Shetland Museum and Archives

Shetland Museum and Archives is the cultural, heritage and social hub for the islands. The iconic building sits on historic Hay's Dock and houses over 6000 years of history in the fascinating galleries and extensive archives.

Discover over 6000 years of history from Shetland's geological beginnings, through the development of the fishing, crofting, textile and oil industries to present day.

The Boat Shed
The working boatshed houses a range of boats from the Museum collection. Visitors can watch master craftsmen at work as they restore and repair historical vessels.

Shetland Archives
Shetland Archives collection contains a range of documents, books and sound recordings from all aspects of life in Shetland. The facility is well used by local researchers and by visitors and academics from all over the world through the online archive database. The oldest document in the collection dates to 1490, with new records being aquired all the time.

The Galleries
Shetland Museum and Archives galleries span over 2 floors and take the visitor on a journey through time from the early beginnings of Shetland, through to the oil boom in the 1970's. The displays include interactive exhibits and detailed displays of artefacts from specialist collections. Examples of fine lace and world famous Fair Isle sit alongside tools and treasures from those who braved the seas to work at the Whaling or Fishing. The 3 storey boat hall houses examples of traditional Shetland boats, suspended in mid air, while the Shetland crofthouse interior is home to the full size re-created Shetland pig, or grice.

Da Gadderie
Da Gadderie is a Shetland dialect term meaning 'a gathering of various things' and perfectly describes the temporary exhibition space on the ground floor. A regularly changing series of art, crafts and artefacts covers a range of subjects with local, national and international significance. Travelling exhibitions have included the world famous Lewis Chessmen.

Life Long Learning
Shetland Museum and Archives is proud of the work done by staff and visiting experts to provide a range of workshops, lectures and events on a range of different subjects. Subject specific tours through the galleries add value to the visitor experience and curatorial staff offer assistance to many researchers in academic study.

The Shetland Museum and Archives building is a social hub, with over 86,000 visitors a year. The facilities include meeting rooms, an auditorium with cinema style screen and surround sound and excellent catering and conference facilities. The in-house catering is provided by Hay’s Dock Café Restaurant. Open to the public daily, the café restaurant is situated on the first floor, providing excellent quality local produce in snacks, meals and beverages.

Exhibitions and events

'Highlights Tour'

Permanent exhibition

Galleries. 'Join one of our expert guides to discover 5oo years of Shetland's history. Suitable for Any age Admission Free

'Viking Life in Shetland Tour'

Permanent exhibition

Gallleries. Join one of our expert guides to discover what life was like in Viking Sheltand. This tour includes the opportunity to handle artefacts and replica objects. Suitable for Any age Admission...

Educational programs

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