A rare chance to go behind the scenes at the museum
The Shetland Museum and Archives is offering a unique opportunity for visitors to see behind the scenes in the archives and learn more about the collections that are held.
The archives will be open from 10am-3pm on Saturday 8th August with staff available to answer questions and demonstrate how to search the collections, including the extensive oral history collections.
On display will be a special selection of recently conserved records. Conservation – the repair of damaged records – means that they can become accessible to readers and be protected from further damage. A variety of documents as well as newly digitised audio and film pieces will be on show.
Guided tours of the repository, which were fully booked last year, will take place at 11am, noon and 2pm, providing a chance to learn how the archives collections are looked after.
As tour groups will be small, people are asked to book early on the day in the archives searchroom. There will also be an “Introduction to the Archives” talk at 11am which will highlight the collections held, what they can be used for and how to access them.
Craig Gauld, assistant archivist, said: “The archives receive hundreds of research visits every month but we are always keen to welcome new visitors. Many people do not realise the volume and breadth of books, documents and recordings we hold and how these can be used in a number of ways.
“Along with the usual visits we get from people researching their family history or the history of their house we have some really unusual and interesting requests.
“Recent examples include the history of women’s suffrage in Shetland, the North Roe axe factory and the Storegga tsunami. Through our open day we hope to introduce new people to what the archives have to offer as well as welcome regular visitors for a peek behind the scenes.”