Our new website section outlining a project to capture the oral history of Orkney’s North Isles is now available.
Gaan Nort was undertaken by the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) and led by Dr Tom Rendall, relief lecturer at UHI Orkney. It saw a team of researchers carry out interviews with almost 90 folk in the isles.
Funded by the North Isles Landscape Partnership Scheme, the project captures the memories and experiences from across the islands. Some interviews touched on integration within the islands, attitudes towards the Orkney dialect, involvement with the heritage and cultural activities or current challenges facing island communities, while others reflected on changes in farming practices, the impact of mechanisation and the way of life at the present day.
The full project report is also available to download.
Complete versions of all the interviews are available in the Orkney Library and Archive and almost all are fully transcribed, leaving a fantastic legacy and bank of material for future use.
Dr Rendall, who grew up in Sanday, said: “As a native of Sanday, I feel privileged to have completed this project in the North Isles – islands which have been part of my life since the day I was born.
“As I embarked on the fieldwork, it became clear that this would be a personal journey and not just another project. Speaking to folk from all over the North Isles and hearing their account of life and sharing their memories gave me a greater appreciation of my own life in Sanday, even though I left there over thirty years ago.
“I hope that this project – the recording and transcriptions – however they are used – will provide a comprehensive corpus of knowledge of this special part of Orkney.”
Dr Rendall is heading out to the isles over the coming weeks to tell people more about the project. For full details, see the North Isles Landscape Partnership Facebook page.