Museum on a roll with second top award
Shetland Museum and Archives is on a roll after securing a second award for its collections.
The archaeology collection has become the latest Recognised Collection of National Significance awarded by Museums Galleries Scotland.
The collection contains between 300,000 to 400,000 items and continues to grow.
It represents aspects of life in Shetland from 4000BC to the 17th Century, when Shetland was at the heart of European trade routes.
The prize is the second award of recognition status after the museum received the title last year for its textile collection.
The scheme ensures the care and celebration of Scotland’s important collections outwith the National Museum of Scotland.
Last night the award was presented to the museum by members of Museum Galleries Scotland, who had made the trip north for the presentation.
Chief Executive of Museums Scotland, Joanne Orr, said the collections were “phenomenally important”.
“The archaeology and textile collections are up there with the best in the world,” she said.
The status she hoped would help increase the islands’ draw for visitors as well as promoting the museum and archives as a leader in its field.
The standard needed to obtain the award was very high, she said, not only in the quality of the collection but also the application put forward.
Museum Curator Ian Tait spoke about the importance of archaeology in Shetland, noting “archaeology is at the zenith of Shetland’s cultural life”.
Curator of collections Jenny Murray and collections assistant Laurie Goodlad, were praised for their hard work in putting the application together.
Ms Murray described the archaeological collection as “the biggest star” and added all they had to do was tell its story.
“And what a story it is,” she said.
Chairman of Museums Galleries Scotland’s recognition committee, Ray Macfarlane presented the prize to Ms Murray.
She said the award was exceptional and the museum put forward a strong case for the recognised status.
More in Friday’s Shetland Times.