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.

At the hub of the heritage network is the Shetland Museum and Archives. We have a dedicated part-time officer working with local heritage groups and their main representative organisation, Shetland Heritage Association. In addition, Museum and Archives’ staff provide advice, support, and training to the dedicated, and largely volunteer-based members of Shetland’s heritage community.

The Museum and Archives is managed by the Shetland Amenity Trust, a small charity caring for Shetland's natural and cultural heritage. It is free to visit the Museum and Archives and we work hard to deliver services and advice to as many groups as possible for free. Donations are welcomed to help the Trust care for the collections and our heritage both now and in the future.

In addition to museums and heritage centres, Shetland is peppered with sites of heritage or cultural interest, including various archaeological sites, National Nature Reserves, and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Many of these sites are open to the public, allowing you to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors or sit just metres from a Puffin.

These sites can be manned or unmanned. The manned sites often have visitor centres, were you can find out more about many aspects of Shetland’s past. You will find that many of the unmanned sites include interpretation boards, to help you piece our history together or identify our flora and fauna.

The map below points out many of these locations. Click the icons for more information on each place.