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Comann Dualchas Innse Gall Hosts Heritage Conference


On 29th February and 1st March 2024 Comann Dualchas Innse Gall, the Outer Hebrides Heritage Forum, hosted its first members conference since its inception in 2018. 

Despite challenging weather and disrupted inter-island transport connections, fifteen community-led heritage groups, museums and organisations from nine islands in the Outer Hebrides were able to meet in the Dark Island Hotel, Benbecula, for a two-day programme of activities.  There they were joined by representatives from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Heritage Service, the University of St Andrews, and Museums Galleries Scotland, who funded the venture via their Forums Fund.


Through a comprehensive programme of workshops, speeches, and networking opportunities informed by previous consultation, Comann Dualchas Innse Gall gave its membership an opportunity to pool knowledge, strengthen their skills, identify collaborative working opportunities, and inform future heritage activity in the Outer Hebrides.


Jasmine Montgomery Wilkie, Development Officer for Comann Dualchas Innse Gall, said: “The membership of Comann Dualchas Innse Gall covers the whole of the island chain, from the Butt of Lewis right to the isles of Barra and Vatersay.  It is a rare opportunity for the community-led heritage groups and museums of the Outer Hebrides to physically be in the same room, and this can make it difficult to understand the overall picture of our heritage and museums sector.  This can, in turn, be a barrier to collaborative working.”

“Through this event, groups were able to discuss their ongoing and future projects, identify their own strengths, and consider how to rise to the collective challenges we face across the sector.   In addition to this, it was a unique occasion for old friends in the sector to catch up, as well as to meet new custodians of our unique tangible and intangible cultural heritage.”


“Preliminary evaluation from those who have attended has indicated that this event was ‘informative’ and ‘helpful’, and provided ‘a great opportunity to learn from one another’.  Attendees are already asking for another event of this type owing to its ‘excellent’ networking and skills-development opportunities.”

In closing, Jasmine said: “We are so thankful to our funders, Museums Galleries Scotland, who through their Forums Fund supported this opportunity.  Without their aid, this event would not have been possible.  Thathar taingeil dha ‘Museums Galleries Scotland’ airson taic a chumail ris an tachartas.”


Comann Dualchas Innse Gall seeks to support the advancement of community-led heritage organisations and museums across the Outer Hebrides in researching, recording and sharing the history of the islands, as well as promoting its rich Gaelic language and culture.  Through sharing and pooling knowledge and resources, it seeks to build resilience for the community-led heritage and museums sector of the whole of the Outer Hebrides.

If you are a constituted community-led heritage organisation or museum working in the Outer Hebrides and would like to join the Outer Hebrides Heritage Forum, please contact Jasmine, either by visiting www.ohheritageforum.com or jasmine@ohheritageforum.com.


This press release was issued on 14/03/2024.





Caption: Attendees at the CDIG conference

 




Caption: MGS logo, who funded the venture.

 

 





 

Caption: Conservation Officer for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Samantha Ferrer demonstrates some techniques to preserve paper and photographic artefacts.

 


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