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Tobar an Dualchais

Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches is a collaborative project which has been set up to preserve, digitise, catalogue and make available online several thousand hours of Gaelic and Scots recordings.

tobar logo

Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches is Scotland’s online resource dedicated to the presentation and promotion of audio recordings of Scotland’s cultural heritage. Its primary content is songs, traditions and stories, music, history, and poetry, recorded from the 1930s onwards. The recordings were made all over Scotland and its diaspora and, as a result, contain a diverse range of dialect and accents in Gaelic, Scots and English.

Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches’ principal aim is to ensure that Scotland’s rich oral heritage is safeguarded and made widely available for present and future generations.

The website contains material from three archives: The School of Scottish Studies (SSSA); The National Trust for Scotland’s Canna Collection; and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.

Not all material from SSSA is available on the website yet as cataloguing and permissions work is ongoing.


Black and white image of Jimmy MacBeath looking down at a song sheet in his hands. He is wearing a flat cap and a tweed coat
Jimmy MacBeath (SSSA V6B8065)

Examples of recordings from SSSA on the website include:

The bothy ballad ‘Drumdelgie’ sung by Jimmy MacBeath, from Portsoy, in a recording made in 1952 at the People's Festival Cèilidh. He is introduced by Hamish Henderson. (SA1952.039)


Màiri Munro from Lochboisdale in South Uist singing the waulking song ‘Hò Fàil O-ho Ghràidh’ in a recording made by Donald Archie MacDonald in 1962. (SA1962.50.A2)


Stanley Robertson from Aberdeen telling the story of an elderly couple and a magic bannock in this School of Scottish Studies recording by Barbara McDermitt from 1982. (SA1982.79.1)


Laura Malcolmson from Shetland telling Archivist Alan Bruford about traditional uses of a sheep, from wool to food, recorded in 1970. (SA1970.236)