school to help reduce the spread of infections and diseases. In the instructions it mentions how the slates that children used needed to be cleaned daily due to sharing of slates and children licking slates. We have a slate and some chalk on display along with the cleansing register that came from Tighgarry School in North Uist.

During our research we also found some interesting letters sent by Stornoway’s Cleansing committee to the Sanitary Inspector. Reading about the conditions and what was done at the time to improve the situation was fascinating but also very sad. Schools closed due to outbreaks of diseases like typhoid, scarlet fever and tuberculosis.

Detail of Lewis District Committee Council Minute book stating 3335 houses defective

Detail of Lewis District Committee Council Minute book stating 3335 houses defective

In one minute book, the conditions of the island was described as being so bad that 3335 houses in Lewis alone were inhabitable. It was because of this that the Board of Agriculture decided to provide grants for new housing to be built in the 1920’s.

I think it is fair to say that the Public Health Scotland Act of 1867, did a lot to help improve the conditions of the Western Isles. It may have been a long process but it has helped shape the islands to what they are today.

If you are passing Tasglann nan Eilean anytime soon, pop in and take a look at the display. We hope you enjoy finding out more about Public Health.

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Na Comainn Eachdraidh / The Local Historical Societies

Beurla gu h-iosal / English is below

Seachdain eile seachad agus cha mhòr deireadh a’ mhìos cuideachd! Doirbh a chreidsinn gu bheil an darna leth dhen bhliadhna agam aig an Tasglann air a dhol seachad mu thràth ach tha gu leòr agam ri dhèanamh ron Lùnastal.

Mar phàirt den seirbheis a tha an tasglann a’ toirt seachad, bi sinn gu math tric a’ tadhal air buidhnean ionadail, na Comainn Eachdraidh, airson comhairle, taic agus fiosrachadh a thoirt seachad. An t-seachdainsa, chaidh mi fhèin is Seonaid sìos dhan na Hearadh, dhan t-Ob airson coinneachadh ris an Comann Eachdraidh is ùra anns na h-Eileanan an Iar. Tha seo a’ leantail air a’ chuspair air an robh mi a’ bruidhinn air an t-seachdain sa chaidh – Fo-ruigheachd neo Outreach.

Tha dùil aig Comann Eachdraidh Cheann a Deas na Hearadh taigh-tasgaidh fhosgladh ann am pàirt den t-seann sgoil an t-Ob. Tha e cudromach coinneachadh le buidhnean mar seo agus taic a thoirt dhaibh, ‘se an aon amas a th’againn air fad, eachdraidh na h-Eileanan a’ ghlèidheadh airson ginealaichean eile.

A bharrachd air a’ bruidhinn air na planaichean aca agus na h-amasan aca, bha gu leòr sgeulachdan aca ri innse mu Ceann a Deas na Hearadh, rud a gheibh sibh cothrom barrachd fhaighinn a-mach mu dheidhinn nuair a tha iad air stuth a’ steidheachadh. Agus bi tasglann coimhearsnachd aca fhèin airson dealbhan agus gnothaichean dhen t-seòrsa sin ann.

Agus ‘se seo an rud a tha mise a’ faicinn a tha cudromach mu dheidhinn na Comainn Eachdraidh anns gach sgìre, gu h-àraidh na bailtean beaga, tha eachraidh iongantach aca ri innse. Mu bha sgoil, eaglais neo togalach mòr eile san sgìre, bi sgeulachdan a’ leantainn na àiteachan sin a tha ag innse tòrr mun choimhearsnachd agus cuideachd ag innse gu leòr mun choimhearsnachd an latha an-diugh.

Abair latha a bh’ againn airson tadhal air na Hearadh, ged a bha gaoth is uisge ann, tha daonnan sealladh àlainn a’ choireigin ann. Tha e doirbh uaireannan siubhail eadar a h-uile eilean is baile a th’anns an h-Eileanan an Iar ach ni sinn oidhirp sin a dhèanamh mu thèid fiathachadh a thoirt dhuinn.

Tha mi an dòchas gun tèid gu math leis an Comann Eachdraidh ùr agus nach bi fad ann gu faigh mi sùil a thoirt air na aca san tasglann!

Abair latha anns na Hearadh air obair. Great day to be in Harris for work!

