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Field notebook belonging to Alexander Carmichael, 1864 to

Identifier: Coll-97/CW114

Scope and Contents

Field notebook belonging to Alexander Carmichael, noted as being 'Bought at St Columb, Cornwall, 30 Nov[ember] 1864 pr[ice] 2/3'. The back inside cover contains a note probably collected as part of excise duties which reads 'Rod[erick] MacPhie Mast of boat 21.8 [-] 1.2½ [-]'. The notebook contains one insertion. The majority of the notebook contains lore relating to Miùlaigh/Mingulay mostly collected from Roderick MacNeil, crofter, aged 88, known as Ruairidh an Rùma. Roderick MacNeil also relayed stories and customs relating to the neighbouring islands of Beàrnaraigh/Berneray, Gèarum Mòr, Pabaigh/Pabbay, Sanndraigh/Sandray, Fuidheigh/Fuday, Barraigh/Isle of Barra and Bhàtarsaigh/Vatersay. There are many notes about archaeological sites such as duns and cemeteries and their relation to saints, in particular Calum Cille/St Columba, Naomh Brianain/St Brendan and Maol Rubha. There are notes on customs, particularly agricultural customs and the movement of islanders between islands. There are also some stories relating to the Battle of Culloden and its aftermath, the MacNeil of Barra and the Lochlannaich/Vikings. Songs are also recorded from MacNeil and from a waulking which Carmichael was witness to. The other key informants in this notebook from whom Carmichael records Fenian stories and songs are Donald MacPhee, smith, Brèibhig/Breivig, Barraigh/Isle of Barra and Donald MacIntyre, catechist, Àird/Aird, Beinn na Faoghla/Benbecula. The final two folios of this item belong to an insert which appears to be an orphan from elsewhere as it contains notes on archaeological sites around Tolstadh Bho Thuath, Eilean Leòdhais/Isle of Lewis.


  • Creation: 1864 to

Language of Materials

Gaelic English

Conditions Governing Access

This material is unrestricted.


88 folios ; 16.6 x 19.8 cm

Physical Location


Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
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