Hello and Welcome!

New blogger Alert!

I suppose I better introduce myself first and then tell you a bit about me and the work I will be doing. My name is Shona MacLellan, I am an Uibhisteach (someone from Uist) living in Lewis for nearly two years now. I started as the Archives trainee at Tasglann nan Eilean just last week. My first two weeks have been very busy and I’ll tell you more about that in a minute but over the next year I hope to keep you up to date about my internship and the work that the Tasglann is doing.

During my internship I will be learning Traditional Archive skills such as handling archive material, cataloguing and preserving and working on projects that involve engaging with the community and helping people find out what is in our archives.

My first week was certainly an interesting one, going through the Poor Relief Application records of the Western Isles from 1845-1916. Seeing the situations locals found themselves in back then was heart breaking at times but also very interesting and gave me an insight to life in Victorian times here. Just before I started, we had a call to say some Poorhouse records had been found in a care home. Thinking they might be important, we went to have a look and were amazed to find that these registers were in pretty good condition despite having been moved and sitting out on shelves for 100 years.

My second week took me on a trip to Edinburgh to meet the other interns taking part in the Scottish Council for Archives’ project ‘Skills for the Future’. There are eight of us altogether working in different archives across Scotland. As part of our induction, we had a session on handling Archival material and learnt about what our year ahead would consist of. There will more on the internship in future posts as well as the projects I am working on and if the last two weeks are anything to go by, it will be a busy, interesting and a very fulfilling year.

Shona MacLellan at General Register House where the National Records of Scotland are housed in Edinburgh.

Shona MacLellan at General Register House where the National Records of Scotland are housed in Edinburgh.

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