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Over time we have amassed a large amount of research material. Although you can't beat the Shetland Museum & Archives and the Shetland Amenity Trust archaeology department for primary source material (and they are really swell folk!), there is a lot out there - primary and secondary - for those who may not be able to make a direct visit or prefer the comfort of their armchair. Some of that can be provided by our own Archive page. However, with the Resources page we endeavour to provide as many links and suggestions as we possibly can. It will be a growing concern and change over time, especially as we consider better ways to comprehensively present the information. We further invite you to provide any links you think helpful and of which we may not be aware.

The Archaeology Shetland Team

Essential Resources

Archaeology Data Service - an enormous source of information in a wide variety of formats. Can sometimes take time to drill down to what you need but worth the effort. - this is a titanic! worldwide site of public domain content of all kinds, especially useful for out of print books as you'll see below. For your own safety use caution when entering here because once in you may never want to come back.

Forgotten Books - this is a great start for out of print books. Though some are now public domain and found elsewhere they do offer a reasonable print service for any volume you may want (Hibbert is essential!).

Historic Environment Scotland - the parents of PastMap and Canmore with many additional sources of information.

National Library of Scotland - a huge trove of digitised resources including journals, books, newspapers and both still and moving images.

National Library of Scotland Maps - we listed this separately because it is an adventure of its own. Another basic starting point for exploring in the field, we highly recommend becoming familiar with the georeferenced maps.

PastMap & Canmore - the most basic start for potential site information.

Researchgate - it's like a hoover...

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland - a vast array of material and additional links. Of inestimable value and interest is all past publications found here. Quick tip, put in your search term to search all journals otherwise you'll get marvelously lost in time.

Useful Resources

Academia - a large amount of submitted papers available but the downside is they will email you almost daily.

Ancient Monuments - decent information on a select number of Shetland sites.

Google Books - we have to admit it pains us a bit to send more traffic to Google but they do offer many public domain books.

Scottish Society for Northern Studies - 40 years of journals on the subject are available.

The Megalithic Portal - select Shetland sites with photographs and site information and occasional useful links.

The Antiquarians!

Rev John Brand - 1701, A Brief Description of Orkney, Zetland... (a religious outlook but very interesting).

Robert Cowie - 1874, Shetland: Descriptive and Historical... (this is a great graduation thesis).

Gilbert Goudie - 1904, The Celtic and Scandinavian Antiquities of Shetland (essential reading).

Samuel Hibbert - 1822, A Description of the Shetland Islands: Comprising an Account of Their... (more essential reading).

Rev George Low - 1774, A Tour through the Islands of Orkney and Shetland... (details and illustrations in an oft cited book).

Patrick Neill - 1806, A Tour Through Some of the Islands of Orkney and Shetland... (contains a fascinating correspondence at the end).

Robert Sibbald - 1711, Description of the Isles of Orkney and Shetland (from the manuscript of Robert Monteith, short but very rare).


Diary of the Reverend John Mill by Gilbert Goudie, 1889

The Orkneyinga Saga translated by Jon A Hjaltalin and Gilbert Goudie, 1873

View of Some Forgotten Incidents and Personages... by Gilbert Goudie, date unknown

The Papar Project

Papar place-names in the Northern and Western Isles of Scotland

The iconography of the Papil Stone: sculptural and literary comparisons with a Pictish motif by Kelly A Kilpatrick

North Roe Felsite Project - Dr Gabriel Cooney material

2017: North Roe felsite and Shetland’s felsite material culture... by Torbin Ballin

The Border of Farming and the Cultural Markers

Orkney and Shetland Folklore by G F Black, 1903

Shetland Folk-Lore by John Spence, 1899

Shetland Witch Stories by Robert Stout, date unknown

Hamish Fenton 3D Modeling on Sketchfab - there are some incredibly detailed 3D photographic models of sites on Shetland in his portfolio.

Poor Law Inquiry (Scotland.) Appendix Part II. - absolutely fascinating read with firsthand accounts of the poor in Shetland from 1843

The New Statistical Account of Scotland: Sutherland, Caithness, Orkney, Shetland - an excellent overview from 1845

Notes on Primitive Stone Structures of the Beehive Type Discovered by R C Haldane, Esq., in the North of Shetland by Dr Robert Munro and the A short article on the two-day excavations of multi-cellular structures in Northmavine by the Honourable John Abercromby, 1904

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