Harris source list

Unless otherwise stated, the following archive collections are held in Stornoway and made accessible through the archive service currently based at Stornoway Library.  From autumn 2015, the archive service will be based in the new Museum & Archive at the Lews Castle site.  

For non-Lewis residents, we can arrange for records to be made available through your local library by appointment.

This guide is not exhaustive and it’s worth checking our online catalogue for further resources. 





Harris Parish Council (1890-1930) (ref. IN5/2)

Established in 1845, Parishes (or Parochial Boards as they started out) were responsible for raising and administering poor relief and gradually took on other duties such as graveyards, footpaths and water supply.  Parish Councils were abolished in 1930. 

  • Minutes 1863-1932

Harris Public Assistance Committee (1930-1965) (ref. IN5/6)

The Committee took on many of the rolls of the former Parish Council with regard to aiding the poor.

  • Minutes 1932-1956; applications for relief 1949-1965

Harris District Committee (1890-1934) (ref. IN2/3)

The District Committee was established in 1890, undertaking functions on behalf of Inverness-shire County Council.  This included roads, bridges, amenities and nursing that fell outwith the Parish Council’s remit.  The Committee was abolished in 1930.

  • Minutes 1917-1934 (Harris District Council from 1930); roads minutes 1890-1918, public health minutes 1890-1918

Harris District Council (1930-1974) (ref. IN6/2)

Harris District Council was established in 1930 to serve as local agents for Inverness-shire County Council, taking on many of the duties for the former District Committee.  It was abolished in 1975 with its powers transferring to Comhairle nan Eilean.

  • Minutes 1930-1975; correspondence 1960-1972

Long Island Combination Poorhouse, Lochmaddy (1875-1942) (ref IN5/9)

The poorhouse was situated on the outskirts of Lochmaddy and was originally operated jointly by the parishes of Harris, North Uist, South Uist (including Benbecula) and Barra. It later became the Lochmaddy Hospital.

  • Minutes 1875-1942; letter books 1914-1933; cashbooks 1910-1930; ledgers 1886-1930

Harris (Tarbert) Ambulance Committee (1946-1963) (ref. IN7/2)

  • Minutes 1946-1963

Harris Nursing Association (1928-1948) (ref, IN7/1)

  • Minute book 1928-1948; letter book 1933-1946



NB: Records containing personal data are generally closed to public access for 100 years.  Please ask for further information. 

Harris School Board / District Education Committee (1893-1975) (ref. IN4/2)

Harris School Board was established in 1873 to manage schooling in the area.  It was responsible for building and maintaining schools, staffing and curriculum matters as dictated by the government.  Its powers transferred to Harris District Education Committee in 1919.  

Minutes 1918-1975; correspondence 1961-1974; cash book 1893-1898

Records of individual schools.   Log books only are held in Tarbert Library.  Other records are held in Stornoway.


  • Admission register 1928-1960; log books 1927-1960


  • Admission register 1927-1968; log books 1920-1969


  • Log books 1912-2005


  • Admission register 1926-1965; log books 1926-1968


  • Admission register 1879-1978; log books 1899-1985; certificates of attendance 1924-1963; attendance registers 1979-1985


  • Log books 1979-1943


  • Log book 1938-1948

Kyles Scalpay

  • Log book 1947-1960

Kyles Stockinish

  • Admission register 1897-1922; log books 1932-1964

Leverhume Memorial

  • Records with school


  • Admission register 1928-1960; log book 1930-1961


  • Admission register 1905-1991; log books 1903-1997; attendance registers 1990-2000; record of work 1958-1962; simplified summary 1968-1998


  • Log books 1908-1983


  • Admission register 1915-1963; log books 1923-1964

St Kilda

Sir Edward Scott

  • Records held by school including: admission registers 1910-2002; log books 1878-2002; photographs


  • Admission registers 1929-2012; art note book n.d.


  • Log books 1921-1954


  • Log books 1879-1897, 1915-1967



Gatliff Hebridean Hostels Trust (1962-2006) (ref. GD1)

The Trust operated a number of youth hostels across the Western Isles, including those at Berneray, Rhenigidale and Scarp for which the visitor’s books survive.

  • Annual Reports and Accounts 1989-2003, newsletters 1963-2006; founder and trustee biographies 1995-c2003.  Hostel records: Rhenigidale 1962-2005; Scarp 1967-1970; Howmore 1971-2005; Berneray 1977-2006; Claddach Baleshare 1982-1991; Garenin 1997-2006

D R Morrison papers, bard of Scalpay (1963-2009) (ref. GD3)

DR Morrison is a poet and writer based on Scalpay.  As well as writing his own poems in both Gaelic and English, he was a writer for various newspapers, including he Oban Times.

  • Publications 1965-1997; short stories 1957-1990; personal notes 1965-1997; published works 1965-1966; works published in newspapers 1946-2005; books containing works 1973-1998; articles and cuttings 1963-1997; cuttings and photographs from newspapers 2003; personal photographs 1928-1989; letters and correspondence 1969-1989

Harris Tweed Authority (1906- ) (ref. GD14)

These records are currently only box listed and remain to be catalogued.  They include minutes, papers and copyright rights relating to the Association/Authority and its representation of the industry.



Harris Historical Society

Harris Historical Society are currently without premises.  For further information, please see www.tasglann.org.uk.

Berneray Historical Society http://www.bernerayhistorical.com/

Berneray are an active society that operate a public museum and archive at the former nurses cottage on Berneray.  They contribute records to www.hebrideanconnections.com

Hebridean Connections www.hebrideanconnections.com

This website contains searchable genealogies, croft histories, images, stories and a wealth of other information provided by the historical societies of Bernera, Berneray, Kinloch, Pairc and Uig and is currently expanding to include other organisations. 

National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh www.nrsscotland.gov.uk

As well as various government an church records they jointly manage the genealogy site www.ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk

Highland Archives, Bught Road, Inverness http://www.highlandarchives.org.uk

The archive centre in Inverness holds many records relating to Harris, notably the records of Inverness-shire County Council (1890-1975) and its predecessors.  

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