Volunteering

Volunteers provide invaluable support for the Argyll Papers archivist and researchers wishing to use the archive.

You don’t need any specialist skills or experience, just interest, enthusiasm and attention to detail. However, if you do have particular interests or expertise, please let us know and we will try and find a job to suit.

We also need volunteers to support the administration of the Friends: committee members, social media experts, fundraisers and general administrative expertise.

If you are interested in volunteering please let us know when you complete your Membership Form. As the archive has limited space, you may not be able to begin volunteering straight away, however, some jobs can be done from home, so please let us know if this would be of interest. Once signed up, all volunteers are trained and supervised by the Argyll Papers archivist.

Volunteers also benefit from discounts in the Castle cafe and shop and enjoy a free family visit to the Castle each season, as well as having access to the archives, training and joining a friendly and mutually supportive team. Most of all, you will know that you are making a positive difference to the development of the archive.

We need volunteers for:

  • Collection care (cleaning, re-packaging, etc)
  • Cataloguing
  • Transcribing
  • Research
  • Publicity and promotion including social media
  • Photography/Digitisation
  • Oral history research
  • Committee members, fundraisers and administrators

Current Projects

As well as individual volunteering jobs, there are a number of interesting group projects in progress. If you would like to participate in any of these projects, please email the Argyll Papers archivist.

The Dewar Project
This is a collaborative project (using world-wide volunteers) aimed at transcribing, translating, editing and publishing the Dewar Manuscripts. The Dewar Manuscripts are a set of ten volumes (seven at Inveraray Castle and three in the National Library of Scotland) containing Gaelic tales and poems collected by John Dewar. Dewar was commissioned by the 8th duke of Argyll to travel through Argyllshire, Arran, West Dunbartonshire, West Perthshire and Lochaber, writing down the oral history of those districts. The Dewar Manuscripts contain about 5,000 pages of Gaelic historical tales ranging from Robert Bruce’s battles and wanderings (1306) to the Appin Murder (1752). Volunteers (with or without Gaelic) can assist with transcribing the Gaelic text.

Tiree Transcriptions
There is an ongoing project to transcribe 18th and 19th century records of particular relevance to the history of Tiree. Volunteers in this project work remotely, transcribing from images. Attention to detail and the ability to use a computer are essential for this project. A knowledge of Tiree names and places is helpful but not a requirement.

The Court Books project
A team of volunteers is working to transcribe two coutbooks from the early 18th century with a view to publishing the transcriptions with an introduction by Professor Allan Macinnes. An ability to read secretary hand is essential for this project, as is attention to detail and the ability to use a computer.

The MacLean Project
The Dewar Manuscripts were translated in the late 19th century and a group of volunteers are transcribing Hector MacLean’s translations of the stories in order to publish individual illustrated stories on our blog. Attention to detail and the ability to use a computer are essential to participate in this project.

Friends of the Argyll Papers is a Scottish Charity SC045835