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Field notebook of Alexander Carmichael, 1874, 1877 and 1891

Identifier: Coll-97/CW108

Scope and Contents

Notebook belonging to Alexander Carmichael containing songs, poems, tales, names, vocabulary and expressions collected in the Outer Hebrides [Na h-Eileanan an Iar]. The first part of the volume contains transcriptions taken as Carmichael listened to informants in 1877 while the second part appears to be copies of previous transcriptions of material collected by Carmichael and Rev Malcolm MacPhail in 1874 and written into the notebook in 1891. Amongst the material is a version of the lament 'Ailein Duinn' and accompanying story; several charms collected from Mary Stewart or Màiri Bhreac, a dairymaid in Malacleit/Malaclete, Uibhist a Tuath/North Uist; notes on natural history, and archaeological sites such as Caibeal MhicCeallaich, Uibhist a Deas/South Uist; the Fenian ballad 'Laoidh na h-Inghinne' recited by John MacInnes in Stadhlaigearraidh/Stilligarry, Uibhist a Deas/South Uist; notes on the family of the Duke of Tarentum and anecdotes on fishing from a ninety-five year old man called Neil MacPherson, Lionacleit/Liniclate, Beinn na Faoghla/Benbecula. There are many notes on vocabulary throughout the volume along with lists of riddles, proverbs and sayings and a separate list of 'Curious Names'. Carmichael also used this notebook to records the story of Gille na Ciotaig; 'Birnie's Tyranny'; the background of the lovesong 'Màiri Bhoidheach'; the humorous dialogue 'Uilleam Dèan Suidhe'; tales about John Morison of Bragar and stories of fairies, mermaids and water-horses. Of the sixty-two folios, only forty-six have been used.


  • Creation: 1874, 1877 and 1891

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


62 folios ; 23.5 x 19.5 cm


The items within this series are listed in the order in which they appear within the notebook.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired by the University of Edinburgh in 1949.

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm: Mic.Dup.1146/6

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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