Category Archives: News

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Two new exhibitions

We are delighted to announce that An Iodhlann is open again, albeit to only one household/bubble at a time and by appointment, and that we have two new mini-exhibitions: Virtue Mine Honour – about the RAF life and death of Charles McLean, whose father was from Kenovay, and The Sea’s Harvest – about ocean currents and the flotsam & jetsam they bring to Tiree’s shores.

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran – Event 17 May

The what, where, how and why of the Argyll Papers at Inveraray Castle

Tuesday 17th May| 7.30pm | online

Alison Diamond, Archivist at Inveraray Castle, will be giving an online talk about the Argyll Papers and how you can access those about Tiree. For your free tickets, please contact Further information can be found here.

Join our team of researchers

An Iodhlann and the Friends of the Argyll Papers are establishing new groups to uncover stories about people and events in Tiree’s history. To do this, we will be exploring the original historical records held both in An Iodhlann and in the Argyll Papers at Inveraray Castle. These small groups will meet on a weekly basis to share the process of exploration and discovery.

Transcribing historical documents at Inveraray Castle Archives (IMG_5245 © Argyll Estates)

Why should you get involved?

  • You will develop a deeper understanding of Tiree’s history and feel more connected to the island and its history.
  • You will meet like-minded people who share your interests and want to blether, laugh and learn together over coffee, tea and biscuits/cake.
  • You will add to the store of knowledge and understanding of Tiree, its people and places, and contribute to a legacy that will be preserved for future generations.
  • You will develop new skills in reading and understanding historical documents. Please note that no previous knowledge or experience is required!
Tea and cake will be provided!

If this idea appeals to you, please contact Kirsteen Connor at by 25 April 2022 to register your interest. The sessions are free and transport expenses can be covered. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran / Low Land of Song

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree: low land of song) is an island-wide creative project, taking place as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, which aims to celebrate and promote Tiree’s stories, heritage, culture and Gaelic language. At the heart of the project are seven stories from the island’s history, tradition and mythology which will be explored within their physical and historical contexts to inspire new creative work. Local artists, young people, the wider Tiree community and an international audience will all be invited to take part in exploring and re-telling these stories through a mixture of traditional music and song, film and photography, theatre and writing, and Gaelic and English.

Kicking off with ‘John Dewar’s Tiree Stories’ by Ronald Black, Tuesday 8th February, 7.30pm, ONLINE. Further information and free ticket

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran has been supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. It is supported by Argyll Estates, Historic Environment Support Fund, the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Argyll & Bute Council Supporting Communities Fund, Clan Campbell Education Foundation, Inc., CHARTS Argyll and Isles, Tiree Community Windfall Fund, Pamela Campbell Bickford, Martha McKinnon and Elizabeth Kraus.

Further information about Tìr Ìseal nan Òran

More artefacts visible online

We have made more of the collection’s artefacts available to view on this website. In the quiet winter months, our Archivist set’s up her mini photographic studio and creates digital images of the previous year’s accessions. You can view the latest here.

Boost for Written-in-the-Landscape

An Iodhlann recently appointed experienced archivist Kirsteen Connor to begin the work of making the WIL documents available through our website. Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19, Kirsteen already has a mountain of files from Inveraray to review, sort and catalogue, and is working closely with Alison Diamond at Inveraray regarding the transfer of additional files. It shouldn’t be long before we start seeing these ‘hidden gems’ on our website.

Duncan Grant 1933-2021

We are sad to pass on the news that Duncan Grant, a founder member of An Iodhlann, died on Tiree in early January.

Having been a leading light of the Gaelic community in Glasgow, Duncan was there at the establishment of the Tiree and Coll Gaelic Partnership by Strathclyde Regional Council in 1996. After we set up An Iodhlann in the old Reading Room in Scarinish in 1999, Duncan quickly established himself as an expert genealogist in the days when data retrieval meant hours of spooling through reels of microfilm, and information storage meant keeping thousands of family connections in your head. Duncan – using his local knowledge, infinite patience and prodigious memory – handled hundreds of enquiries from the Tiree diaspora, and played a big part in establishing An Iodhlann’s reputation around the world. From his time in Ruaig School during the Second World War and many summers spent with his family on Tiree, he was a keen observer of island life and had a wonderfully humorous way of re-telling it to a new generation. He ‘retired’ in 2016, although he was still able to come into the archive occasionally to help visitors with particularly difficult problems. He was delighted when Flo Straker, with all her expertise, agreed to take on his role. We will miss him.

Dr John Holliday

Tiree in 100 Objects – 76 to 100

We are pleased to announce that visitors to our website can now view the remaining 25 archive items featured in Dr John Holliday’s series of articles ‘Tiree in 100 Objects’, which were first published in the island’s community newsletter, An Tirisdeach. Object 76 can be viewed here, and you can view the entire series here. We hope that you enjoy them.

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