Category Archives: News

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.

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.

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.

Artefact Exhibition online

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.

Made by Sam Stevenson, Scarinish, 1940s

Document transcribers needed

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 I can’t promise that the documents will always be this neat…”

New in – Tiree and the Dukes of Argyll

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.