The Carmichael Watson Project

Pròiseact MhicGilleMhìcheil MhicBhatair

Pencil drawings of Celtic letters by Mary Frances Carmichael for Carmina Gadelica Coll-97/CW511A.

The Carmichael Watson collection in Edinburgh University Library, centred on the papers of the pioneering folklorist Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912), is the foremost collection of its kind in the country, a treasure-chest of stories, songs, customs, and beliefs from the Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland. It offers us fundamental insights into the creation of Carmichael's greatest work Carmina Gadelica, an anthology of Hebridean charms, hymns, and songs, and a key text in the 'Celtic Twilight' movement.

The value of the collection goes far beyond literary studies. It offers exciting potential for interdisciplinary cooperation between local and scholarly communities, for collaborative research in history, theology, literary criticism, philology, place-names, archaeology, botany and environmental studies.

Through cataloguing, indexing, transcribing, translating, digitisation, and conservation, this project aims to open up and make accessible this important collection to the academic and broader community.


Alexander Archibald Carmichael