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Manuscripts, books, oral history recordings, maps and more

We have an extensive online archive of Shetland's records. Browse the Shetland Archives Catalogue and discover our collection of manuscripts, books, oral history recordings, maps and many other types of material held by us.


Now more than ever we need your support

We hope you enjoy our free online activities. The Shetland Museum and Archives is managed by the Shetland Amenity Trust, a small charity caring for Shetland's natural and cultural heritage. We are a free to visit museum and any donations are welcomed to help the Trust care for the collections and our heritage both now and in the future.

Other ways to support us include...


Search our Archive catalogue Blog Posts

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The Fenian Raid on Unst

Shetlanders have long enjoyed jokes, pranks, and hoaxes, aka “plunkies.” Sometimes these have stretched to include British ...

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The real story behind the Shetland wulver

In recent years there has been a lot of discussion about the ‘wulver’, Shetland’s ‘kind and generous werewolf’, as someone ...

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Witchcraft in Shetland

Between around 1615 and 1680 Shetland was afflicted by a mania that was disturbing other parts of Europe. Ordinary Shetlanders and ...

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Shetland Footballer - James Hunter Thomson

James Hunter Thomson came from Deepdale (born 1884). There isn’t much that comes from Deepdale now. Uninhabited lang syne, you get ...

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The Bohemian Girl

In 1843 White’s, a firm of Quaker shipbuilders, launched a schooner, 125 tons, 104ft x 22.5ft x 12ft, the Bohemian Girl.

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Celebrating International Women's Day: Britta Laurenson

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Here Jenny ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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Northwest Passage

On the 26th of June 1576, three ships anchored near St Ninian’s Isle. These were the Gabriel, a twenty-five tonne barque, the ...

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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 ...

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The Shetland Archives - behind the searchroom

In the Shetland archives, we are lucky to have an enormous collection of our recent-forebears on tape. There are recordings of men and ...

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Unveiling the Shetland War Memorial, 6 January 1924

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time of the armistice that ended the Great War. Remembrance in ...

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VJ Day in Shetland

VJ Day (Victory Over Japan) has never been as important a celebration as VE Day, but for some people in Shetland it was a very ...

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Peter and Olla

Archivist Brian Smith retells the story of cousins Peter and Olla, two very different characters, who met one notable New Year's eve. ...

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