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Tocher has been published by the School of Scottish Studies Archives since 1971. The journal contains songs, stories, music, customs, beliefs, local history, rhymes and riddles transcribed from tapes held in the sound archive.

Update: COVID-19

Please note that due to closure we are unable to sell issues of Tocher.

Please contact us on if you have an enquiry related to this. 


 Tales, Songs, Tradition

Gaelic material has a facing translation, this allowing non-Gaelic speakers access to the culture as well as providing a service for learners. Scots dialects are also represented (many now on the verge of extinction) and material is glossed where necessary. Audio material is supplemented by items from the small collection of manuscripts held by the School and material from the Place-name survey and the Gaelic and Scots Linguistic surveys. Images in Tocher generally come from the School's Photographic Archive.

Tocher 57, mainly in Gaelic (with translation), is a celebration of the work of Donald Archie MacDonald with a variety of material - songs, tales, fishing traditions, cures collected from the Uists, Benbecula, Barra, Eriskay, Skye, Eigg, Carradale and Morvern.

Tocher 58 and 59 are now out of print.

To give a donation please contact:

Tocher, School of Scottish Studies Archives, University of Edinburgh, 29 George Square, EDINBURGH EH8 9LD Email:

Tocher 58 cover

Please note that Tocher has no financial subsidy. Volunteers who undertake translation and transcription tasks enable us to keep subscription levels down. We are very grateful for donations received towards printing and publication costs and will be pleased to acknowledge them.


14 Miscellany: Frog Princess, AT 302, in Scots; wife taken by fairies; Gaelic repartee in verse; bothy song from Falkirk; children tales, songs, rhymes. 32pp.

18 Donald Sinclair, Tiree tradition-bearer; Fife nurses tale AT 328; songs, childhood memories, dyeing etc. 40pp.

21 The Stewarts of Blair, singers and storytellers in travelling family; fishing tragedy, comedy and hardship; Arran tradition, customs etc. 44pp.

22 Margaret Mackay, Gaelic singer from Harris; Greenland memories of whales, bears etc. tales of lairdsfools; Child 188; charms etc. 40pp.

44 Miscellany: including tribute to Willie MacPhee, traveller, tradition-bearer; tales; pipe tune; Gaelic and Scots songs; reviews etc. 64 pp.

45 Student issue, featuring research by undergraduates and post-graduates on diverse subjects: songs, reviews and obituaries. 64 pp.

46 Lewis Grant, a Highlander in Archangel; East and West coast fishing; Durness bards; Balquhidder dairy; Wigtown childhood; obituaries and tributes. 64 pp.

47 Isabelle Tooke, Gardenstown, herring gutting; Gaelic proverbs from North Uist; saying from North Yell; Gaelic stories; Gaelic grace with notes on place-names. 64 pp.

48/49 Double issue: Christina Paterson and Flora MacCuish, Berneray; courtship and marriage customs; songs; Gaelic tales; Mrs J J Leith, Orkney, tribute; reviews etc; David Buchan tribute. 112 pp.

50 Mary Martin, Harris, weaving and waulking; Mary Rae, Selkirk, Border tweeds; Gaelic and Scots songs; Alan Bruford tribute. 64 pp.

51 Student project issue: Edinburgh milk horses; Ayrshire village school; World War I diaries; Gaelic song from Skye; obituary; errata; Notes and Queries. 64 pp.

52 Memorial issue for the late Dr Alan Bruford: selections from his recordings of his informants all over Scotland and some of his compositions, plus work by his students. 64 pp.

53 The Orkney ba game; Gaelic place names in Strathtummel; Rob Roy anecdotes; Our Goodman, a collection of songs in Gaelic and English; Peter Hall appreciation and song; reviews. 64 pp.

54/55 Double issue: Harvesting and farming in the Lothians, Glen Isla and Easter Ross; Norman MacDonald, biographical notes; Gaelic songs and tales; traveller tale from Betsy Whyte; CD and book reviews etc. 108 pp.

56 Jimmy Williamson, son of Duncan Williamson (Tocher 33), also a traditional storyteller, song writer and musician; Gaelic story and lament from South Uist; Shetland rhymes and story; Edinburgh reminiscences; CD and book reviews. 48 pp.