Tobar an Dualchais/Kist O Riches

The Heritage Lottery Fund today announced a 1.395 million pounds support for one of the most important heritage projects ever undertaken in Scotland.

Tobar an Dualchais /Kist O Riches, a project co-ordinated by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland's Gaelic College, in partnership with the University Edinburgh, the National Trust for Scotland and BBC Alba, will now, following an earlier pilot project, begin the important work of conserving, digitising, cataloguing and creating on-line access worldwide, to 12,000 hours of pre-eminent sound recordings in both Gaelic and Scots. This material is currently held within the archives of BBC Alba, Edinburgh University's School of Scottish Studies and the John Lorne Campbell Collections, owned by the National Trust for Scotland, on the Isle of Canna.

Colin McLean, HLF's Manager for Scotland said today,

"Language is a fascinating aspect of our culture. By simply pressing 'play' we can eavesdrop into the lives of our ancestors - their worries, their hopes, the way they lived their lives suddenly comes to life. At the Heritage Lottery Fund we want to open up the past so that everyone can learn from it and enjoy it. What better way than through language"

"This exciting project will ensure that these unique and irreplaceable songs, stories and interviews will be saved so that we, and future generations, can listen in to Scotland's past"

Sabhal Mor Ostaig's Director, Prof. Norman Gillies, welcoming the news today said,

"This project is of immense importance to Scotland as it opens up a major heritage resource of national and international significance. Not only does it set about the important work of conserving this irreplaceable material, some of which is potentially in danger of degrading, but through the process of cataloguing and digitising the vast collections, it will reconnect the material with its place of origin, strengthening the position of the living languages of Scotland."

Prof. Gillies paid particular tribute to the work of Dr Martin Macintyre, Project Co-ordinator, and to Lachie Dick, the Steering Group, and the Project Partners who have managed and developed the project to date. He also expressed gratitude to those public bodies who have assisted with 'seedcorn' funding during the Project's development.

Prof Gillies said,

"Tobar an Dualchais/Kist O Riches represents a major step forward in recognising the importance of these living languages to contemporary Scottish life."

The project will cost 2.8 million pounds in total and will extend over 5 years creating 21 jobs, 16 of which will be based in the Highlands and Islands.

See Pròiseact Thiriodh for a working example of such a project.

Notes to Editors

The Heritage Lottery Fund enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, Heritage Lottery Fund grants open up our nations heritage for everyone to enjoy.

Further information contact Shiona Mackay on 01786 870638 or