We offer books, maps, census material, photographs and documents dating from the 1400s but the main pull of the Orkney Archive has always been the impossibly lovely visages of the staff. Sadly, you will no longer be able to examine these up close as we have been wearing face masks on the search room floor since re-opening.
Our original council-issue grey, flaccid rags made us feel sad/unstylish/like we were in prison, so we often wear our own. As expected, our masks reflect our personalities.
Staunch nationalist Dusty bought her mask from the same shop as Nicola Sturgeon and has installed a small speaker in the side which plays Scotland the Brave whenever a visitor arrives.
Our crafty and gardening-loving archive assistant HandyAndy made her floral delight with her own fair hands. Like her cakes and plants, each home-made mask is impeccably made and cared for.
Our library slash archive assistant Bootsy has, along with many fellow spectacle wearers, been suffering from steamy lenses. Tina Turner made steamy windows sound great but steamy lenses are both blinding and reminiscent of pervy nerds. Something had to be done. Her funky masks include the genius addition of an inserted pipe-cleaner to pin the top of the mask to her nose.
I myself ordered an ecologically and morally sound face mask woven from left -over rice crispies who had stipulated in their wills that they wished to be fashioned into a mask after their deaths.
What about you readers, do you wear a sporty brand mask or is it long, fringed and scarf-like? Have you sent away for a personalised one or do you simply pick up a packet of disposable masks with your weekly shop? Let us see when you next visit us as we do require all archive users to wear a mask whilst walking around the building although you can remove it when sitting down to work.