Abair latha anns na Hearadh airson obair. Great day to be in Harris for work!

Harris 2

 

The Local Historical Societies

The end of another week and almost the end of another month. It’s hard to believe I am half way through my year with the Tasglann already but I have a lot to do before August!

As part of the service the Tasglann provides, we often visit local groups, in particular the Comainn Eachdraidh or historical societies to help support them by providing advice and information. This week myself and Seonaid went to visit the newest historical society in the Western Isles. This follows on from my theme last week about Outreach. The local historical societies are very much part of our Outreach activities to tell them more about archives and the service we provide.

Comann Eachdraidh Cheann a Deas na Hearadh (South Harris Historical Society) hope to create a local museum within the old school. It’s important for us to meet with historical societies and to support them. We have the same aim at the end of the day, conserving the local history for future generations.

As well as finding out about the Comann Eachdraidh’s plans, we were told about the special stories that South Harris has to tell, something you will be able to find out about once they are up and running. They also hope to have a community archive with photos that you will be able to browse through.

And this is why I think the Comainn Eachdraidh are important, each one in each area has a unique history to tell. If there is a church, a school, a port or some other big building within the area, there will be stories in those buildings and more often than not , a history that shaped the community as it is today.

We had such a fantastic day visiting Harris, even though there was wind and rain, the views were still amazing. It might be a challenge at times to travel to different areas of the islands but I always find that the effort is worth it.

I wish Comann Eachdraidh Ceann a Deas na Hearadh well and hope it won’t be long before I get to visit their new premises.

Please note: Comann Eachraidh = (singular) one historical society, Comainn Eachdraidh = (plural) historical societies

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Fo-Ruigheachd / Outreach

Beurla gu h-iosal / English version below

Fo-ruigheachd

Gu leòr air a bhith a’ tachairt on Nollaig chan eil mi fiùs a’ faighinn an cothrom blog a’ sgrìobhadh! Thoiseach mi a’ dèanamh aon module còmhla ri Oilthigh Dhùn Dè air Fo-ruigheachd neo Outreach mar a chanas iad anns a’ chanan eile.

Agus ‘se sin bu motha a tha mi air a bhith ag obair air thar a’ mhìos a chaidh seachad. A’ tadhal air sgoiltean agus ag innse mun Tasglann agus na gnothaichean a tha ann.

A bharrachd air a’ tadhal air na sgoiltean, tha na sgoiltean air a bhith a’ tadhal oirnn cuideachd. Bha sgoil as a’ Rubha againn agus buidheann bho Sgoil Mhic Neacail a’ toirt sùil air an stòr agus a’ coimhead air leabhraichean agus stuth a’ buntainn leis an Iolaire.

Gaelic Careers Day at the Nicolson Institute

Gaelic Careers Day at the Nicolson Institute

An t-seachdain sa chaidh bha La Dreuchdan Gàidhlig aig Sgoil Mhic Neacail agus thug iad dhomh fiathachadh a dhol agus innse dhuibh mu na cothroman a th’ann a thaobh na Gàidhlig. Thug mi leum rudan inntinneach a thaobh an sgoil agus Steòrnabhagh cuideachd airson barrachd innse mun Tasglann.

Chi sibh gu h-ìosal gu robh an sgoil luach £50 ann an 1917.

Stornoway Valuation Roll 1916-1917

Stornoway Valuation Roll 1916-1917

Agus an t-seachdain sa, chaidh sin gu Sgoil Sir E Scott anns an Tairbeart airson beagan innse dhaibh mun Tasglann agus thug mi leum mapaichean agus dealbhan a’ buntainn ri Ceann a Deas agus Ceann na Tuath na Hearadh a bharrachd air leabhar Sgoile bhon sgoil ann an Scarp.

Tha sinn fhathast ag obrachadh a-mach de tha ag obrachadh agus de tha a’ còrdadh ri sgoilearan a’ toirt sùil air ach tha dùil againn tuilleadh a dhèanamh leis na sgoiltean agus ga sgaoileadh gu diofar eileanan.

