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Shetland Museum and Archives launches series of ‘Thursday Lates’ heritage talks

Published: 27 February 2024

Evenings celebrating Shetland’s rich culture and heritage will begin next month as Shetland Museum and Archives launches its programme of ‘Thursday Lates’ talks.

The cultural talks will take place on selected Thursdays with the first one starting next Thursday (7 March). Following the overarching theme of ‘Connections’ each talk, presented by curators, archivists or specialist guest speakers, will bring to light lesser-known topics, uncovering surprising insights along the way.

From March to April the sessions will range from the remarkable connections between German merchants and Shetlanders between 1697 and 1712; to a fascinating analysis of pre-modern beliefs in the vulnerability of humans and animals during darkness, sleep and childbirth.

Arctic Connections will be explored too, with four of the papers from the 6th International St Magnus Conference being sharing during one evening looking at broad ranging topics such as the cult of St Magnus in Shetland; the experiences of two Shetland men trapped in ice whilst at the whaling in Greenland in the 19th century; a discussion on how British seaman’s kit evolved after the loss of the Franklin expedition in the Arctic after 1845; to literature and how the positioning of Iceland, Faroe and Shetland as places outside the cultural mainstream has allowed artists to create distinctive local cultures.

Ailish Goodlad, museum services team lead explained: “We are delighted to be introducing our programme of Thursday Lates at the museum. Subjects covered are broad ranging and intended to appeal to a wide range of people and interests.

“Whilst the Shetland Museum has long held talks throughout the year, we hope that by establishing it as a regular feature in the calendar it will resonate with the public as something to look out for. We’ve had a fantastic response to our events at the museum and we have seen that there is a keen interest for people to get out, socialise and learn something new. We look forward to welcoming everyone along.”

A small exhibition, Looking in from the Edge, opens in the upper gallery next week too, highlighting the part Shetland played in the trade of Northern Europe from 1500 - 1720.

The first three talks are:

Further ‘Thursday Lates’ will be announced soon.

All talks are £5 and can be booked online.