A collaborative venture
From its inception, the study has been developed in consultation with the people of Dumfries and Galloway.
A preliminary survey of the resources available for studying the ethnology of Dumfries and Galloway was undertaken by Dr Licia Masoni. Licia travelled through the region meeting people from local archives, museums and societies.
Further guidance was then sought from an advisory group, which comprised experts from each of the three historic counties. A period of public consultation followed, with meetings being held in Langholm and New Galloway and the distribution of information packs. This pack included a form inviting our correspondents to list the themes which they thought the study should explore and how they would like to become involved.
The strong interest expressed in oral history resulted in that side of the study being launched early in 2012. Following lively training days in Dumfries and Newton Stewart, a number of projects were initiated, and to date over forty individuals have been interviewed.
The EERC look forward to further collaboration with the people of Dumfries and Galloway as the Study evolves, and invites all those with an interest to get involved.
The Study comprises two main strands, which between them offer a range of opportunities for volunteer participation.
The first strand is the collection and presentation of primary source material that can be used to build up a picture of life and society in Dumfries and Galloway over the past 300 years or so.
Getting involved can be about recording oral testimony, either as interviewer or interviewee. Volunteers will have access to training and to one of our study packs. They contains recording equipment, a camera and guidance notes.
Getting involved can also be about identifying, transcribing, or writing introductions, to old diaries, account books and other written sources that provide information about everyday life in Dumfries and Galloway.
All levels of involvement in this side of the study are welcome, from conducting oral history projects to sending us examples of local sayings, jokes or proverbs.
The second strand of the study focuses on the creation of a multi-authored, illustrated ethnology of Dumfries and Galloway.
This will comprise essays on a number of key ethnological themes and will call upon the expertise of writers in Dumfries and Galloway and beyond.
In addition to this major work, proposals for articles on topics relating to the ethnology, material culture and social and cultural history of Dumfries and Galloway are also being sought for publication in the EERC’s journal, the Review of Scottish Culture.