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.
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.
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
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.
Our archivist spent most of December photographing and uploading many more artefacts from An Iodhlann’s collection. You can view all of our digitised artefacts here. We hope you enjoy them.
Alison Diamond, Archivist at Inveraray Castle, is currently looking for volunteers who would like to transcribe late 18th and 19th century handwriting – and documents primarily relating (but not exclusively) to Tiree and Mull. Some of these documents fall within the remit of An Iodhlann’s ‘Written in the Landscape‘ project and the transcriptions will become a valuable addition to our archive. Alison says “Have a look at the examples shown here and, if you think this is something that you might enjoy, drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t promise that the documents will always be this neat…”
An Iodhlann has just received a fascinating, newly published book ‘Tiree and the Dukes of Argyll 1674-1922, by James Petre. A concise history of one island during arguably the most dramatic period in Scottish history. A story of change and controversy. At its core are ducal policy, burgeoning population growth, destitution and emigration, followed by government intervention and land settlement.
Here is the latest update from the archivists at Inveraray Archives and LiveArgyll who brought their fascinating exhibition to Tiree in May. Many thanks to all who made this event such a huge success.
‘The Small Regiment, Vol. 1 – Origins of the Clan MacKinnon 100BCE-1621CE‘. This well researched and informative book, published by Clan MacKinnon Publishing, Canada, provides an account of the Clan MacKinnon from its Celtic origins to the ‘regulation of the clans’ from London in the early 1600s. It also includes some useful history of associated clans and Scotland in general. Generously donated by Martha McKinnon, Canada, and available to borrow from An Iodhlann (conditions apply).