The impact of the changes in attitudes towards, and interest in, the Highlands that took place during the reign of Queen Victoria cannot be underestimated. The growth of the rail network in Scotland, the wealth pouring into the country from the colonial empire and the importance of its cities as centres of concentrated military, industrial and intellectual excellence and power, saw its perception in the eyes of the world altered significantly.
The Highlands during this time became a fashionable place to visit for the old and new wealthy, partly due to Victoria?s fondness for Balmoral, partly due to the romanticisation of the region through the novels first of Walter Scott, then Robert Louis Stevenson and others.
A significant proportion of the West Highland Museum?s collection dates from the late eighteenth to early twentieth century, much of which belong specifically to the Victorian period. Click a picture for some examples.
The Museum holds a unique collection relating to Victorian and Edwardian pastimes and education, including sporting equipment, card games and books.
We also hold an extensive library housing one of the largest and most significant collections of highland literature and periodicals in existence, including the item shown here - a Gaelic Bible dating from 1797.
The family bible was considered central to the household life of many western islanders at this time, and a large proportion of the islanders would have spoken only Gaelic. The museum holds examples of gaelic bibles from the mid-18th century to the 19th century.