Ach tha an obair seo air a bhith feumail dhomhsa a thaobh an obair a tha agam ri dhèanamh airson an Oilthigh. Tha mi a’ cur ann an gnìomh an stuth a tha mi ag ionnsachadh, rud a tha mi cinnteach a ni feum dhomhsa agus an Tasglann.

Outreach

So much has been going on since Christmas that I haven’t had the chance to write a blog in a long time. I have started a module with Dundee University on Outreach and Education – an Introduction to Promoting Archives.

And that is pretty much what I have been doing this past month. I have been visiting schools and explaining to them more about archives and some of the material we have here.

As well as visiting schools, the schools have been visiting the archive as well. We had a local primary school from Point visit us and some pupils from the Nicolson Institute who came to see our stores and have a look at some of the archive that we have regarding the Iolaire.

Last week, the Nicolson Institute had a Gaelic Careers Day and I was invited along to explain a bit more about my work, how I use Gaelic and also to explain more about archives and I took a couple of things that included the school with me.

From the Valuation Roll above we can see that the value of the school was £50, 100 years ago.

This week included a visit to Sir E Scott High school in Tarbert, Harris to promote the archives and I showed them a couple of maps and photos related to South and North Harris as well as looking through some of the school log books.

We are working to create some materials for the schools and this is very much a work in progress to see how the pupils enjoy and interact with the archive materials and I hope to expand it to other areas soon.

All these school visits though have been very helpful for me to put theory into practice and I hope that this will not only be useful for me to complete my module but also for the Tasglann.

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Hugging Archives and Christmas

Hugging Archives

This week I wanted to focus on accessioning archives and the processes involved. When a collection has been offered to an archive, a lot of thought, care and attention are required.

Archives need a lot of attention which is why, once a week, I hug the archives. Yes, you did read that right, and it’s not as daft as it sounds!!

Bagged archives, hugged and ready for the archive

Bagged archives, hugged and ready for the archive

 

Before any material enters the archive store, it has to go through quarantine. For us, that means we have to bag the archives into freezer bags, get all the air out and then put them in the freezer which freezes the archives to -40 degrees.

Our quarantine freezer that freezes material up to -40 degrees

Our quarantine freezer that freezes material up to -40 degrees

Now the best way that I’ve found to get all the air out of the bags is to hug them! See, not so daft after all. This is to make sure any beasties don’t have any air to survive should they survive freezing.

Frozen material acclimatising

Frozen material acclimatising

Once the material has been frozen, it is left to acclimatise before being put back into boxes and into our store.

Christmas Display

As well as hugging archives, we have been very busy putting together a small Christmas and New Year display for the festive season until the Old New Year – 12th January.

Thanks to our museum friends we have a few interesting items for our display. The Kenneth MacLeod collection includes a Christmas tobacco tin from 1914, and some other fascinating objects.

The Archive Christmas and New Year Display

The Archive Christmas and New Year Display

Kenneth MacLeod was born on 14 February 1894 in Garenin, Lewis. He was known as ‘Coinneach Fox’. During WW1, he served with the Royal Naval Reserve on HMS Victorian which was an armed merchant cruiser. After being captured, he ended up in an internment camp in Murren, Switzerland due to illness. He later became a minister in the Church of Scotland, Nigg Chapel Hill and retired to Tain.

The collection includes a booklet given to the soldiers by Nestlé and the Anglo Swiss Condensed Milk company for Christmas 1916, exactly 100 years ago. Inside there are scenes of the soldiers who were interred as Prisoners of War in Switzerland.

The Nestlé Booklet given to soldiers at Christmas in 1916

The Nestlé Booklet given to soldiers at Christmas in 1916

A number of postcards are also in the collection. This one shows Kenneth MacLeod sitting on the floor in a seaman’s uniform.

Kenneth MacLeod's Christmas photo postcard from 1916. He is seated in the middle of the front row behind the man lying down.

Kenneth MacLeod’s Christmas photo postcard from 1916. He is seated in the middle of the front row behind the man lying down.

The decorative brass tin was sent by Princess Mary to members of the British, Colonial and Indian Armed Forces for Christmas 1914. The tins were filled with various items including tobacco, confectionery, spices, pencils, a Christmas card and a picture of the Princess.

