People, Estates, Businesses and Societies
The Archives has collections of papers produced by individual Shetlanders, from many periods. Especially impressive are records by local authors: poets such as J.J. Haldane Burgess, Peter A. Jamieson and T. A. Robertson (‘Vagaland’).
Sometimes the Shetlanders owned landed estates. Their records contain details of the land they owned, but also information about their tenants. Very often such landlords were involved in the public business of the islands. The Bruce of Sumburgh papers are especially rich.
Businesses also generate useful material for research. The Archives’ biggest collection of business records are those of Hay & Company, successful merchants in the islands for more than 100 years.
And Shetlanders have often formed societies: to make music; for recreation – the Ultima Thule Curling Club, for example! or for intellectual pursuits.