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Four student volunteers have done research to showcase the Spirit of the Highlands

By Imogen James

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History students from the University of the Highlands and Islands have completed four projects on the Highlands by scouring the archives at the Inverness Archive Centre. The projects cover potato crops, nuclear power, Bealach na Bà, and the Jacobites.

The students were tasked with the research by High Life Highland as part of its Spirit of the Highlands project, which is linked to Inverness Castle.

Katherine Davidson (21), researched healthcare in the Highlands in the early 20th century and the Jacobite risings. She said: “Living in the Highlands for the last three years has allowed me to immerse myself in its history and has become a favourite pastime for me to explore.

“Therefore, when the possibility came to work with and shape how this colourful history would be told to future generations, it was something I could not pass.”

Janet Bryer said: “I was enthusiastic about getting involved in the Spirit of the Highlands project having been on a tour of Inverness Castle.

Janet Bryer.
Janet Bryer.

“Visiting the archives has given me the chance to reflect on how the history of the Highlands and Islands can be curated to the benefit of all. In turn, this is already reflecting back into my studies.”

Hugh Gosling, in his second year of studies, said: “When I saw the call for volunteers I jumped at the chance. From the first time I visited the Highlands and every day since, I feel the spirit of the Highlands everywhere, and I think it’s a fantastic idea to focus on this aspect of what is a very special place. The redevelopment of Inverness Castle looks amazing.”

Hugh Gosling.
Hugh Gosling.

Fourth-year student Caitlin Jackson (24), who works as an office assistant on a farming estate, said: “Volunteering with the Spirit of the Highlands project gives me the incredible opportunity to gain first-hand experience in archival research as well as gaining insight into how such a wide-scale public history project can function and engage with the wider community.”

Caitlin Jackson.
Caitlin Jackson.

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