An £80,000 new archive centre, which preserves and makes available documents relating to aspects of Lochaber’s history from the 15th Century until the present day, was formally opened today Friday (11 April) by Lord Lieutenant, Donald Cameron of Lochiel.
Lochaber Archive Centre – Ionad Tasglann Loch Abar holds estate and family archives of Cameron of Lochiel and Cameron-Head of Lochailort. The centre also holds archives of parishes within the Presbytery of Lochaber.
Funded by The Highland Council and Highland 2007 the new centre - located at the Lochaber College - is part of The Highland Council’s hub and spokes strategy for the provision of its Archive Service. In addition to Lochaber, an area Archive Centre has been established in Caithness and another centre is being developed in Skye and Lochalsh.
Donald Cameron of Lochiel said: "I am delighted to open this wonderful archive centre as I am very supportive of the concept of gathering historical papers, preserving them and making them available to the public. Lochaber has a rich history and I hope many people will gift or lend documents so that the Archive will become a repository of unique and important information. The Lochiel family papers have been handled extremely well by the Highland Council Archivist's team for whom I have nothing but praise."
Councillor Bren Gormley, Vice Chairman of The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Committee said: “The opening of Lochaber Archive Centre confirms the Council’s commitment to maintaning and developing an active interest in the heritage and history of the Highlands. Establishment of this centre is a major achievement in delivering a Highland-wide network of local archive facilities which will play a major role in the ‘Year of Highland Homecoming’ in 2009 and beyond.
“Archive staff at the centre are hoping to work with heritage groups and local museums to preserve the archival heritage of the area. I hope that these and many new collections will expand the wealth of information held locally including the transference of some materials from The National Archives of Scotland. An education and outreach programme will also be developed through the Lochaber Archive Centre.”
Records of The Highland Council relating to Lochaber and other historically important archives from the area will be stored in a secure and environmentally controlled archive repository.
A search room is available for members of the public to consult the archives and is supervised by trained staff that are on hand to help. Photocopying and digital photography of documents, subject to the condition of the documents, can be carried out by staff.
Collections and resources in the Lochaber Archive Centre - Ionad Tasglann Loch Abar include:
- Council and local authority records for the Lochaber region, including school and education records and police records;
- Valuation Rolls;
- Estate and Family Archives of Cameron of Lochiel and Cameron-Head of Lochailort;
- Records of the parishes of the Presbytery of Lochaber;
- Maps and Plans, including large scale Ordnance Survey sheets;
- Burial records for Lochaber (available on CD which are accessible by staff);
- Volumes of Statistical Accounts for Scotland;
- Census returns on microfilm for Lochaber (1841 -1901); and
- Old Parish Registers on microfilm.
The Lochaber Archive Centre is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10am-1pm and 2pm to 5pm. Parking is available behind the college, and snacks and drinks are available in the college café. For further information please telephone 01397 701942 or 700946, view the Internet at www.highland.gov.uk/lochaberarchives or e-mail Lochaber.firstname.lastname@example.org