Thursday, 16 April 2015

Celebrating World Heritage Day

We have a pop-up display of archives in the Orkney Library & Archive Foyer for the next 7 days, excluding Sunday. So if you're in the town, do pop by to see it!

We are celebrating World Heritage Day which is on Saturday 18th April.

The display is a mixture of archives and photographs which relate to the three main sites of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, namely Maeshowe, Skara Brae and the stone circles of Brodgar and Stenness.

We have a letter written in 1814 from a farmer apologising for pulling down some standing stones so that he could "plue" the field; a plan of the Skara Brae site after excavation drawn by William G T Watt in November 1867; and a pencil drawing of the Maeshowe site after excavation with no date or artist given.

The photos show Professor V Gordon Childe, archaeologist with workmen employed on excavations at Skara Brae, Sandwick in 1928; the standing stones and dolmen at Stenness; and an artists impression of the Ring of Brodgar.

And these photos from the Tom Kent collection:

Stone circle of Stenness with dolmen TK4071
Skara Brae c.1927-32   TK3991
Maeshowe TK4045

I hope you will be able to come in the see the display, but if not, I will share some scans of the archives at a later date.
Archive references used in display: D8/3/11, D1/927, D2/17/4, D8/4/1/2, D29/2/11               
Photographic references used in display: TK4071, L854/4, L8343/3, TK3972, TK3991, TK4045, L7255/2.


  1. It looks to me as if the men at Skara Brae are enjoying the view! ^_^

    I wish I were close enough to come see the exhibit--and the sites themselves. What fun!

    1. I think they were, haha. But both the women's clothes and the time of the excavation helped to date the picture.
      Just spotted a person pretending to be a ghost in the top left of that picture

  2. I spy the "ghost!" But it looks like a coat hung over a fence post or a standing stone, to me.

    The women's clothing shows how much times have changed. They were wearing what was considered excavation gear--or, at least, exploration gear. These days, the women would be in pants just like the men. And, speaking as a woman, pants are much more practical for this type of activity. I'm old enough that when I was little, women and girls still wore skirts for most things. It was a Big Deal, one Sunday when Daddy told my mom, my sisters, and me to wear pants to church because it was too cold to be in skirts!


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