Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Shetland Archives has recently received the last of a large and significant collection of printed material from Shetland Library, in a handover that has taken several years to catalogue and transfer.

Lerwick draper and antiquarian Edwyn Seymour Reid Tait was a prolific collector of printed material relating to Shetland, until his death in 1960. Reid Tait amassed the largest known collection of pamphlets, books, and papers written on any subject with a Shetland theme. At the time of his death, this accumulation was bequeathed to the Shetland Library, which held it for many years.

It was decided a few years ago that in order to facilitate better public access to the material, and ensure appropriate storage of the sometimes delicate volumes, the collection would be transferred to Shetland Archives.

Cataloguing this assemblage as it was being transferred has taken some time, but the last of the publications were handed over recently by Douglas Garden of Shetland Library to Mark Smith of Shetland Archives. (pictured)

With the addition of this material to the catalogue, Shetland Archives now holds the largest ever collection of Shetland themed printed reference materials, following the transfer of the J. M. Goudie collection in 2007.

James Mouat Goudie was joint secretary of the Shetland Literary and Scientific Society and was keenly interested in local antiquities and the language and literature of Scandinavia. His fascination with this material led to him accumulating one of the isles’ most important book collections, on subjects ranging from archaeology and antiquities to nature, dialect and folklore.

After Goudie’s death in 1928, his collection was acquired by the Town Council and held in the Town Hall, before being transferred to the Shetland Library in 1950, and later to the Shetland Archives.

Archivist Brian Smith said: ‘We have a very good relationship with the Shetland Library, and these transfers make sure that important historical material is held in the very best conditions.’

Both collections of papers and publications can be browsed in the Shetland Archives online catalogue atwww.calmview.eu/ShetlandArchive/CalmView and examined at the Archives on request.

Related Posts

Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Visit the Fair Isle Chairs exhibition from the comfort of your own armchair

The Shetland Museum and Archives are delighted to extend their learning programme online with the launch of a new video exploring the ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

The Man Behind the Lowrie Stories

Sometime in the 1920s a middle-aged businessman in Lerwick began to write stories. He didn’t write about his native town. The hero ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

We are saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Why burn peats?

As part of the Between Islands project, Shetland’s new online exhibition, ‘Fair Game’ examines three customs that are now ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Shetland Amenity Trust reopens Shetland Museum and Archives

The Shetland Amenity Trust will reopen its doors to the public at the Shetland Museum and Archives this week following careful ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Get Your Skates On!

The weather has changed, the temperature risen, wind and rain are back, the frosty winter fun gone. In 1909 though, one organisation ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Why hunt whales?

Pilot whales were important to islanders’ survival, providing many useful products. Subsistence whaling was unpredictable, because ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

St Sunniva's Tableware

The pandemic meant no cruise liners came to Lerwick, but not many Shetlanders realise that an important one lies on the seabed at ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Winter Sports

We’ve had a fine spell of weather of late, snowy, frosty, crispy. Out for a walk one day I was told someone had been spotted skiing, ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Why hunt fowl?

As part of the Between Islands project, Shetland’s new online exhibition, ‘Fair Game’ examines three customs that are now ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Missing Crowds

Today is the last Tuesday in January and would traditionally be Up Helly Aa day 2021. This is a much anticipated date for many ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Up Helly Aa has a most interesting history

With the cancellation of Up Helly Aa there will be no torchlit procession, galley burning or all night partying this year. These ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

'Fair Game’ a major new online exhibition launched as part of the Between Islands project

The project highlights the historical cultural links between the islands of Shetland, Orkney, and the Outer Hebrides, while exploring ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

Museum and Archives to remain closed

Shetland Museum and Archives will remain closed to the public after the festive period due to the latest advice from NHS Shetland on ...

Read more
Reid Tait Collection transferred to Shetland Archives

New Baltic ware collection on display for the first time at Shetland Museum

A collection of colourful Skovi Kapps which highlight Shetland’s trading and maritime links with Russia during the 19th century is ...

Read more