Dipping into the Well: Scottish Oral Tradition


The School of Scottish Studies was set up in 1951 to collect, research, archive, and publish material relating to the folklore, ethnology, and traditional arts of Scotland. Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches is a recent project that has enabled digitization of audio recordings and the creation of an online resource containing thousands of items from the school’s archives. This article describes the project and provides a historical tale from St Kilda as an example of archival material.



Lachlan MacNeill, John Francis Campbell, and Hector MacLean, Islay, 1870.

Photo: School of Scottish Studies Archives.

Angus MacNeil and Calum Maclean, Smearisary, 1959.

Photo: Ian Whitaker, (School of Scottish Studies Archives).

Tobar an Dualchais: Process of digitization.

Graphic: Cathlin Macaulay.

St Kilda. Village Bay, Oiseabhal and Conachair, 1938.

Photo: Robert Atkinson, (School of Scottish Studies Archives).

Finlay MacQueen snaring puffins, Carn Mor, St Kilda, 1938.

hoto: Robert Atkinson, (School of Scottish Studies Archives).

St Kilda: Stac an Armainn, 1947.

hoto: Robert Atkinson, (School of Scottish Studies Archives).

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