to Shetland Museum and Archives

Our Five Star, award winning Museum and Archives is a multifunctional visitor attraction in the heart of Shetland's capital town of Lerwick. Begin your journey through the history of our beautiful islands here, with an enjoyable and interactive visitor experience discovering our world renowned collections.

Visit Us

A warm welcome awaits you at Shetland Museum and Archives. Join us for a journey through Shetland’s past with our informative displays and interactive exhibits. Relax in Hay's Dock Cafe Restaurant and pick up a souvenir of your visit from the Gift Shop.


Visitors and researchers can explore the fascinating story of Shetland’s heritage and culture in one place, with access to a wealth of documents and artefacts covering all aspects of the islands' past at Shetland Museum and Archives.

Education & Research

Shetland Museum and Archives offers a comprehensive education programme, with access to workshops focussing on different areas of our collections, and outreach sessions in the community.

Online Resources

Access document and photo archives online, or download a choice of teaching resources, or visitor activitity sheets.

Community Heritage

Shetland’s heritage is researched, collected and exhibited throughout the islands by a network of local museums and heritage centres. Each museum and heritage centre in Shetland is unique, highlighting the various and changing aspects of natural and cultural heritage in each area.

Venue & Event Hire

Shetland Museum and Archives offers first class venue facilities for hire in a stunning dockside location. From conferences and meetings, to weddings or birthday parties, our versatile spaces are suitable for any event.

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday: 10.00am to 5.00pm
Sunday: 12.00pm to 5.00pm
Monday to Friday: 10.00am to 4.30pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed
Hay’s Dock Café Restaurant
Monday: 10.00am to 5.00pm
Tuesday to Saturday: 10.00am to 9.00pm (last orders)
Sunday: 12.00pm to 5.00pm
Crofthouse Museum
1st May to 30th September, Daily: 10.00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Photo Archive

Scotland's most extensive photo archive

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Gift Shop

Unique gifts and souvenirs with a heritage theme

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Explore the Archives and Museum Artefacts

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Hay's Dock Café Restaurant

Fresh local fayre with stunning dockside views

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Events and activities during your visit

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Events and activities during your visit

Shetland Museum and Archives are proud to offer a range of events for adults, children and famlies, covering a variety of themes throughout the year.Our own events are detailed below, or see the 'What's On' Calendar for all public events and exhibition listings for the building.

Dus Du Mind? Weel kent faces and places
24/05/2017 2:00pm

Reminiscence session with Alzheimer Scotland

The Outermost Neolithic: Looking to the Future, Thinking about the Past
24/05/2017 7:00pm

This talk is the culmination of research into establishing the importance of the Shetland landscape for understandings of Neolithic Scotland and Western Europe by Dr. William P. Megarry.

Shetland Boat Week 2017
07/08/2017 - 13/08/2017

A series of maritime related events and activities to celebrate Shetland's maritime heritage, and links with contemporary industry.

Self Guided Tour of Hay's Dock
10:00am - 5:00pm

Collect a guide sheet from reception and take a self-guided tour around the historic Hay's Dock to learn about its fascinating past.



Displays, Exhibitions and Gadderie Shows

There are a number of exhibition spaces and feature display areas throughout the Museum and Archives building. The artefacts and works on display change regularly and details of our current shows are listed here.


Jimmy Thomason and Calum Moncrieff - Dumping Ground
22/04/2017 - 28/05/2017

Two Shetland Artists explore their formative years growing up in 'Lochside'.

Paul Bloomer - Flight
03/06/2017 - 14/07/2017

A personal view of Shetland life contrasted with international affairs.

Alex Boak - People who touch wool
02/09/2017 - 01/10/2017

A display of images relating to the Shetland wool industry.

Janette Kerr and Jo Millett - Confusing Shadow with Substance
25/07/2017 - 14/09/2017

Shetland's fishing stations: re-imagined events and journeys from shoreline to the far haaf.


Latest News

Keep up to date with new stories and details of what our staff are doing to preserve and promote Shetland's heritage and culture .

Mathewson Lecture

Eileen Brooke-Freeman will deliver a talk about the life of her ancestor Andrew Dishington Mathewson of East Yell (1799-1887) from her research into his letters, plans and other documents deposited in the Shetland Archives.

Shetland Museum and Archives goes virtual

Shetland Museum and Archives have embraced the world of virtual reality with a new app available from VisitScotland.

Shetland Museum & Archives Mailing List