Zoom into Na h-Eileanan Siar

Where to find local collections:

Local Studies Collection, Leabharlannan nan Eilean Siar


Tasglann Nan Eilean


Hebridean Connections

Books – non fiction

A journey to the Western Isles of Scotland
by Samuel Johnson, 1775 [In Ossian Collection part of Early Gaelic Book Collection] https://digital.nls.uk/79915025

A description of the Western Islands of Scotland by Martin Martin, 1719 [In Ossian Collection part of Early Gaelic Book Collection] https://digital.nls.uk/78830163

Book – fiction

“Am bolg solair = the pedlar’s pack” edited by Elma Story and produced for the Feill A’ Chomuinn Ghaidhealaich, 1907 [In An Comunn Ghaidhealach. A collection of stories covering the Highlands and Islands. Stories set in Na h-Eileanan Siar include “Fords of the Outer Hebrides”, “Ora nam buadh” and “The last ferry”] https://digital.nls.uk/126445655


Lots of films of the Outer Hebrides can be explored here: https://movingimage.nls.uk/search?videoAccess=r&place=31

A small selection has been compiled to get you started:

The Duna Bull by Laurence Henson and IFA (Scotland) Ltd, 1972 [In Moving Image Archive. A fictional short film about an imaginary island near Na h-Eileanan Siar] https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/2229

By Lochaber I Will Go by David Paltenghi and Anglo Scottish Pictures Ltd, 1960 [In Moving Images Archive. A promotional film about the travelling bank] https://movingimage.nls.uk/film/2202

Manuscript collection

“In Memoriam Sir James Matheson, Bart”, memorabilia concerning Sir James Matheson of Achnay and the Lews, 1952 [In Guides to Archives and Manuscripts. An inventory containing the memoriam] http://digital.nls.uk/mss/acc10175


Maps of the Western Isles can be explored here. A two examples can be viewed below:

Plan of the island of South Uist by William Bald, circa 1825. [In Map Images]

Burgh of Stornoway: Plan of changes 1904, 1954 and early 20th century 1950? [In Stornoway and environs historic maps, 1780-1960s. A map showing the changing administrative boundaries in Stornoway] https://geo.nls.uk/maps/stornoway/index-en.html

An e-resource

A common claim: Community land ownership in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland by Fiona Douglas Mackenzie, 2010 [published in International Journal of the Commons (volume 4:1) accessible in Directory of Open Access Journals] https://www.doaj.org/article/74d704d1100b4ff2867e1eaee6931d7d

Crofting in the Outer Hebrides by William A Hance, 1952 [published in Economic Geography (volume 28:1) accessible in JSTOR after online registration] https://www-jstor-org.nls.idm.oclc.org/stable/141619

A business

The Carloway Mill Harris Tweed: Tradition based innovation for a sustainable future by Thomas Serdari, 2018 [In Sustainable Luxury, Entepreneurship and Innovation via Springlink in catalogue record]

The fishing industry of the Outer Hebrides by William A Hance, 1953 [published in Economic Geography (volume 28:1) accessible in JSTOR after online registration] https://www-jstor-org.nls.idm.oclc.org/stable/142457

A person

Life of Flora Macdonald and her adventures with Prince Charles by Rev. Alexander MacGregor, 1896 [In History of Scottish Families] https://digital.nls.uk/94923418

Transcript of interview with Iain Angus Macaulay, circa 2020 [In From Shore to Shore. Iain Angus Macaulay is a retired fisherman from Great Bernera (audio version of the interview can be listened to here in Gaelic)]

History of the Macleods
by Alexander MacKenzie, 1889 [History of Scottish Families. The section on the Macleods of Lewis starts on pg. 283] https://digital.nls.uk/96872586

A song

Poems and songs of John MacCodrum, Archibald MacDonald, and some of the minor Uist bards by John MacCodrum and Archibald MacDonald, 1894 [In Hew Morrison Collection in Early Gaelic Book Collections] https://digital.nls.uk/81339770

A mythical creature

The mermaid’s burial on Benbecula by Alastair Alpin MacGregor, 1937 [In Peat-fire flame: folk tales and traditions of the Highlands, pg. 108] https://digital.nls.uk/dcn6/8114/81146069.6.pdf

A castle or other historic building

Rowadil Priory in Harris by Capt. Gorse ,1789 [In Hutton Drawings. A sketch of the priory] https://digital.nls.uk/74635378

Lorg chairt Uibhist a Tuath (Historical sites of North Uist) by An Communn -[In An Comunn Gaidhealach] https://digital.nls.uk/126439221


Application to register the name “Stornoway Black Pudding” as a protected geographical indication (PGI) under the EU protected food name scheme by Scottish Government, 2010 [In Archive PDF] https://www.nls.uk/scotgov/2011/applicationtoregisterthename.pdf

A photograph

Tarbert from the south and Tarbert from the east by George W. Wilson, late 1800s [In MacKinnon Collection in Shore to Shore] https://digital.nls.uk/learning/from-shore-to-shore/images/0049.jpg

Something nearby one of the main towns

The Beginning and end of Lewis Chemical Works by D. Morrison [Scottish History Society Publications. The essay starts on pg 181. The chemical works were built in 1851 by Sir James Matheson and the former site was just west of Harris road. Look out for the commemorative stone!] : https://digital.nls.uk/126657723

Major event

Sea sorrow by the Stornoway Gazette, 1972 [ In Iolaire (learning resource). [A pamphlet describing the Iolaire disaster in 1919] https://digital.nls.uk/learning/iolaire/pages/sea-sorrow/#page/1

Something about a village or small place

Mòd nan Eilean
, 1979. [In An Comunn Gàidhealach : Royal National Mòd Programmes and Fringe Events. This was the first National Mòd to be held in the Western Isles.] https://digital.nls.uk/125548984

Further reading

Hebridean island: Memories of Scarp by Angus Duncan, first published in 1995 [a memoir of Angus’s boyhood in Scarp]

Tuath is tighearna = Tenants and landlords : an anthology of Gaelic poetry of social and political protest from the Clearances to the Land Agitation (1800-1890) by Donald Meek, 1995 [a collection of poems about the Highland Clearances and includes poetry about the Bernera Riot in 1874]

Angus McPhee, weaver of grass by Joyce Laing, 2000[a biography of Angus MacPhee an artist from South Uist]