15 June 2017ONHSM - Successful funding application

Over the next three years, thanks to part-funding by the Orkney LEADER Programme 2014-2020 and the John Ellerman Foundation, Orkney Natural History Society Museum (ONHSM), which runs Stromness Museum, will be able to employ a Museum Collections Development Team.

"Everyone involved in the running of the museum is absolutely delighted.  The Collections Development Team will provide dedicated time to research the collection and enable the board to expand initiatives to increase visitor numbers and work towards a more financially secure future while dealing with the challenges of funding cuts and curatorial under-provision.''

Kathleen Ireland, Chair ONHSM

Since 2010, when the local Authority withdrew its one-day a week curatorial support due to funding cuts, members of ONHSM have undertaken this work on a voluntary basis. In the longer term the Team will make it possible to care for and curate the Museum’s collections appropriately.  Visitor experiences will be improved as the stories of the collection are researched and shared with the public through events and changing exhibitions. The development of an on line comprehensive catalogue and greatly improved website will bring recognition of the depth and scale of the Museum's collections as they will be accessible to all despite their geographical location.

Achieving the match funding from the John Ellerman Foundation was a considerable coup for the Stromness Museum funding team, which faced stiff competition from museums and galleries around the UK. The grant awarded to Stromness Museum through the Foundation’s Regional Museums and Galleries Fund was one of seven grants made in this year’s funding round.

“The aim of the Fund is to strengthen regional museums and galleries by helping them to enhance and sustain curatorial development, and thereby to become more sustainable and to attract a broader public. We are delighted to support the Stromness Museum at a pivotal moment in its development. The rich and varied collection strands taken together tell a comprehensive story of life on the islands – the seas, the land, and its people – and the links with the wider world. Our Trustees were particularly struck by the outstanding commitment by the volunteers whose love and care for the collections is palpable.”

Dorothée Irving, Head of Grants, John Ellerman Foundation


For information

Contact Kathleen Ireland, Chair ONHSM




22 May 2017Cloud Competition!

02 May 2017Rev Dr Charles Clouston - A man of science with his head in the clouds; 21st May

Rev Dr Charles Clouston - A man of science with his head in the clouds

Stromness Museum celebrates the life and work of Charles Clouston (1800-1884), one of the founding members of the Orkney Natural History Society.  From geology to botany, archaeology to meteorology, Clouston's work inspires a varied afternoon programme of free talks by archaeologists, artists, marine biologists and writers. No need to book.

The afternoon will also see the launch of the Orkney Cloud Photography Competition which will run from May 2017 until May 2018. The competition will be launched and judged by Gavin Pretor-Pinney of the Cloud Appreciation Society. Details of how to enter to competition will be announced on May 21.

The day is supported by The Royal Society and has been initiated by trustee Dr Antonia Thomas LINK


Free entry to the museum all day as part of Festival of Museums and Orkney Nature Festival, with an afternoon of free talks supported by The Royal Society

Chaired by Dr Jen Harland

2:00 Welcome by Dr Antonia Thomas

2:10 Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark
Doctor, Reverend and Scientist: Charles Clouston the Polymath

2:40 Dr John Flett Brown
Cloustonite, the minister’s mineral

3:10 Andrew Want
From cloustonii to hyperborea - why a seaweed changed its name

3:40 Tom Muir
‘Orcadian and Arcadian, a contrast, but less than anticipated’ - readings from Clouston’s Orkney guide book

4:10 Rebecca Marr
‘Blows the wind today, and the sun and rain are flying’ - Orkney Weather Lore

4:40 Launch of the Orkney Cloud Photography Competition  - Gavin Pretor Pinney,  The Cloud Appreciation Society



01 May 2017Summer Exhibition, Stromness Museum

The cover of the new booklet, 'Per Mare Stromness 200' sponsored by Northlink Ferries is shown here. Available free with your museum entrance ticket, this lovely little publication, designed by Iain Ashman, links the artefacts of the Stromness Museum collection with the story of the town.

With texts from Tom Muir, Janette Park and Bryce Wilson.

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