Surprised by museum

I recently emailed Shetland Museum and Archives seeking a copy of a document. The response received was interesting to say the least … interesting in that trying to obtain a copy of a document is nearly impossible or so expensive it’s not worth trying.

Basically I wanted a document scanned and emailed and was prepared to pay whatever the cost is because in this digital age it shouldn’t take too long or require much effort. How wrong could I be.

The answer back from the most helpful assistant was: “We do not email these documents as they have not been scanned.” However, the archives did offer to send photocopies. “There are four pages in the document which would cost £0.80 with £1.50 postage … total of £2.30.” Fair enough.

The last time I looked a “photocopier” and a “scanner” work much the same way and require about the same amount of button pressing. However, the outcome in this digital age was to burn fuel and waste paper and who knows how much time, sending four pieces of paper halfway around the world.

The method of payment is either by “cheque” (payable to Shetland Amenity Trust or in person).

Note there are no credit card facilities, astounding in the year 2010 no credit card facilities. I haven’t had a cheque book in 10 years, a money order cost more to obtain than the £2.30 amount. Or I could pay in person. Sure, I’ll just hop in a plane for 30 hours and present myself to the museum shop.

Seriously, how much did this new museum cost to build? In this age of the internet it is impossible to obtain an emailed copy of  a scanned document, yet I can get a photocopy. It’s bizarre in the extreme, and no wonder people leave Shetland in droves.

I strongly urge Alistair Buchan to suspend the council and its subsidiaries, sack the lot and start again. Nothing less will drag Shetland into reality.

Bruce Stewart
104 Rutledge Street,
New South Wales,


Add Your Comment
  • Bill Ferguson

    • November 14th, 2010 21:13

    Luckily for Mr Stewart he was not asking for information from Glasgow City Council.If you want to locate the grave of a relative in Glasgow you must supply the name of the deceased,date of death and the name of the Cemetery and for that plus your cheque for £65 (Sixty Five Pounds) they will supply you with the lair number.All they do is look up the register!


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.