Shetland Museum and Archives

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Royal Signatures in visitor book
Picture by Shetlopedian, Jeannie.
Museum Opening Hours
Monday 1000 - 1700
Tuesday 1000 - 1800
Wednesday 1000 - 1800
Thursday 1000 - 1800
Friday 1000 - 1900
Saturday 1000 - 1700
Sunday 1200 - 1700
Admission is free.
The new Shetland Museum

The New Shetland Museum and Archives at Hay's Dock, Lerwick, was officially opened on 31st May 2007 by HM Queen Sonja of Norway and the Duke & Duchess of Rothesay (Charles & Camilla) .

The new building which cost in the region of £11.6M, was part funded by a Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £4.9M, and replaces much smaller buildings which were located at the Lower Hillhead and King Harald Street.
The lead consultant for the development was the Building Design Partnership, and the main contractor D.I.T.T. Construction Ltd. started work on the building in 2004.
The display designs in the building were created by GBDM of Dundee in collaboration with Museum staff.

The completed building was a massive step forward for the Shetland Museum with five times the space for exhibits, not including the three-storey boat hall. The building also contains a state-of-the-art archives storage facility and searchroom - again with increased space and much better facilities.

There are also a 120 seat lecture hall, temporary display areas, and a cafe which will serve, as much as possible, local produce.

The display galleries are split between two floors. The ground floor, with approximately 500m2 of gallery space, concentrates on the history of Shetland up till 1800, from environmental, geological, and geographical factors, early settlers in the islands, through early agriculture, fishing, early boats, and the rich folklore of Shetland.
The 360m2 of first-floor gallery space brings the story of Shetland right up to date with exhibits from the last 200 years. These detail the changes in culture, politics, population and industry, including the development of the knitwear industry and Shetland's association with the sea through fishing, whaling, wartime service, and merchant shipping.

The exhibits in the Museum range from items of great historical importance to items, which, although not old, are of great significance to Shetland. Some tell a story on their own and some help form part of a larger picture. The range runs from delicate lace shawls to complete boats. The Shetland Archives contain records from the 15th. to the 21st. century, and a big library of local literature.

The building sits on the shore of the biggest exhibit, the Category B listed, Hay's Dock which was built in 1815 by a company called Hay & Ogilvy. As part of the project the dock area has seen major refurbishment works including the restoration of the pier house, and dredging of the dock itself, which will be home to the Museum's floating exhibits.

During the winter and spring 2008, a copy of the museum sixareen "Industry", was built by Jack Duncan and Robbie Tait at the museum boat shed. The boat, which was named Vaila Mae, was launched at a ceremony on June 21st, to coincide with the Johnsmas Foy.
See Sixareen Building Project.

Opening Ceremony Pictures

HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, making his opening speech.
In the background, left to right; Jimmy Moncrieff (Manager of Shetland Amenity Trust), Florence Grains (Chair of Shetland Amenity Trust), HM Queen Sonja of Norway, Camilla Duchess of Rothesay
Picture by Shetlopedian, Jeannie.
Unveiling of commemorative plaque.
Picture by Shetlopedian, Jeannie.
Close up of the Plaque.
Picture by Shetlopedian, Jeannie.

Exhibit Pictures

Display Realism Picture by Shetlopedian Jeannie.
Old croft house interior, with Shetland Grice. Picture by Shetlopedian Jeannie.

First day impressions ...

Most of the pictures below were taken by Shetlopedian Jeannie on her first visit after the re-opening of the museum to the public.

The second section offers a selection of screenshots taken from the live stream broadcast of the opening ceremony provided by the Museum's webcam.

Please, feel free to add your own pics of your favourite exhibit.

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