Kenneth MacLeod's Christmas Tobacco Tin from 1914

Kenneth MacLeod’s Christmas Tobacco Tin from 1914

The idea was the initiative of Princess Mary, the 17 year-old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. Princess Mary organised a public appeal which raised the funds to ensure that ‘every Sailor afloat and every Soldier at the front’ received a Christmas present.

We have also included a picture Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Castlebay, which opened on Christmas Eve 1888.

Our Lady Star of the Sea, Castlebay, Barra was opened on Christmas Eve 1888

Our Lady Star of the Sea, Castlebay, Barra was opened on Christmas Eve 1888

In Barra, Eriskay and South Uist the hymn ‘Taladh Chrìosda’ or ‘Taladh ar Slanair’ (Lullaby to Our Saviour) is traditionally sung at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. I found a video on Youtube that is a similar to the one sung in the islands. Check out the video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaqQ78e9Oag

Traditionally, however, New Year was the more important winter celebration. Festivities often took place on the 12th rather than the 1st of January, based on the old calendar which is why our exhibition will disappear after this date. If you are visiting Lews Castle or museum, pop by and take a look while it is still here.

Shona in her Christmas Jumper and the Archive Christmas and New Year Display

Shona in her Christmas jumper and the Archive Christmas and New Year Display

 

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Tasglann na Gàidhealtachd / Highland Archives

BEURLA GU H-IOSAL / ENGLISH VERSION BELOW

Anns a’ bhlog mu dheireadh agam, bha mi ag innse mun turas agam gu Lunnainn ach mus deach mi gu Lunnainn, fhuair mi cothrom tadhal air Tasglann na Gàidhealtachd airson barrachd fhaighinn a-mach mu na stòran aca.

Tasglann na Gàidhealtachd, the Highland Archives

Tasglann na Gàidhealtachd

Tha 16 ag obair anns an tasglann agus tha obair sònraichte aig gach fear agus tè. Thug Fiona NicLeòid, àrd-tasglannaiche, timcheall an togalach mi, a’ toirt sùil air na seòmraichean rannsachaidh aca, an seòmar-glèidhteachas agus an stòr mhòr aca far a bheil iad a’ cumail an stuth airson a’ mhòr chuid den Ghàidhealtachd. Tha ionadan a bharrachd aca cuideachd ann an Loch Abair, an t-Eilean Sgitheanach agus ann an Gallaibh. Thèid tasglann ùr fhosgladh an ath bhliadhna ge-ta ann an Gallaibh, Ionad Nucleus. Mu tha sibh airson barrachd fhaighinn a-mach mun an t-ionad ùr faic an lionc gu h-ìosal.

https://www.highlifehighland.com/caithness-archive-centre/caithness-archive-centre/uk-nuclear-archive-caithness-archive-centre/

Chòrd a cheilidh rium gu mòr, gu h-àraidh a’ coinneachadh le oileanach a bha ag ionnsachadh obair-gleidhidh a thaobh tasglann. Bha I dìreach air cùrsa a dhèanamh air ciamar a dhèanamh I leabhar, neo ‘book-binding’ agus bha I a’ sealltainn an fheadhainn a thèid am measadh aice fhathast. Cuspair inntinneach agus rud a chòrdadh rium a dhèanamh mi fhèin uaireigin.

Fhad’s a bha mi ann, bha mi a’ cluinntinn ceòl tighinn bho seòmar eile anns an togalach. ‘Se ionad-clàraidh a th’ann cuideachd agus mar sin bi seirbhisean pòsaidh aca ann an seòmar sònraichte. Bha bèibidh beag air tighinn a-staigh airson an clàradh cuideachd.

Agus ann an dòigh, air sailleabh gu bheil Tasglann nan Eilean aig Caisteal Leòdhais bi sinn a’ faicinn gu leòr bainnsean an seo cuideachd!

Là na Gàidhlig

A bharrachd air a seo, bha Là na Gàidhlig ann aig Bun-sgoil Steòrnabhagh an t-seachdain sa chaidh agus chaidh fiathachadh a thoirt dhomh rudeigin a dhèanamh leis a chloinne mu an t-Eilean Mòr neo na Flannan Isles. Thachair rudeigin uabhasach aig an taigh-shòlas ann an 1900 agus chan eil fhios aig duine chun an latha diugh de thachair ach gun deach an triùir a bha ag obair aig an taigh-shòlas, cha robh sealladh sam bith dhuibh. Ged nach eil mòran aig an Tasglann a thaobh na thachair (tha seo aig Tasglann Nàiseanta na h-Alba), rinn sinn beagan rannsachaidh air craobhan teaghlaich agus air sloinneadh.

