Monday, 30 November 2020

Archive in a Pandemic A-Z: J is for


Never mind the long rumoured Friends reunion, the best reconnections this year have been with Orkney Archive and their visitors. Autumn/Winter usually brings our faithful local researchers back to the Searchroom and it was a very merry morning when Balfour Blogger and small island dwelling regular Island Hopper were finally able to book in again. Papers were spread out over desks, opinions sought and chatter was had.

The building reopened to staff in July and, whilst we were delighted to remake each other's acquaintance, without our researchers we felt adrift, hollow and without purpose. The archive staff are never happier than when pressing a box of old letters into the hands of an eager local historian or helping them track down a half-remembered photograph.

We also like eavesdropping on the conversations of others and felt sad when this could not be achieved.

Our requirement that users wear masks in the searchroom means that we are seeing slightly less of our lovely visitors but it has been a tonic having a (slightly) busier searchroom.

Long term research is currently taking place on the The Balfour family, Highland Park Whisky Distillery, Lady Burroughs of Rousay and Orkney & Shetland's place in 15th-18th century European Trade Networks.

Hurrah for jolly reunions!


  1. Hurrah indeed! It's nice to hear that your researchers are back. I wish them luck in finding the details they're looking for.

  2. It is a lovely piece of normality and we very much appreciate it. I hope that yourself and your family are getting back to normality too.

  3. We are. Mr Genknit Jr (our son) is doing very well. Mr Genknit and I have lingering coughs and fatigue, but presumably these will go away eventually. Sorry it took me so long to reply--I didn't see your response.

    I'm happy that, at least somewhere, there is a return to what approaches "normal." ^_^


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