Long Island Links

This is an attempt to collate online sources of information relating to the history and heritage of the Isle of Lewis and Isle of Harris (the ‘Long Island’ of the title) in the Western Isles of Scotland.
It is an ongoing project and suggestions for additions are welcomed. I have compiled it because, although there is a lot of information ‘out there’, it can prove a challenging task searching for it.

Language Note – I endeavour to give priority to Gaelic spellings (with their English counterparts in brackets) for I am committed to supporting the language as much as possible and believe that any true understanding of a people and their culture can only be attained if the language that the former use to produce the latter is fully embraced.

WHERE?
A Vision of Britain Through Time – http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/index.jsp
Confusingly, the Isles of Haris and Lewis are actually a single landmass (with satellite islands) but they sat in the old Counties of Inverness-shire and Ross-shire respectively. This site shows you how the two ‘isles’ relate to each other and to the two counties on the mainland of Scotland.
Update: An excellent scholarly review of the site is to be found here: http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/934 (and I’m not just saying that because it uses Tarbert in Harris as an example!)

MAPS
Google Maps Streetview is a fantastic way of making a ‘virtual visit’ – http://maps.google.co.uk/
Multimap offers views of Ordnance Survey OS 1:50 000 maps http://www.multimap.com/?db=GB
National Library of Scotland – http://www.nls.uk/collections/maps/index.html
(High Resolution images of old maps to view online)

WHAT?
Lewis & Harris Guide – http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/areawestnorth/index.html
(Certainly a good place to start, but many of the sites listed below either do not feature, or take a fair bit of searching to locate, within this guide)

Lewis comprises the parishes of Stornoway, Barvas, Lochs and Uig whilst the parish of Harris included many more islands in addition to Harris itself. Further subdivisions of these parishes into local communities can be a little confusing for the newcomer so I have organised all these links by alphabetically by parish, with Harris following Lewis.

COMANN EACHDRAIDH (Historical Society), COMMUNITY, & VISITOR CENTRE SITES


BARVAS
CE Bharabhais agus Bhru (Barvas and Brue Historical society) – http://barvasandbrue.com/
CE Nis (Ness historical Society) – http://www.c-e-n.org/
LOCHS
Lochs Community Web Site – http://www.lochslewis.org/
CE na Pairc (Pairc Historical Society) – http://www.cepairc.com/
Rubha an Fhithich (Ravenspoint Centre) http://ravenspoint.net/default.aspx
Angus Macleod Archive – http://www.angusmacleodarchive.org.uk/
STORNOWAY
Stornoway Historical Society – http://www.stornowayhistoricalsociety.org.uk/
UIG
CE Uig (Uig Historical Society) http://www.ceuig.com/
Calanais Visitor Center (Callanish) – http://www.callanishvisitorcentre.co.uk/
HARRIS
CE Na Hearadh (Harris Historical Society) is currently ‘in hibernation’.
Seallam Visitor Centre – http://www.seallam.com/
In Northton, South Harris and home to ‘Co Leis Thu’ genealogy research and Bill Lawson’s books

GENEALOGY
Ancestry – http://www.ancestry.co.uk/
(Transcribed records of the censuses plus global records of many varieties)
Scotland’s People – http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/
Guide to Scottish records – http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/scottishwayofbirthanddeath/
(Full explanation of the system from 1855-1939 with example images, some from the isles)
Occupations – http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?r=551&430
(A comprehensive list of Scottish occupations with definitions)
Hebridean Connections – http://www.hebrideanconnections.com/
(Currently covering four areas in the south of Lewis, this is a fantastic site whether you have ‘Hebridean Connections’ or not!)

ARCHAEOLOGY
Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/
Canmore – http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/
Story of Human Settlement in the Isles – http://www.archaeologyhebrides.com/
Culture Hebrides – Archaeology – http://www.culturehebrides.com/archaeology/

WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHIC SOURCES
National Library of Scotland – http://www.nls.uk/
Scottish Archive Network – http://www.scan.org.uk/index.html
The Statistical Accounts of Scotland 1879-1845 – http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp?action=public
Am Baile – Highland History & Culture – http://www.ambaile.org.uk/
Napier Commission in the Outer Hebrides- http://napier-outerhebrides.blogspot.com/

SCOTTISH GAELIC
Dwelly’s Dictionary – http://www.cairnwater.co.uk/gaelicdictionary/index.aspx?Language=en
(Particularly attractive as you can view the original pages as well as the transcripts)
Gaelic Placenames – http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/vli/language/gaelic/vl-trans.htm#places
(5 pdf files at bottom of page)
Extent of Gaelic-speaking in one part of Harris (pdf)
http://www.linguae-celticae.org/dateien/1891_GLP_091_Stocanais.pdf
Bord na Gaidhlig – http://www.gaidhlig.org.uk/welcome.html

MARITIME
Birlinn – Hebridean Galleys and West Coast Traditional Boats – http://galgael.org/birlinn/
Maritime History Archive – http://www.mun.ca/mha/
(Newfoundland-based but home to many original 19thC British documents)

LOCAL AUTHORITY
Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar (CNES) (Western Isles Council) – http://www.w-isles.gov.uk/
(Links to museum, libraries, etc plus data on the islands, past and present)

BLOGS
A lot of interesting information and personal accounts are to be found in blogs from people in, from, or with an interest in, the isles, and here are a diverse selection to whet the appetite:

Alpacas of Lewis – http://scalpaylinen.blogspot.com/
Atlantic Lines – http://atlantic-lines.blogspot.com/
Calana Crafts – http://calanacrafts.blogspot.com/
Faces from the Lewis War Memorial – http://facesmemorial.blogspot.com/
Photo Hebrides – http://hebphoto.blogspot.com/
Scalpay Linen – http://scalpaylinen.blogspot.com/
Scottish Genealogy News and Events – http://scottishancestry.blogspot.com/
The Croft – http://thecroft.wordpress.com/
Tweed thoughts… – http://idreamoftweed.blogspot.com/

AND FINALLY…
This is very much a first attempt and in no way meant to be exhaustive or definitive.
I am working, with friends, on a possible expansion of the idea so as to provide a comprehensive online resource but meanwhile we need folks input and ideas so please provide feedback, either in the form of a comment or via email!

Update: The Diigo group ‘Outer Hebrides’ is now available – more information can be seen here: http://www.ceuig.com/links/more-links

Tapadh leat! (Thank you!) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Gaelic

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