Pios bhon Leabhar Eachdraidh Croitearan aig Bill Lawson mu Dòmhnall MacArtair

Pios bhon Leabhar Eachdraidh Croitean aig Bill Lawson mu Dòmhnall MacArtair

Fear de na fir a chaidh air chall bhon Taigh-sholais ‘se Dòmhnall MacArtair neo Dòmhnall Calum Sheoc à Breascleit. Thug mi seachad an fiosrachadh mu na croitean agus pìosan a chaidh a’ sgrìobhadh leis an Comainn Eachdraidh Loch Ròg an Ear mun tubaist airson toiseach tòiseachaidh a dhèanamh air an craobh-teaghlaich aig Dòmhnall Calum Sheoc. Tha a chlann ag obair air an còrr agus tha iad a’ dol a thoirt thugam an obair aca ron Nollaig. Tha mi a’ coimhead air adhart ris. Mu tha sibh airson barrachd fhaighinn a-mach mun t-Eilean Mòr faic an làraich lìn gu h-ìosal:

https://www.nlb.org.uk/historical/flannans.htm

THE HIGHLAND ARCHIVES

In my last blog post, I wrote about my trip to London but before I headed there, I got the chance to have a look around the Highland Archive in Inverness.

Tasglann na Gàidhealtachd, the Highland Archives

The Highland Archives

Fiona MacLeod, the senior archivist showed me round the building and introduced me to some of the 16 staff members that work there. We had a look around the reading rooms, family research rooms, the conservation room and the stores that house most of the Highlands archives including some of the Western Isles too. They also have bases in Lochaber, Skye and Caithness with the new Nucleus opening next year. To find out more about the UK Nuclear Archive, check out the link below.

https://www.highlifehighland.com/caithness-archive-centre/caithness-archive-centre/uk-nuclear-archive-caithness-archive-centre/

I really enjoyed my tour of the Highland Archive, especially meeting their student who is training to be an archive conservator. She had just completed a bookbinding course and was showing me her examples that she made which will be going for assessment in the future. It is something I would really like to try myself and learn more about conservation too.

While I was there, I heard music coming from one of the rooms, wedding music! The Highlands Registry Office is located in the same building as the archive. But mind you, we do see our fair share of weddings here at Tasglann Nan Eilean when weddings take place at Lews Castle and plenty babies visit too.

GAELIC DAY

Last week, it was Gaelic Day at Stornoway Primary and I had been asked along to give the children a session in Gaelic based on the Flannan Isles. Although we don’t hold anything on the incident that happened at the Lighthouse in 1900 when 3 men disappeared, I decided to do a session on family trees and patronymics (something that is very prevalent in Gaelic culture even to this day and useful to know when dealing with island family trees).

Extract from Bill Lawson's Croft Histories regarding Donald MacArthur

Extract from Bill Lawson’s Croft Histories regarding Donald MacArthur

We concentrated on Donald MacArthur from Breascleit, one of the men who worked at the lighthouse and went missing. I gave the children some basic information from the croft histories books and some articles kindly provided by the Loch Roag Historical Society. The children will work on the family tree between now and Christmas and will show me their family tree in the New Year. To find out more about the Flannan Isles, I would take a look at the website below:

https://www.nlb.org.uk/historical/flannans.htm

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A week at the National Archives London

Wow what a week it’s been! As part of my internship with the Scottish Council on Archives – Skills for the Future project, I had to take a wee trip to London, but to get there I had to go by car, ferry, bus, plane and a train to get to the National Archives in Kew. The aim of the week was to find out more about archives and to meet up with my fellow trainees and also trainees from the Transforming Archives project in England.

Trainees outside the National Archives

Trainees outside the National Archives

For me it was a totally fascinating week, seeing how larger archives work, the types of archives they have, visiting other archives that cover different subjects and meeting new people. Normally this blog is short but as I did so much it has been very difficult to narrow it down so forgive me for my longer post. Plus I have 100+ photos from my trip so here are just some of the highlights from the week.

