A corner of the archive section of the museum dedicated to the late Jeemsie Laurenson, the renowned local folklorist and storyteller.
The archive project employed two Fetlar residents part time for two winters. It involved:
The oral history recordings and some of the photographs were ultimately used to produce a booklet: Flittin peats in Fetlar, a photographic history of the peat flitting with quotes from the audio archive to explain each image. See archive section for more details
Two training projects at Fetlar Interpretive Centre gave three local people qualifications in basic information technology and community group management. The project focused on work at Fetlar Interpretive Centre such as the computerised catalogue and the production of exhibition material. The three trainees went on to be employed on the subsequent Information Project.Signed photograph of Queen Victoria, presented to Sir William Watson Cheyne, following a successful operation performed by him on John Brown, the Queen's servant and friend. The photograph is part of the national exhibition on Sir Watson, housed in the new extension of Fetlar Interpretive Centre.
This project provided a much-needed extension to the exhibition space at Fetlar Interpretive Centre, as well as a new store. The construction of the store provided an opportunity to take advice from Scottish Museums Council conservators on storage materials and techniques, and provided valuable experience for the Custodian in storing the museum's collections.
This project employed three local people to research and present in multi-media format a wide range of historical and natural history information about the island, in order to make it more accessible to the public. Having gathered and collated the information over two winters, the researchers passed it to Write Design (a multi-media and Website consultancy based in Fetlar) who kindly turned the information into interactive multi-media presentations for us on a sponsorship basis.
The project also created our genealogical database, to which more information is constantly being added, and an extensive database on bird information which is updated annually. During the project a new dimension was added to the Archive Corner - volumes of newspaper cuttings about Fetlar from the 1890s to the present day. These were indexed and interpreted for public viewing.
This project was interesting for its successful cross-sector partnerships and the broader potential benefits for other small museums within the Shetland network. The project's aim was to upgrade all FMT's software to coincide with the year 2000, and also to standardise the information in the museum catalogue by adapting SPECTRUM standards to the needs of the small museum. The "museum" requirements were worked out in consultation with Shetland Museum, to provide a set of standard fields which would cover the information most small museums in Shetland would need. Help on the technical side was offered by Shetland Enterprise who took all our details and requirements and created a standard database in Microsoft Access, which could theoretically be used as a template by other small museums in Shetland. At least one small museum outside Fetlar has since made use of this service and with the advent of the new Shetland Heritage Association in the near future there are hopes that it can be of even more widespread use.
The project also created an extensive set of copies of original documents at the Centre, in order to make the information in them more accessible to the public.Local MSP, Tavish Scott (left) talking to Peter Harper of North Antrim during the website launch day of the Island Trail project (Tavish officially launched the website).
Island Trail Project
This was the first transnational project where Fetlar was the lead partner, which involved sourcing the funding and managing the project from beginning to end, including ongoing communications.
Fetlar, and Rathlin and Tory Islands in Ireland, have roughly the same population levels of around 90-150, and the tourist industry is becoming increasingly important for all three islands.
The idea of a joint Website was to help each of the islands tap into each other's markets, as visitors travelling from as far away as the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand may want to visit other, similar parts of the British Isles during their visit.
The first meeting of the project was held in Rathlin, where partners' responsibilities were decided, and following this the Website was produced in Fetlar with information and photographs sent from the other partners. The Website was launched at Fetlar Interpretive Centre in November 2000 by the Shetland MSP Tavish Scott, with an evening of Shetland traditional song and dance in the Fetlar Hall, provided by Shetland Arts Trust.