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Cladaichean to Laebraks

Moder Dy CIC has teamed up with MSDS Marine (Scotland) along with other archaeologists, archivists and local history societies in Shetland and Skye to deliver an innovative Scottish islands community maritime and coastal heritage project. To reflect this Scottish inter-island theme we have called our project Cladaichean to Laebraks, which means shore to surf breaks in Gaelic and Shaetlan.


In Shetland we will be working with Shetland Museum and Archives, Archaeology Shetland, Ability Shetland and the Moving on Employment Project. Whilst in Skye, our partner MSDS Marine (Scotland) will be working with the Museum of the Isles, Sleat Local History Society, and the Skye and Lochalsh Access Panel.


The purpose of this project is to bring communities together to research the maritime and coastal heritage of Shetland and Skye through a series of events planned for this summer. These relaxed and friendly events are all free of charge and are designed to provide greater insight into our local maritime and coastal heritage whilst teaching you some simple survey and archive research techniques. The events we are providing for you are:

Mapping your islands

An introduction to using Geographic Information Services (GIS) to investigate and map your local area. This talk will show you how to use freely available GIS software and data (including seabed mapping, geological and archaeological data) to make maps and record information about your area. This will be an online talk presented by Sally from MSDS Marine and will be available to participants based in both Skye and Shetland.



Friday 10th June 2-4pm

Another date to be confirmed.

Contact sally@msdsmarine.co.uk to book your place. If you can’t make these dates, but would still like to learn how to use GIS then please get in touch with Sally to let her know, as there will be opportunities to run more sessions if there is interest!


Burra Coastal Survey

Join Esther and Marc from Moder Dy on Saturday the 18th June to explore and survey a section of the Burra coastline. We will teach you basic survey skills and recording techniques whilst walking and enjoying the beautiful coastline of Burra.


Email marc@moderdy.org to find out more about this event and to book your place.

Introduction to Archive Research Workshops

Following on from the coastal survey why not join archivist Brian Smith and Marc from Moder Dy and delve into the Shetland Archives to see what we can find out about the people who lived and worked near the sites we have surveyed. These hands on engaging workshops will take place in July, and they will introduce you to the wonderful world of archive research.


Dates and times for these workshops will be announced very shortly. 


There will also be an online archival research workshop, where you can learn how to research your area from the comfort of your own home, using online archival material.  Dates and times to be confirmed soon. 


Pop-up exhibitions

There will be a series of pop-up exhibitions, where we will display the project findings and invite anyone who is interested to come and have a chat, and share stories about the maritime past of our islands. In Shetland these exhibitions will take place during the summer the specific dates and locations will be confirmed soon.

How this project is funded

Our project is part of Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland's research pilot called the Outreach to Ownership Programme funded by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). MSDS Marine (Scotland) and Moder Dy are one of five UK wide projects being hosted under this Outreach to Ownership programme.