The National Theatre Archive

Our first outing was to the National Theatre Archive beside the Old Vic theatre. As someone with an interest in textiles seeing Jocelyn Herbert’s costume designs for Othello from 1964 was so exciting and other interesting objects such as the Everyman mask by Nicky Gillibrand.

Jocelyn Herbert's costume designs for Othello, 1964.

Jocelyn Herbert’s costume designs for Othello, 1964.

The Everyman production mask by Nicky Gillibrand held by Erin, our guide.

The Everyman production mask by Nicky Gillibrand held by Erin, our guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the week there was a discussion on ephemeral objects, something that is created only to exist for a short time and the National Theatre had great examples of ephemeral including their collection of production posters.

Hedda Gabler Poster with Maggie Smith on it

Hedda Gabler Poster with Maggie Smith on it

 

The tour continued on to the audio visual archives store. With VHS now becoming a thing of the past, finding a suitable digital format that wouldn’t go extinct is just another thing archivists need to think about. Coming from a media background and having to source footage, some of which landed on my desk as VHS this is something I’m actually aware of. Finding a working VHS player now is starting become harder, but what’s even harder is transferring VHS to another format. Digital archives are now becoming more common and with more digital-born records (things like floppy disks, hard drives, DVDs etc) coming to archives, it is something archives are now having to deal with.

The National Theatre's VHS collection

The National Theatre’s VHS collection

Police weapons, truncheon, rattle and watch house report log.

Police weapons, truncheon, rattle and watch house report log at the City of London Police Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guildhall Library and the City of London Police Museum

Another day saw us at the Guildhall Library and the City of London Police Museum housed within the library. Some of the exhibits within the Police Museum were slightly on the terrifying side with a display of various weapons confiscated from criminals. But as with all good museums, there is the odd piece of archive to back up the objects such as the watch-house day report book from 1833. It was used to record who was on duty and what happened each day in the Tower division. Having ledgers such as the one in the photo, give you more of a sense of the work that the Policemen had to do and one of the most interesting exhibits is the model used in the trial of a gang at the Old Bailey to show how the accused did their crime.

Picture of the model used in the trial at the Old Bailey

Picture of the model used in the trial at the Old Bailey

Within the Library itself, we were shown one of the oldest books at the Library – The French Chronicles. This was probably one of my favourite photos of the week as it shows how beautiful the illustrations inside the chronicles were. The Library currently has an exhibition regarding the Great Fire of London which happened in 1666 – 350 years ago and the items on displays had the most intricate of drawings inside.

The illustrations within the French Chronicles at the Guildhall Library

The illustrations within the French Chronicles at the Guildhall Library

The National Archives

Our last day saw us getting our hands dirty and taking a look at ‘undiscovered treasure’ at the National Archive itself. The session with Ada Mascio, Paul Drysburgh and Marianne Wilson had our jaws drop a few times with the documents that they showed us. Ada showed us 14th Century legal documents, tiny strips of paper of court correspondence which had symbols on it to determine the area covered. 5000 of these are still to be unravelled!

Session with Marianne Wilson on early Modern church records.

Session with Marianne Wilson on early Modern church records.

14th Century legal documents - complete with filth!

14th Century legal documents – complete with filth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day finished with a tour of the National Archives stores where the real treasures are kept. Everything from ledgers, registers, business archives, maps and other legal documents. Compared to our Tasglann here, the contrast is vast with lifts and conveyor belts to send the books from one end of the building to the reading rooms, the use of trikes to transport boxes and deliver them to other areas and the amount of security needed for such special collections but required so you can access them needs to be seen to be believed. I truly recommend a visit if you get the chance, it was a fabulous week.

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Uibhist Tìr Mo Ghràidh / Home Sweet Home

Uibhist Tìr Mo Ghràidh

Uibhist a Deas South Uist on a lovely evening

Uibhist a Deas
South Uist on a lovely evening

Beurla gu h-ìosal / English below

An t-seachdainsa, fhuair mi an cothrom a dhol dhachaigh airson latha neo dha a thaobh obair. Chaidh mi fhèin is Seonaid, an Tasglannaiche agus am manaidsear agam, shìos a dh’ Uibhist, aon de na h-Eileanan a tha fo na Seirbhisean Dualchais aig an Taigh-tasgaidh agus Tasglann nan Eilean.

