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Orkney Museum - Objects from the Social History Collection.
Photographs by Rebecca Marr.

Within the Arts, Museums and Heritage Service we have two specific and discrete collections:


Covers all human activity up until around c1400. The Archaeology collection contains over 100,000 items from over 50 modern excavations and is internationally recognised for its quality, range and the good level of preservation of the objects. The Archaeology Collection has been recognised for its national significance through the Scottish Government’s National Recognition Scheme.

Primarily the archaeology collection consists of: bone, including human bone and animal bone objects such as combs; Neolithic pottery; Neolithic rock art (such as the Westray Stone); Scar Viking boat burial.

Social History

Covers all human activity from around c1400 to the present day. The collection is particularly important as an object-based record of Orcadian life and culture, complemented by the paper and sound archives held by Orkney Library and Archives.

Primarily the Social History collection consists of: fine art and craft; large and working objects including agricultural tools and implements; maritime objects including boats; militaria including items relating to the 1st and 2nd world wars; household items and clothing; items belonging to specific local people or relating uniquely to Orcadian culture.

Further Information

We are currently working on a major project to make detailed information about the collections available on line. In the meantime, if you have any enquiries about our collections please contact the Curator. Details can be found on our contact page.

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