This week, I returned to the Highland Archive Centre for the first time since lockdown.
To research the biography and non-fiction that I write, I often use archives and libraries to look at original documents and reference books. Obviously all of these places have been closed over the last few months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Highland Archive Centre has just reopened, with a new appointment system, and social distancing and hygiene measures in place.
I was lucky in that I have just finished a big research project (my new book, which I will have more news about soon), so I don’t need to use archives extensively for my writing right now. However, for a new project that I have recently started there were two books / manuscripts that I have been wanting to look at. One of these items was in the Highland Archive Centre.
There is something quite special about seeing someone’s handwriting – it gives a connection to a person that you can’t get just from a description of them, and it seems to bring the past (in this case, the late 18th century) that little bit closer.
This now leaves just one more book that I want to consult for this new project. Unfortunately, it is in Inverness Library’s Reference Room, and there are currently no plans or timescale in place for reopening the Reference Room.