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Collection GD1 - Gatliff Hebridean Hostels Trust, hostel operators, Western Isles

Identity area

Reference code

GB3002 GD1


Gatliff Hebridean Hostels Trust, hostel operators, Western Isles


  • 1962-2006 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

8 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

Gatliff Hebridean Hostels Trust, 1962-2006 (1962-2006)

Administrative history

Urras Osdailean Nan Innse Gall Gatliff - The Gatliff Hebridean Hostels Trust (GHHT) is a not for profit voluntary organisation with charitable status working with islanders to establish and maintain a chain of Crofters' Hostels to sound basic standards throughout the Outer Hebrides. The trust was specifically set up to run the Hebridean activities of The Gatliff Trust founded by Herbert Gatliff.
Herbert Gatliff set up the Trust that bears his name in 1961 to perpetuate his interest in the youth hostels and outdoor movement. He donated to a range of organisations, but took particular interest in the Outer Hebrides, and oversaw the investigation of potential hostel sites and local warders to look after then. Following his death in 1977, his appointed Trustees carried on his work, eventually founding the GHHT in 1988.
Anyone can become a member of the trust by becoming an ‘Hebridean Hosteller’ and paying a subscription fee annually.
The principle activity of the Trust is to help all, especially young persons of limited means, to a greater knowledge and respect for the islands within the western coastal waters and sea of Scotland. This is achieved by providing or assisting local people to provide accommodation.
The Trust is currently involved in the operation of four youth hostels situated at Berneray (Isle of North Uist, opened 1977 ), Garenin (Isle of Lewis, opened 1991), Howmore (Isle of South Uist, opened 1966) and Rhenigidale (Isle of Harris, opened 1962). The records of two hostels that closed down are also included, Claddach Baleshare (Isle of North Uist, open from 1982-1993) and Scarp (island off the west coast of Harris, open from 1966-1970)
The Crofters' Hostels are independent of the Scottish Youth Hostels Association (SYHA), but have adopted status.
Information taken from

Archival history

Previously held in various hostels across Western Isles and by committee members of the Trust, before being passed to Stornoway Library.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Annual Reports and Accounts 1989-2003, newsletters 1963-2006, Founder and Trustee Biographies 1995-c2003, Rhenigidale hostel records 1962-2005, Scarp hostel records 1967-1970, Howmore hostel records 1971-2005, Berneray hostel records 1977-2006, Claddach Baleshare hostel records, 1982-1991 and Garenin 1997-2006.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


It is hoped that we would be able to collect any missing volumes, update the collection to include logbooks up to the present day and acquire the administrative records of the Trust.

System of arrangement

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

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open [may need to add details of any closure periods due to data protection issues / commercial concerns]

Conditions governing reproduction

Reproduction requests are subject to preservation requirements.

Language of material

Script of material

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Paper records

Finding aids

Digital and paper item level catalogue available in 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