Shinty’s Yearbooks have been digitised in a unique collaboration between Shinty Memories Scotland (SMS), The Camanachd Association (CA) and Sporting Heritage UK.  The enormous task of digitising the volumes was undertaken by heritage consultant the Highland Historian, Andrew McKenzie.

The Shinty Yearbook was first published in 1971 and has been published annually since then. It is generally held to be the single most important repository of the modern history game of shinty, and the “go-to” source for matters of record and also a huge collection of articles about the sport – personalities, changes in the game, opinions and very specially, photographic images. It has  for the greater part of its existence been produced on a voluntary basis and has helped sustain the interest of the shinty-playing community in the culture and heritage of the sport, as well as providing a platform for the promotion of the game and dissemination of information. Full sets of copies the Shinty Yearbook are a rarity and this digitisation project, which will shortly lead to an accessible on-line version of the contents, has long been an aspiration of the shinty community.

A financial  package of support was drawn up with assistance from Sporting Heritage UK, SMS and the CA, in order to digitise the volumes and make the content accessible to everyone. One of the outcomes of the project is to be an online talk “An intriguing web with wayward strands – the foundations of the Shinty Yearbooks” which will be organised for a date in Ferbruary or March

David MacMaster, Chair of Shinty Memories Scotland said: “We are grateful to all the funding partners and also to Andrew MacKenzie for completing this work. We will now engage with the Camanachd Association to establish which platform will best serve the shinty community so that everyone can access the material. The Yearbooks are a vital resource for Shinty Memories Scotland which exists to help people living with mental health issues such as dementia and also living in situations involving remoteness and isolation.  The opportunity to make such a rare and valuable source digital will be transformative, in addition to the benefits for Shinty Memories, allowing schools to make use of the resource, communities to tap into their modern history, and beyond, and to help the Governing Body source material which would be increasingly valuable in promoting the culture and heritage of the sport.

The digitisation of the Yearbook material will enable a level of accessibility which will be transformative in opening-up the history of the game over a crucial quarter of a century which saw massive change in the way the game was administered and played. The material will be useful in education for schools, will be converted into a vital resource for the various Shinty Memories groups across Scotland, and will be a major contribution to the content of the new shinty exhibition space currently being developed for the Bught Park in Inverness as part of a Levelling up-funded project.  The material will also be extremely useful to the many shinty clubs who are interested in their own history and heritage and developing archival and other projects.

Details of the publication of the material and the online talk will be published in due course.