Choinnich sinn ris an luchd-obrach aig an Taigh-tasgaidh aig Lionacleit, an tha am broinn an t-seann àrd-sgoil agam gus an tasglann agus an taigh-tasgaidh a th’aca an sin fhaicinn. ‘S ann mu dheidhinn dualchas nàdar a tha an taisbeanaidh a th’aca an dràsta agus tha dha neo tri bheathaichean ri fhaicinn. Chi sibh dealbhan gu h-ìosal.

Fhad’s a bha mi shìos, fhuair mi cothrom a dhol tro na leabhraichean sgoile – Log Books a bhiodh na ceannardan a’ lìonadh a-staigh mu na sgoiltean aca. Thug mi sùil air an leabhar airson a’ chiad sgoil agam, bun-sgoil Gearraidh na Mòine. Bha mi ann an clas 1 nuair a dhùin iad an sgoil ann an 1987 agus leig iad i an uairsin. Tha mi cho toilichte gu bheil na leabhraichean seo ann airson sgeulachd na sgoile innse oir chan eil an togalach fhèin ann a-nis idir. Agus ‘se sin aon de na h-adhbharan cudromach a th’ann airson tasglann a bhith ann agus carson a tha leabhraichean mar seo cho inntinneach. Nuair nach eil fianais sam bith eile ann, tha clàran againn a tha ag innse eachraidh sònraichte tro sùilean aig cuideigin eile.

Home Sweet Home

This week I had the chance to head home for a couple of days through work. Myself and Seonaid, the archivist and my line manager, headed to South Uist, one of the islands covered by the Museum and Tasglann Heritage Services.

One of our reasons to head to Uist was to meet the museum staff at Lionacleit, my old high school and to see archives relating to South Uist that are held there and the museum. The exhibition at Lionacleit at the moment covers some Natural history and includes is a collection of stuffed birds and animals.

During my trip I got to look through some log books held there and I decided to have a look at the log book for my very first school which was Garrymonie school. I was one of the last pupils to attend the school before it was closed 1987 and then later knocked down. I’m so pleased to see that these log books exist and a great source that tells the story about the school. It brought back many memories. And that is just one of the many reasons that archives are so important and special, even if the physical existing of a building no longer exists, that archives such as log books can give a great insight to history through someone else’s eyes.

Leabhar-clàraidh aig Gearraidh na Mòine Garrymonie Log book

Leabhar-clàraidh aig Gearraidh na Mòine
Garrymonie Log book

Draoin air a thaisbeanadh aig Lionacleit A corncrake exhibited at Lionacleit

Draoin air a thaisbeanadh aig Lionacleit
A corncrake exhibited at Lionacleit

 

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Seachdain a’ Mhòid / Royal National Mod Week

Cruinneachadh aig Aonghas L. MacDhòmhnaill

Cruinneachadh aig Aonghas L. MacDhòmhnaill

Beurla gu h-iosal / English text below

Abair seachdain trang a tha gu bhith againn an t-seachdainsa agus am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail air ais anns na h-Eileanan an Iar. Airson an t-seachdain seo, tha sinn air stuth Gàidhlig agus rudan a tha a’ buntainn ris a’ Mhòid a thaisbeanadh.

A bharrachd air a seo, tha Leabharlann Nàiseanta na h-Alba a’ sealltainn seann film bhon Tasglann Moving Image air Diciadain 19mh den Dàmhair eadar 6-7f anns an t-seòmar Garry aig an taigh-òsta An Caladh, Steòrnabhagh. Chi sibh pìosan a chaidh a’ chlàradh anns na Hearadh ann an 1941 anns am film.

A-measg an tasglann againn, lorg sinn rud neo dha inntinneach bhon cruinneachadh aig Aonghas L. MacDhòmhnaill, a bha na neach-sgrùdaidh sgoiltean à Nis. Bi an stuth sin ri fhaicinn air na sgeilpichean againn airson seachdain a’ Mhòid.

It’s going to be a hectic week as this week is Royal National Mod week. The Royal National Mod is Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Music and Song festival and the museum and Lews Castle will be hosting some activities and events as part of the week.

