Mammoth work on Shetland buildings to be launched at museum

Shetland’s latest book is to be launched at the Shetland Museum tonight. Museum curator Dr Ian Tait’s mammoth work Shetland Vernacular Buildings 1600-1900 is the culmination of 25 years’ research and fieldwork.

It is the first time the typology of Shetland’s indigenous buildings has been researched and covered in such detail. Produced as a case-bound volume of over 600 pages, the book analyses the characteristics and usage of farmsteads and outbuildings over three centuries, from a period of social upheaval, up to the start of socio-economic revitalisation.

The study identifies native construction styles, standard and atypical forms and regional distributions. This ambitious work into Shetland’s indigenous building tradition has never been systematically examined until now, and Dr Tait, a native Shetlander, presents a lifetime’s analysis on this important topic in Northern Isles ethnology.

Most of the material, including the hundreds of illustrations, has never been published before. The launch will take place at the Shetland Museum tonight. Doors open at 7pm with the launch starting at 7.30pm.


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  • Deborah Briggs

    • April 16th, 2012 18:16

    Dear Shetland Times,

    The book by Dr Ian Tait is absolutely a ‘must have’ for anyone visiting or living in Shetland! It is full of fantastic information about the buildings to be found throughout the islands as well as how they related to the history of Shetland. My congratulations and thanks Dr Tait on what he has accomplished in the publishing of this work. Truly remarkable!


    Deborah J Briggs, Mioness Fetlar


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