A researcher’s point of view

The Tasglann’s small  searchroom at Stornoway Library recently played host to Monique Watt for a week who had already spent a number of weeks using the Angus Macleod Archive at Kershader.  Monique was the recipient of the Gatliff Angus Macleod Archive research grant for 2011 and she’s written a little something about her research and experiences of using archives in the Western Isles. 

“My research focuses primarily on South Lochs from 1918-1924. My aim is to look at how the people of South Lochs coped with the economic and social troubles that surrounded the island. By having access to records such as the Poor Law, the Lewis District Committee Meetings, 1890-1930 and the Lewis School Management Committee Meetings, 1919-1930, I was able to have a more thorough look into the problems that were being discussed surrounding South Lochs. The poor law records allowed a deeper insight into the level of destitution and the aid that was being provided whilst the poor law applications gave a deeper understanding into how severely the economic slump was affecting communities. The Lewis District Committee Meetings revealed the urgency and need for relief work. These records were extremely useful for my research as they not only supported my findings from the Angus Macleod Archive but they also revealed problems such as lack of funding from the government. The Angus Macleod Archive exposed the economic and social difficulties whilst the District Committee Meetings exposed the extensive discussions relating to unemployment and the desperate need for more financial aid from the government in order to provide work throughout South Lochs. Overall my time spent at the archive was extremely useful and worthwhile. The staff were very helpful and went out of their way to accommodate me during my visit.”

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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