Explore the history of Scottish migration and the Scots abroad through objects and their stories – this is the idea behind the Scottish Diaspora || Digital Museum. It was launched in November 2015 by Dr Tanja Bueltmann as a platform to engage people with Scottish diaspora history, but also to give Scots abroad a chance to tell their own and their family’s history. The Museum is designed, therefore, to offer an online home for the history of the Scots abroad and Scottish migration, telling that history through objects.
While not all migrants will have had the option to take with them items from home – taking luggage could be expensive and sometimes, for instance in cases where people had to leave in a hurry, they only took a few things – many objects Scottish migrants around the world brought with them when the left Scotland are kept in museums and archives. And of course there are those items that are still in the possession of families and individuals, perhaps handed down over generations or brought more recently. Such objects document the material culture of Scottish migration and provide a great window into the history of the Scots abroad.
This site is designed to be a platform for two types of objects. On the one hand it will display items held at museums and archives around the world (where there is a digital image to permit display). At the same time, however, the Digital Museum is also a community museum, open to members of the Scottish diaspora so they can contribute their own objects in digital form. Contributions can be made in two ways:
- Via the contribute link on this site (see also top right).
- At one of the pop-up museums Dr Tanja Bueltmann will organize – this is ongoing, please watch this space for details, or contact Tanja directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first pop-up museum tour will take place in New Zealand and Australia in early 2016.
The definition of ‘object’ is very broad – it can be anything from a cookbook to a dress, from a handwritten letter to a photograph of a caber used for caber tossinh. Come and join in: tell your and your family’s story.
Feature image on the left
Hocken Snapshop: Alexandra Scottish Society