Shetland Amenity Trust celebrates collaboration with Shetland Family History Group in acquiring Gilbert Goudie’s Notebook

Shetland Amenity Trust is delighted to announce the successful acquisition of a significant 19th century notebook to the Shetland Archives, thanks to the generous support of the Shetland Family History Society (SFHS).

Trustees at the SFHS decided to make a donation to the Shetland Archives, recognising the invaluable assistance and close working relationship between the two bodies since the society relocated to the Trust’s premises at Garthspool in 2018.

With the donation the Archives has acquired a small notebook belonging to Gilbert Goudie, a notable figure in Shetland’s history. Born in Dunrossness in 1843, Goudie’s legacy as an antiquary and amateur archaeologist resonates strongly within Shetland. Although he spent most of his life in Edinburgh, Goudie remained deeply connected to Shetland’s history and culture throughout his life.

Shetland archivist, Brian Smith (middle) with members of the Shetland Family History Society

The notebook, containing some of Goudie’s notes about Shetland in the past, had been sold to a rare books firm in Dorset and was an item that the Shetland Archives had coveted. However, financial constraints hindered their ability to secure it until now. Thanks to the SFHS’s timely contribution, this important piece of Shetland’s heritage will now find its rightful place within the Shetland Archives, adding to the collection of Gilbert Goudie’s papers already housed there.

Gilbert Goudie was a very keen antiquary and amateur archaeologist. Born in Shetland in 1843, he moved to Edinburgh and became a banker. He held the position of Treasurer to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and lived in the city for the rest of his life. But he kept up his interest in Shetland’s history and lore until the end.

Shetland archivist, Brian Smith, said: “We already hold a fine collection of Gilbert Goudie’s papers, and this notebook, with material by him about Shetland, is a fine addition to it. We are very grateful indeed to Shetland Family History Society for helping us to buy it. We value our connection with the Society and its excellent office bearers.”

The notebook is now preserved in the Shetland Archives and is available for the public to read.

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