Burns Nicht

The 25th of January is the date celebrated all over the world to commemorate Scotland’s most famous bard, Rabbie Burns.  Tonight people will be tucking into the great chieftain, neeps and tatties, and giving toasts to lassies and laddies alike.  Today, we are touching on one of Burn’s most famous poem, To a Mouse:

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,

O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

Thou need na start awa sae hasty

Wi bickering brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,

Wi’ murdering pattle.

Archivists may disagree with Rabbie here, as they are not ‘laith’ to chase away any beasties in their stores.  The above scan of a science exam is an example that David uses to show the damage that can be caused if archive material is stored in an unsafe environment.  As you can see, this exam served as a tasty treat for a wee mouse, thankfully it is not an important document.  Other dangers to archives from beasties range from rats to both kinds of bugs; insects and bacteria.

Don’t forget tonight in Stornoway Library you can work on literary talents to become the next great Scottish bard, as Ian Stephen will be hosting the first of his reading and writing group meetings from 6.30pm, check out the Western Isles Libraries Facebook page for details.

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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