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The Photographs of Archie Chisholm: Michael Cope



A superb and wonderful insight into everyday life in the Hebrides over a century ago.

—Norman MacLeod, Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre, Lochmaddy, North Uist

For the first time the unique photographic work of Archie Chisholm has been drawn together from several different sources – museum archives, private collections and published images. Procurator Fiscal at Lochmaddy in North Uist from 1881 to 1913, Archie was a keen amateur photographer and champion of crofters’ rights. His photographs from this time reflect life, work and play in the Western Isles – cattle marts and village fairs, fishing and golf, whaling and crofting, family gatherings and eviction – but above all, Hebridean landscapes and seascapes.

Archie was an advocate of improvement on many fronts, including the mail services between North Uist, Harris and Skye, and his photographs record steamships and telegraphic communications, the development of sporting estates and tourist hotels, and new places of worship built during a major period of church construction. Complementing his unique visual chronicle of late Victorian and Edwardian life and times in the Outer Hebrides, present day photographs of the same scenes highlight changes, or the lack of them, over the last hundred or so years.

The section on crofting communities, and the very striking photographs that accompany it, is something of real interest and merit… a fine summary of what is a complex and still contentious period in our history.

—James Hunter, Emeritus Professor at the Centre for History, University of the Highlands and Islands

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