Friday 22 December 2017

Advent Quiz Number 4.

It is the last Archive Christmas Quiz dear readers and it is a fairly easy one.

We received some archives yesterday in a recycled box. What was this box originally?

There is no prize as we close at 3pm today and are already too drunk to find the box of Orkney Library & Archive merchandise. Play for our eternal esteem only.

The Orkney Library & Archive shall not open again until Saturday the 6th of January at 9.15am.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Joyful and Peaceful New Year.

Thursday 21 December 2017

75 minutes until sunset...

Above is the view from the archive window today as it is the winter solstice and that means a day of approximately 12 seconds in this Northern hinterland. THE SUN SHALL SET AT 3.15pm TODAY!!!

Of course, our microscopic winter days are eventually replaced by epic Summer nights and today is actually lovely and clear but we do like to complain.

Poem by Margaret Tait. Orkney Archive Reference D97/45/3/4

Friday 15 December 2017

Practical Folklore #1

A charm to boil the kettle faster taken from the Ernest Walker Marwick collection. You're welcome...

Taken from the Ernest Walker Marwick papers reference D31/2/5

Thursday 14 December 2017

Advent Quiz Number 3.

We seem to be celebrating advent with random archive quizzes this year, hurrah! So, following on from our mysterious objects and our archive conundrum, please welcome the weird bike picture quiz:

Why did this bike look like this? We'll give a prize for the first, most plausible reason and a better one for the most ridiculous idea.

Picture taken from the Hourston collection. To find out more about the photographer, please click here.

Saturday 9 December 2017

The Anagram Victor

Many thanks for all of the delightfully weird anagrams you sent. Some of you cleverly used the letters in 'heart' or 'love' in your word play but we very strictly discounted those as we wished to change our banner to the winning re-shufflement which was:

Was Vic Here

A giant Orkney Archive & Library paperclip and pen shall be claimed by Andrew Marriot (@wet_kipper)
 on twitter who made us hoot with his four anagrams and reminded us of an 80s hit by Department S (See below...look at his hair! What a great coat!) Send us your details Andrew!

Honourable mention must be made to our fellow archivist at Balliol, @balliolarchives, who also sent us four anagrams with accompanying explanations.

Friday 8 December 2017

Chiving Home For Christmas...

Oh readers, we try to be festive and it makes us look like fools! What is the first thing you read when you see our snazzy, Christmas lights display below?:

Intelligent and handsome readers will, of course, read 'WE ♥ ARCHIVES' unlike the many visitors, family history society treasurers and MEMBERS OF STAFF who thought that we had taken the time to construct and hang a banner which declared 'WE ARE CHIVES' to the rest of the world.

Even making the heart bigger and redder made no difference. 'Why have you hung a banner saying that you are chives?' the people kept asking.

Honestly... why bother?

For some Friday Fun, online prestige and an Orkney Library and Archive giant paper-clip, do please send in any anagrams you can make from the banner.

Thursday 7 December 2017

The Wind Beneath Our Wings... Again.

You can't live in Orkney and then complain about bad weather. (Except we do. Constantly.) On days like these it's better just to give in to it. It's not blowing a gale, It's just Orkney 'singing':

Click to enlarge
Poem taken from a 1948 edition of The Orcadian. (16th December 1948).

Friday 1 December 2017

Mystery Object Revelation...

last night we asked you: What are these?

These little objects fell out of a letter whilst our tireless Balfour Blogger was working through a box of Balfour correspondence. We were all fairly puzzled until we discovered that they are... paint samples. Well done to JanCherryJovi on twitter who guessed this within 22 minutes.

These pieces of cardboard daubed with 'straw', 'stone' and 'dark pink' shades were sent through the post 230 years ago by David Balfour to his brother Thomas. The colours and mixing instructions can be found below:

Click to enlarge.

The letter was sent on the 30th July 1787 from Edinburgh to Orkney and closes with 'enclosed are patterns of the paints - with a note of the price':

This image is clearer if you click on it to enlarge

This entirely delightful archive is completed by a fabulous wax seal:

We heart seals.