The Project | Am Pròiseact

Established in April 2010, Tasglann nan Eilean Siar (Hebridean Archives) is a three year project to promote the range of archives accessible to researchers across the Western Isles of Scotland.  

Archives are held in a variety of locations across the islands including public authorities, historical societies and heritage groups.  Many important records are held in private hands such as businesses, charitable organisations and landed estates.  Working with the owners of these archives, the Tasglann are locating, listing and cataloguing records across the islands and offering held and advice on their care and management.  By doing this, we are then able to promote the existence of the archives so that they can be accessed by researchers.

The Tasglann is also here to offer professional archive support to the voluntary heritage sector who care for important collections, offering a programme of training and support to build skills and capacity within these organisations.

The project is overseen by a steering group of representatives from heritage bodies across the islands, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, heritage professionals and academics.

The projects stated objectives are to:

  • develop policies and procedures for an archives service
  • identify and collect information on the archival collections held throughout the Outer Hebrides and make this information available through a range of mechanisms, including a bilingual website
  • raise awareness of the richness of the archive collections in the Outer Hebrides at a local, national and international level
  • assist partners with projects and initiatives that convert existing materials onto permanent record
  • increase access to the archives of the Comhairle and others by raising awareness, responding to information requests and supervising access to archive material
  • provide advice, guidance and training on archive collection, handling, storage and preservation
  • identify records pertaining to the Outer Hebrides which are held elsewhere, and investigate the possibility of transferring them back to the Outer Hebrides
  • arrange exhibitions, conferences, talks and visits in relation to local records, or work in partnership to facilitate this
  • work with Lews Castle College UHI and the education department to support the development of teaching materials
  • assist communities to develop projects and funding bids in relation to their archives
  • offer advice and training to businesses and communities in relation to attracting and supporting ancestral tourism and research visits
  • work with partners to identify infrastructure opportunities for archival collections