The National Library of Scotland will have a display and will be showing a film entitled ‘Western Isles’ on Wednesday 19th October between 6-7pm in the Garry Room of the Caladh Inn, Stornoway. The film is from the Moving Image Archive and includes footage from 1941.

In preparation for the Mod coming, we have been digging out our Gaelic related material and have come across some wonderful notes and writings within the Angus L MacDonald collection. He was an HM inspector of schools, originally from Ness. These will be in our display cabinet for the week of the Mod.

Taisbeanadh airson a' Mhòd

Taisbeanadh airson a’ Mhòd

 

 

 

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Rèidio, Rannsachadh agus Pàipear ‘Marble’

‘Se Dihaoine a th’ann agus an t-seachdain sa bha mi smaointinn gum biodh e freagarrach blog Gàidhlig a’ sgrìobhadh. An t-seachdain sa bha mi a’ dèiligeadh le luchd-rannsachaidh agus a’ freagairt ceistean a bha air tighinn a-staigh agus aon rud a mhothaich mi ‘se cho feumail sa tha a dh’ Gàidhlig uaireannan airson dèiligeadh le daoine. Rinn e feum nuair a thàinig aon neach-rannsachaidh a-staigh aig an robh Gàidhlig. Bha e math cothrom Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn leis a’ phoblach.

Chaidh m’ fhaighneachd a dhol air an rèidio an t-seachdain sa air a shailleabh cuideachd airson beagan innse mun obair agam agus an Tasglann. Mu tha sibh airson èisteachd ris, tha e ri fhaighinn aig deireadh a’ phrògram aig Coinneach MacÌomhair an seo http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07wsmpt

Tha mi smaointinn an rud a chur iongnadh is motha air Coinneach mun obair, ‘se gu bheil againn ri rudan a thigeas a-staigh a chur dhan reothadair airson na biastagan a mharbhadh. Tha seo airson dèanamh cinnteach nach eil rud sam bith a tha a’ tighinn a-staigh dhan Tasglann a’ dol a dhèanamh milleadh neo cron air na rudan a tha againn mu thràth. Gu h-àraidh air na leabhraichean as sinne againn far a bheil pàipear ‘marble’ na bhroinn.

On a thoisich mi aig an Tasglann, tha uidh mhòr air a bhith agam air na duilleagan dathdach seo. Tha cuimhne agam nuair a bha mi san sgoil a bhith a’ cruthachadh pàipear ‘marble’ le tray làn uisge agus ink airson na dathan fhaighinn. Tha mi cuideachd a’ faicinn gu bheil seo a’ tilleadh air ais dhan fhasan agus daoine ga dhèanamh a-rithist. Seo eisimpleirean a tha mi fhèin air fhaighinn anns an Tasglann.

Cha bhith mi seo an ath sheachdain oir bi mi air làithean-saora, mar sin cha bhith blog ann an ath sheachdain. Chun an uairsin mu tha!marble paper 1IMG_1441

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Poor Relief Records and Insects!

This is the General Register Roll for the Parish of Stornoway

General Register Roll for the Parish of Stornoway

Can’t believe its Friday already and my third week is almost finished. This week I have been mainly researching the Poor Relief Records of the Parish of Stornoway and finding out about some interesting people and their stories. It always amazes me what I find out through these registers.

I have been mainly looking at the periods between 1890 -1895 and 1910-1914. A few cases caught my eye during my research and I hope to find out more about them. One of them is the ‘Bellman’ of Stornoway that lived in Newvalley and I would love to know which bell he would have been responsible for. If anyone knows more, please let me know. All the research I am doing at the moment will hopefully become an educational resource for schools. Studying the Poor Relief Records actually give me a good insight into the local history of the town and I aim to let you know more as the weeks go on.

Trainee at work

Researching the records

But not all the work of the archivist is as glamourous as looking through old books, papers and records. Part of the work involves looking after the articles and in order to do that, I had to learn about insect monitoring this week. In fact, this morning we investigated many insect traps and tried to identify what was in them. This is to make sure we don’t have anything that could damage any of the artefacts in the museum or the archives we store. It’s a really good job I am not too squeamish!

 

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