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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Original Tartan Resources

Wow, I have been neglecting this blog!

Apologies for the gap between posts, but it has been a busy summer on multiple fronts. I did want to make my blog readers aware of a great new web resource we have been working on at the Scottish Tartans Museum.

We have recently acquired an extensive collection of original nineteenth century source books on tartan, including nearly every major work of importance published on the subject during that era. The early nineteenth century saw some of the first attempts to record and catalog tartan patterns in Scotland, and we are now proud to house in our collection seminal references such as:

The Scottish Gael (1831)
The Vestiarium Scoticum (1842)
The Costume of the Clans (1844)
The Clans of the Scottish Highlands (1850)
The Authenticated Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland (1850)
Old and Rare Scottish Tartans (1893)
and many others...

Nowhere outside of Scotland (to our knowledge) can you find such a complete collection of original reference material relating to tartan in the nineteenth century and the rise of the 'tartan cult' as what we have available. But, as a part of the educational efforst of our museum, we are in the process of photographing the color tartan images from these references and making them available free, to the public, on a dedicated web site:

Now, when you research your family tartan, say for example Armstrong (my own grandmother's maiden name), and find that it was first recorded in 1842 in the Vestiarium Scoticum, you can actually look at an original image from that publication, rather than relying on second hand reproductions.

We hope this web site aids those wishing to do serious research in tartan studies. We have five references photographed and uploaded to day and are adding more nearly every week. Please check back often -- and please also consider contributing to this effort with a monetary donation. Thanks!

1 comment:

Kyle said...

This is a great project, Matt. My clan and I are trying to determine the history of our 'clan tartans' and think this project, whether or not it helps us directly, will be generally useful to many researchers in our position. Thank you for doing this! --Kyle, Clan MacLea (Livingstone) Society