Gairloch Heritage Museum signs partnership agreement with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
Gairloch Heritage Museum and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture on the Isle of Skye, have signed a memorandum of understanding. The two organisations plan to work together to capitalise on the unique collection of Gaelic literature and oral history held by Gairloch Heritage Museum. The collaboration between the two organisations is a measure of the support Sabhal Mòr Ostaig offers Gairloch Heritage Museum with its plans to redevelop the museum and extend its functions and facilities in new premises.
Gairloch Heritage Museum’s Gaelic collection is of great interest to Gaelic scholars. Bards of the calibre of the celebrated 18th century love poet Wiliam Ross and the Tournaig bards Alasdair and Iain Cameron, Scottish nationalist and language champion Kay Matheson and scholars such as the placename specialist Ian Fraser and the lexicographer Roy Wentworth are just some of the distinguished Gaels associated with Gairloch and its hinterland. The museum’s collection offers Sabhal Mòr Ostaig students and staff access to a wealth of material relevant to the study of history, anthropology, literature and material culture.
Gairloch Heritage Museum Chair Roy Macintyre said “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with staff and students at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration which will help us better understand the value of the collections in our care. We hope the collaboration will raise the profile of the unique Gaelic heritage of Gairloch”.
Professor Hugh Cheape who set up the postgraduate MSc Cultar Dùthchasach agus Eachdraidh na Gàidhealtachd (‘Material Culture and Gàidhealtachd History’) at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI, following a career in the National Museums Scotland, commented:
‘Access to the collections of the Gairloch Heritage Museum will open up a wealth of topics and themes for our students and researchers. The national importance of the collections for Gaelic language and literature is richly evident from the galaxy of names represented, but the material collections too are so precious for illustrating life in the district in the past and for offering insights into the lives of individuals and communities’
The memorandum of understanding was signed at the GALE centre in Gairloch. In attendance were local Gaelic scholars and members of the community who have family links to the Gairloch Bards. Staff from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI were able to examine the papers of the late Kay Matheson and Roy Wentworth, which are considered to be treasure troves of Gairloch’s Gaelic heritage. They also had a chance to view a short Gaelic film the museum recently made, which has been shortlisted for Best Community Film in the 2015 FilmG competition.