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Highland Archive Centre: Family history continues to be very popular

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Highlights of 2022.
Highlights of 2022.

As ever, 2022 was a busy one at the Highland Archive Centre, with the site welcoming a wide variety of visitors to our search room and family history centre with everything from French students studying 18th century court papers to Highlanders researching roads, bridges and hotels, writes the team at the centre.

We continue to share our collections to diverse audiences through our outreach and engagement programme. We have worked with schools to look at the Jacobites, World War I, drovers, the clearances, healthcare, and archiving as a career (among other subjects).

We have given presentations to SWIs, heritage festivals and private groups, taken part in events for Ukrainian refugees and mental health staff, and hosted talks to mark the 200th anniversary of the Caledonian Canal, the 30th anniversary of the Kessock Bridge, and Doors Open Day.

It has also been a pleasure again to work with Fife College at HMP Inverness, speaking to learners on the subject of Black History Month and sharing some of the documents we hold relating to the Highland link to the Caribbean slave economy.

Read more: From the Archives: Hydro power is not just a modern thing

Family history continues to be very popular. If you know of someone who might like to look into their family story next year, why not get them a gift voucher?

We were also involved in Voices: the Community Story which saw 10 local authority archives work to capture memories and stories under the theme of ‘migration’. The Highland Archive Centre worked with colleagues in High Life Highland adult learning to record the stories of individuals who had come to the Highlands after leaving conflict in Syria.

The resulting conversations are powerful and moving and will make a significant addition to our collections as well as being an important undertaking for those involved. One participant told us: “Of course I would like to share my story in the archives. As I write these words, I feel that someone cares about me and this makes me very happy. I have lost a home, land, and memories of childhood and youth.

“I am now in the greatest joy that God has given me a new home, in which I share with my Scottish brothers and sisters. I love my new homeland. Please, accept me as one of your community, from your country. Consider me as a brother, an uncle and a loyal friend.

“I love you Scotsmen. I truly love you and I feel today that I am one of you.”

The project culminated in a celebratory event in Edinburgh, which was enjoyed by all, and some of the interviews can be heard on the Scottish Council on Archives website.

We would like to wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

n The Highland Archive Centre will reopen at 10am on January 4.

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