Back to the past with launch of new series by the Lochaber Archive Centre

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This week sees the launch of a new regular series of articles written by the Lochaber Archive Centre in Fort William, explaining what it does, informing readers of upcoming events, and delving into its fascinating collections.

The Lochaber Archive Centre is based at Alexander Ross House, on Achintore Road, in what was formerly Fort William Primary School.

The Lochaber Archive Centre is housed in the Alexander Ross Building in Fort William. Photograph: Lochaber Archive Centre. NO F01 Lochaber Archive building
The Lochaber Archive Centre is housed in the Alexander Ross House in Fort William. Photograph: Lochaber Archive Centre.

Alongside offices in Wick and Portree, we are a spoke of the Highland Archive Service, the central hub being the Highland Archive Centre in Inverness.

Like other archive facilities, we hold items deemed worthy of permanent preservation,
regardless of age or format. We look after parchment, paper, photographs, and even DVDs.

Although we are part of the wider Highland Archive Service, our collections specifically
relate to the Lochaber region.

Lochaber is a place of enduring historical importance, from the ’45 Rebellion, to commando training during the Second World War, and we receive enquiries from all over the globe.

Some of you may be interested in family history, or the history of the area you live in. Sometimes, folk will visit the Lochaber Archive Centre just to browse, and they are equally welcome.

Our archives are kept securely in an environmentally-controlled storage space called a
strongroom.

We want these cherished items to be accessed by future generations, so must ensure they do not become spoiled or damaged.

Lochaber Archive Centre's strongroom. Photograph: Lochaber Archive Centre. NO F01 LAC Strongroom (2)
Lochaber Archive Centre’s strongroom. Photograph: Lochaber Archive Centre.

Public access to our archives is possible through our searchroom, situated just inside the main entrance of Alexander Ross House.

Amongst our collections are records of the Highland Council and its predecessors.

These fascinating local government collections include school admission registers and logbooks, valuation rolls detailing property and tenants, and poor relief records for numerous Lochaber parishes.

As well as local government records, we are privileged to be the chosen archive for many deposited collections.

These include collections from families like Cameron-Head of Inverailort and Cameron of Lochiel – names significant to numerous periods of Scottish and British history.

Family collections also include letters, diaries, and photographs, with many
items dating from centuries ago, as well as records from local organisations and businesses.

These document the lives of Highlanders across the years and across the social spectrum.

The Lochaber Archive Centre is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Visitors are welcome to drop in and chat but we encourage you to make an appointment which is bookable in advance.

We are also contactable by phone or email, so please get in touch with any enquiries you
might have.

We post regularly on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages with news and updates, and interesting finds from our collections.

You can join us each Thursday morning at 11am on Facebook for ‘Learn with Lorna’, a
weekly look at the archives held across the Highland Archive Service.

Classes on family history and archives for beginners also run throughout the year, so look out for these in 2022. We hope you will enjoy these articles.

Email: lochaber.archives@highlifehighland.com
Web: www.highlifehighland.com/lochaber-archive-centre/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/LochaberArchiveCentre/
Twitter: twitter.com/hlharchives

CAPTION:

One of the historical photographs held by the Lochaber Archive Centre showing a curling match between Lochaber and Spean Bridge. NO F01 LAC curling pic Extra pics: NO F01 LAC Strongroom (2)

The Lochaber Archive Centre is housed in the Alexander Ross House in Fort William. Photograph: Lochaber Archive Centre. NO F01 Lochaber Archive Building

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