Fetlar Interpretive Centre
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Digitisation Project
 

Archives

A set of clibbers, part of the equipment once used on the back of a pony to 'flit peats'.A set of clibbers, part of the equipment once used on the back of a pony to 'flit peats'.

Photographs
The Interpretive Centre holds around 3,000 photographs or copies of photographs, and although some of these form part of the interpretive exhibitions, most of the remainder are available for viewing in albums in albums in the Archive Corner or on computer presentations. They fall broadly under the following themes:

  • Fetlar family photographs
  • Photographs of special occasions such as presentations
  • Leisure and social gatherings
  • Crofting work
  • Peat work
  • Ships and the sea, including the Earls of the Zetland (supply steamers) and flit boats
  • Schools and teachers
  • Wildlife
  • Local buildings and houses
  • Traditions
  • The Brough Lodge and Nicolson Family Collection
  • The Leagarth Collection/Sir William Watson Cheyne

For details of particular photographs please contact the Custodian, or you may wish to view a selection in the Digitisation Project section of this website.

Documents
The original documents in the Archive are kept in storage, but copies of most are available for viewing in albums in the Archive Corner or on computer presentations. They consist of the following themes:

  • Diaries, in particular, the extensive, complete diary of William Tulloch, shopkeeeper at Tresta, Fetlar (diary covers period 1901 to around 1914, with a preface giving background further back), and copies of the extensive but probably incomplete diaries of Lady Annie Nicolson of Brough Lodge, covering the period 1902-mid 1930s (the originals of Lady Nicolson's diary are owned and kept by Shetland Archives in Lerwick)
  • Documents from Brough Lodge, including receipts and World War 1 memorabilia
  • Documents pertaining to Sir William Watson Cheyne and Antiseptic Surgery (most of which are copies and the originals are not owned by FMT). For more details, see www.watsoncheyne.shetland.co.uk
  • Newspaper cuttings about Fetlar from the 1890s to present day (updated each week)
  • Personal letters dating back to the mid 19th century
  • The Greenland whaling (certificates of discharge) and whaling in South Georgia
  • Wrecks, storms and the Fetlar Auxiliary Coastguard
  • Crofting documents
  • Accounts books
  • Household receipts and licences
  • Memorabilia of events and entertainment

Some of the 19th century china from Brough Lodge, now housed in Fetlar Interpretive Centre.Some of the 19th century china from Brough Lodge, now housed in Fetlar Interpretive Centre.

Oral history recordings
The recordings held at FIC are generally available for the public to hear in the Archive Corner, and an index is available.

The largest single proportion of the recordings are of the late Jamesie Laurenson of Aithbank, Fetlar's best-known storyteller who died in the 1980s and who was recorded by researchers from throughout Britain. His local tales, folklore and songs had been handed down through generations of his and other families, and his distinctive storytelling style makes for an entertaining experience. The material is in dialect, but most visitors find they can understand at least the gist.

Themes of recordings by other local people include memories of the peat-flitting and the flit-boats.

Film/video
Fetlar Interpretive Centre's extensive film and video archive starts with film taken at Brough Lodge in the 1930s and ends with some of the most recent events in the island, but material is added to the archive all the time to provide an ongoing record of island life.

Some of the video material has been edited into manageable, documentary-type presentations which are available for public viewing at the Centre. Popular clips include the Brough Lodge film, Houbie Mondays when the flit-boat was unloaded with the week's goods in the 1950s and 60s, and video of snowy owls.

Ask the Custodian for more details.


© Fetlar Interpretive Centre
Beach of Houbie
Fetlar, Shetland, ZE2 9DJ
Tel: 01957 733206 email: info@fetlar.com