The Lews Castle Museum and Archive project takes a step forward with the arrival of our new archivist, Seonaid McDonald, who starts on 26th November.
Seonaid will be picking up where the Tasglann nan Eilean Siar project left off, and hopes to build on the strong foundations already laid by former archivist David Powell.
Seonaid has been Head of Archives and Museums (Scotland) at Lloyds Banking Group since 2009 and was Deputy Archivist with HBOS plc prior to this.
In her most recent role she was responsible for managing not only the Bank’s Edinburgh archives (which date back to 1695), but also the Museum on the Mound.
Her proudest achievement of recent years was getting the Bank of Scotland’s archive inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World UK Register.
Seonaid first started working for Bank of Scotland as a research assistant on the Bank’s tercentenary history project. On successful completion of this, with the publication of a book to commemorate the Bank’s 300 years in business, she was invited to remain with the Bank’s archives department. She subsequently attained her professional archives qualification via distance learning.
She was educated at schools in Clydebank and Inverness and at Glasgow University where she attained an MA Honours degree in history.
She has a strong interest in the Gaelic language, culture and music due to her family connections (her grandfather was a Gaelic speaker from Glen Convinth, near Loch Ness).
Having moved to Edinburgh to work she joined Edinburgh Saltire Gaelic Choir (now Còisir Dhùn Èideann) in 2004, eventually becoming the choir’s conductor in 2008.
She has been learning Gaelic for a number of years and is currently undertaking An Cùrsa Adhartais (the distance learning course) through Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.
Seonaid is very much looking forward to applying her professional knowledge and skills to an area in which she is so deeply interested, and to discovering more about the rich store of information, artefacts and knowledge held by the network of Comainn Eachdraidh throughout the Western Isles.
She is familiar with the terrain having spent a holiday cycling from Barra to Stornoway, a couple of summers ago on ‘holiday’!
Seonaid’s husband, James Lumsden, is an artist, and is also looking forward to working in the Western Isles.