An Archive Tour of Stornoway

On Monday night I presented a paper entitled An Archive Tour of Stornoway to Stornoway Historical Society in the Council Chambers at Sandwick Road to around 50 people.  The talk took the form of a wander around the streets of Stornoway, stopping off at various buildings to discuss archive records that have been identified by the Tasglann project and what stories these can tell researchers.

David talking to Stornoway Historical Society

Stopping off points on the tour included Amity House as the home of the Stornoway Port Authority and its archives, the town hall to discuss the records and stories of the Burgh of Stornoway, Lews Castle to discuss records relating to land ownership, the Masonic Lodge to talk about their archives and clubs and societies who have met there over the years, and the Nicolson Institute to discuss the wealth of material held relating to education in the Parish of Stornoway.

The talk also was a prime example of Powell’s Second Law of Public Speaking:  never trust data projectors!

Sadly, we couldn’t get the laptop to talk to the data projector so the slides to accompany the talk couldn’t be shown.  Thankfully, the talk was designed to stand alone, but for those of you who were there, or who are interested, the slides can be viewed below:

The text of the talk is also available here.

We love getting archives out for people to have a look at and you can see below people studying the Nicolson Institute Trustees minute book.  Other records on display at the event were the Lewis Combination Poorhouse minute book open at pages regarding the weekly food menu for inmates, and “Loose Leaves from the Lews“.

Members of Stornoway Historical Society looking at the Trustees of the Nicolson Institution minute book

The talk was well received and a flurry of enquiries have been received about archives in the town which the Tasglann team are slowly working through.

Big thanks are due to Stornoway Historical Society for inviting me to speak and for being such an attentive audience.   Thanks are also due to Donna and Katie Anne who helped to research many of the stories that featured in the presentation.

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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