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Collection GD10 - Folklore notebooks of Donald Macdonald of Tolsta

Identity area

Reference code

GB3002 GD10


Folklore notebooks of Donald Macdonald of Tolsta


  • 1934, 1980 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

5 notebooks; 1 manuscript note

Context area

Name of creator

MacDonald, Donald, 1904-1990, historian, Tolsta, Lewis and Edinburgh (1904-1990)

Biographical history

Donald MacDonald was born in Tolsta in the Isle of Lewis in 1904 and educated in the local primary school then the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway. He went on to Jordanhill College to train as a teacher and during his life wrote two prominent books regarding his home village and his native island. Lewis – A History of the Island in 1978 and The Tolsta Townships in 1984. He was a fellow of both the Educational Institute of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Geography Society.
The notebooks contain tales which Donald Macdonald collected in the Barra, Eriskay and South Uist area.
There is an accompanying note with the notebooks from Calum Macleod explaining the notebooks were held by Rev. Dr T.M Murchison of Glasgow and that they were handed back to An Comunn Gàidhealach’s Glasgow office in December 1980.
The notebooks were given to him to check on some parts of them and he believes that all the tales were published in An Gaidheal during the Rev Malcolm Macleod’s editorship.

Archival history

The notebooks were held by the very Reverend Dr T.M Murchison of Glasgow and they were handed to An Comunn Gàidhealach’s offices in Glasgow. In the attached note, Calum Macleod has written to explain that the notebooks came into the Reverend’s possession as he was doing checks on parts of them and he believes that the tales were published in An Gàidheal [The Gael] magazine at some time throughout Malcolm Macleod’s editorship.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Stornoway Library

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Folklore notebooks 1934; manuscript note 1980

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged within series. Within series, records are arranged chronologically.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English
  • Scottish Gaelic

Script of material

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Paper volumes

Finding aids

A digital and manual item level catalogue is available within the searchroom of Tasglann nan Eilean Siar

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Notes area

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Rights area

Accession area