Barra to Berneray

On Saturday we hosted a networking event in Sgoil Lionacleit for the Comainn Eachdraidh between Barra and Berneray in order to facilitate encourage transfer of skills and knowledge.  The day was a great success and enjoyed by all, with representatives from projects and An Caidreachas Eachdraidh of Lewis & Harris also attending. 

They day began with Sandy Stephens from the Cladh Hallan cemetery project giving a presentation about the work that has been carried out over the past two years to create this fantastic resource.  A special thanks must go out to Sandy for amending her presentation to make up for the lack of internet access at the venue, we are very grateful as her presentation was very engaging and inspirational, and the day would have been lacking without it.

David then gave a quick presentation on what the Tasglann team has been up to over the past few months, as well as providing details of training we hope to carry out over the remainder of this year.  A copy of the presentation is below.

Next up was Andrew and Alison from Berneray Historical Society, who gave an overview of their recent projects, in particular Guthan Bheàrnaraidh which looks to capture Berneray song and voices, some of which can be found at and a new project, A’ tilleadh ar n-eachdraidh dhachaigh (Bringing our history home) looking at the Gaelic culture Berneray emigrants took with them.  A general discussion session followed where individuals introduced themselves and discussed their Comainn Eachdraidh’s activities and projects.

After lunch a practical session looking at some Comhairle-held archive records relating to Barra and identifying the accidental and natural damage that can occur to records when not stored appropriately.   

Delegates learning to identify damage that can occur to archives

Donnie Morrison then gave an enlightening presentation on the development of Hebridean Connections.  This included an invitation for colleagues in all historical societies to become involved.  Angus Macleod and Annie MacSween of An Caidreachas Eachdraidh then gave a short talk on the benefits found from the historical societies of Lewis and Harris working together and the importance of the group, and possibly a larger Western Isles-wide Caidreachas, sharing information regularly and keeping the Comhairle in line!  This lead into a discussion on the way forward which we’ll report back on in another blog post.

Annie and Angus talk about the Caidreachas

In all, a highly enjoyable, friendly and good natured day that allowed for the sharing of ideas and the making of new friends with an agreement that such meetings should happen more often!

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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