Project Partners

Hebridean Connection Logo

Hebridean Connections Ltd

“The CURIOS project will enable us to establish a more joined-up network of heritage groups …The open source development using linked data will assist with the long term sustainability of our cultural heritage repositories, creating a new model of resilience and a means of future proofing for the heritage sector.”  Donnie Morrison, Hebridean Connections

Hebridean Connections is a digital archiving project that was launched in 2004, when four historical societies from the Isle of Lewis (Kinloch, Pairc, Uig and Bernera) began inputting a selection of their historical records onto a new website. These records were in large part based on oral history collected from local communities, with the main emphasis being on people, places and the links between them. Close to 30,000 records were contributed to the website during the first stage of the project, and the four founder societies were later joined by two others, Carloway and Berneray (Sound of Harris).

After a lapse of several years during which no new information was added, funding was obtained for a second project phase at the beginning of 2013. As well as completely rebuilding the website, the aim of this current phase is to increase the number of records significantly and to expand the geographical range of the project by encouraging more societies to participate. Participants are being provided with training in IT and other relevant skills, as part of a more general drive to encourage volunteering and promote digital inclusion within local communities.

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bothylogo3 Portsoy Salmon Bothy

The Salmon Bothy in Portsoy was constructed in 1834 to serve as a base for salmon fishing operations.  The rights to coastal salmon fishing were held by the Seafield Estate, who granted leases to specialist managers, employing teams of seasonal workers.  In common with other salmon houses, that in Portsoy was designed as an ice store, but it is perhaps unique in incorporating a large storage/maintenance loft, a sleeping bothy for the working crew and living quarters for the manager and his family.

When commercial salmon fishing at Portsoy ended in 1990, the Salmon Bothy fell into disuse and disrepair.  This sorry state of affairs was eventually resolved when the building was purchased by the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, a registered charity which in 1993 had instigated the tercentenary celebrations of the construction of the town’s old harbour.  This event has since become an annual highlight, renowned throughout Scotland and beyond.  With funding secured, restoration work set in train and the Salmon Bothy was offically opened in 2008 by Scotland’s First Minister.

Today the Salmon Bothy breathes with fresh vitality.  Its ground floor serves as a museum, where the history of salmon fishing is presented within the context of Portsoy’s colourful heritage and has achieved 4* grading from VisitScotland as a vibothy in snowsitor attraction.  The old manager’s quarters have a new rôle as the office for the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, while those keen to research their local roots can take advantage of the specialist resources available in the tiny sleeping bothy.  The old mending loft buzzes with activity, as a meeting place for community groups and social events of every kind.   Beloved by generations of Portsoy folk, the Salmon Bothy has become a focal point for the local community, where the distinctive cultural heritage of the area is kept alive.

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Dr Alison C Kay – iSchool, Northumbria University

Dr. Alison C Kay is a historian based in the iSchool at Northumbria University. Her involvement in the POWkist project forms part of her broader research into citizen-historians and micro archival collections, sometimes referred to as ‘shoebox archives’.

The iSchool at Northumbria University conducts research into the complex issues arising from the interactions between people, information, organizations and technology. Dr. Kay and her colleagues examine its human, social, organizational and political dimensions. Their aim is to inform the development of theory, policy, good practice and information governance for the benefit of a range of audiences. These are: information users, practitioners/professionals, academics and organisational communities.

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Portsoy Past and Present

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