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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.

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Search our Archive catalogue Blog Posts

Robert Barclay, East India Company

The Bruce of Symbister collection in the Shetland Archives, GD144, is a collection of bundled papers. Since it isn’t feasible to ...

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Alexander Wallace

A very welcome book came out recently. Developed from a Ph.D., 'Shetland Boats: Origin, Evolution and Use', by Dr Marc Chivers ...

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Archivist Brian Smith receives distinguished service award

We’re delighted that Brian Smith’s dedication to Shetland’s historical records has been recognised with a distinguished service ...

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The Elvira

Stories of shipwreck have long occupied the Shetland imagination. One Shetlander, R. Stuart Bruce (1873-1951), devoted much of his ...

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Da Wadder

The weather is never far from conversation here, and it hasn’t been a great summer. Some good days though, and on July 19 the ...

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The Laurel

The Shetland Times, 12 October 1907 reported an important event at the Ness. Harry Irvine of Glenfield got a Fifie fishing boat, the ...

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Letters on Shetland

I got a book in the post the other day, always a good thing. 'Letters on Shetland' by Peter Jamieson (1898-1976), published in 1949 ...

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World Book Day

On World Book Day, it is worth musing about the history of library collections in Shetland. There have been highs and lows in the ...

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550 Years Ago: how Shetland became part of Scotland - part 2

Shetland and Orkney became part of Scotland 550 years ago, on 20 February 1472. Denmark’s economic interests were concentrated in ...

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A reminiscence of a traditional Shetland wedding

When lockdown came, one of our first sad tasks was to tell two couples who’d planned a wedding in the museum that it couldn’t ...

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550 Years Ago: how Shetland became part of Scotland

A fortnight ago some women and men from the South Mainland of Shetland marched in Glasgow with torches. They were commemorating the ...

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Up Helly Aa - the Venues

We’re missing Up Helly Aa again - not just a fire spectacle but a major social event, with dances and performances in many venues in ...

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Origins of the Up Helly Aa Song

A huge procession of torch-carrying guizers is one of the most spectacular sights of the Shetland year.  For anyone who heads out in ...

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The New Year, 1872 and the Truck Commission

The New Year of 1872 began in a special way in Shetland. On the first of January Sheriff William Guthrie began hearings in the Queens ...

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Accounts with Women Labourers

Thomas Hardy, probably the Victorian novelist most familiar with the grit of rural life, described the work of his agricultural ...

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