Orkney Library and Archive

Orkney Library & Archive provides a wide range of services, many of them free of charge. We welcome everybody, whether a resident of Orkney or visitor and provide free internet access on our computers or free WiFi connection if you would rather use your own device. Orkney Archive is housed within the main building in Kirkwall and is the place to go if you want to learn about the history and culture of Orkney.


Current opportunities

If you or a friend or relative living in or outwith Orkney has difficulty reading newspapers on account of temporary or permanent visual or physical impairment you can receive a free weekly CD of news read from The Orcadian Newspaper and a magazine CD approximately every quarter. For further details contact Shona Wylie on (01856) 874972 after 6.00pm or Vikki Thomson on (01856) 878696, also after 6.00pm. You can also leave a message by phoning the Kirkwall Library on (01856) 873166.

To research Orkney Library archive for mentions/details of service personnel who have been stationed in Orkney back to the Naploeonic Wars. To then transfer this data to a database.

We’re looking for volunteers to help out at the library Code Club, which is for children aged 8 - 11. Volunteers must be aged 16 or over with basic coding skills and knowledge of Scratch, available for one hour a week on Saturdays between 10 – 11am and must be a member of the PVG scheme.

Every year Orkney Library has visitors to the archive who ask about relatives or ancestors who they know have been stationed in Orkney during a war. The library has not always been able to help them with any information. However they are now putting together a database of wartime service personnel from the library archives. This will be an important historical archive and resource which will help relatives to make a connection to their families wartime service. The library is looking for a volunteer who can help with this fascinating and important role. The role will involve Searching the archive computer database for archive items, making database entries of all service personnel mentioned in the item and including the archive references. Ideally the volunteer will have an interest in history, can read copperplate writing (or have a go at least), and won't mind some repetitive work. Training will include an induction to the library archive and trainiing in the use of Microsoft Access if needed. If you are interested in this opportunity please contact Lucy Gibbon at Orkney Library and Archive on 873 166 extension 3023/4 or Rob McGregor at VAO on 872 897.