Local Studies Collection


The Local Studies Collection contains material on all aspects of the Western Isles, including history, architecture, Clan and family histories, geography, geology and natural history.

The Collection

Local Newspapers

  1. Stornoway Gazette - on microfilm from 1917 to date and bound volumes from September 1939 to date
  2. Highland News - on microfilm from 1883 to 1952, bound volumes 1893-1895, 1897-1922 and 1927-1929
  3. West Highland Free Press - from 1972 to date on microfilm and bound volumes 1975 to date
  4. Oban Times - from 1861 to 1975
  5. Inverness Courier - 1817 to 1885
  6. Inverness Advertiser - 1849 - 1885
  7. Inverness Courier and Advertiser  - on microfilm from 1885 to 1975


Cromwell Street, Stornoway

Albums of old postcards and photographs are available for reference.


Ordnance Survey maps of various scales and dates from the First Edition six inch issue of 1848 can be consulted on request.  There is also a collection of older maps and Admiralty Charts.

The Gibbs Map of Lewis, 1817 is housed in the Council Offices and may be viewed on the first floor landing.

  1. Old Parochial Registers (OPR) on microfilm record Christenings and marriages prior to 1855 when official registration commenced.
  2. Census Returns from 1841 to 1901 are available on microfilm.
  3. The International Genealogical Index (I.G.I.) on microfiche for the whole of Scotland is held.
  4. Minutes of the former Stornoway Town Council on microfilm and printed minutes of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar from 1974 are held.
  5. School Log Books, mainly for schools which are now closed are kept on behalf of the Director of Education. Minute books of Lewis school boards are also available.
  6. Seaforth Muniments A selection of items relating to Lewis consisting of copies of letters on various subjects, rentals and other documents is held in the library.
  7. Rental and Valuation Rolls, some dating back to the eighteenth century provide details of landowners and tenants.
  8. Croft Histories for several areas of the western isles are available.
  9. Biographical information can also be found in works such as Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae, the Annals of the Free Church and History of Lodge Fortrose.