Library & Archives

Leabharlann & Tasglann

The Archive and Library Reading Room are housed in the Museum building

2024 Season update: Archive research is currently offered on an appointments-only basis. Remote research can be carried out on your behalf.  To enquire or book an appointment please contact us at

Using our Archive collections

The Archive collections house the Macdonald Estate Papers and Correspondence, a unique collection of original rentals and estate documents relating to Skye and North Uist which provide a framework for local history and genealogy research. The catalogue of this collection is available online through the National Register of Archives for Scotland; the catalogue reference number is NRAS3273. For further details of Macdonald Estate documents held in our Archive please contact the library, quoting the individual document reference number.

Our smaller collections range from individual letters to collections of family papers. You can view these at the Scottish Archive Network using the archive code GB1892

A more detailed list of our library holdings and archive resources is also available to download from this page.

A charge is made for consulting the Archive, which contributes towards the cost of conserving and developing it; you can download the scale of charges from this page.

If you wish to consult the Library or Archive, please arrange an appointment in advance on It is helpful for us to have detailed information on your enquiry including names, placenames and dates. Where appropriate, please include catalogue reference numbers. We will conduct a check to determine if we can help with your research, and advise of any charges for further research.

Tracing your ancestors

If you have ancestors from Skye, or Macdonalds in your family tree, then we may be able to help with your family history research. Please note that most of our records are from the 1800s onwards and represent parishes associated with Clan Donald on Skye. We have census reports, parish records, monumental inscriptions, maps and detailed records of several thousand Skye families. Our family history database covers the parishes of Sleat and Strath, while our records for Portree, Snizort and Kilmuir are paper-based.

Highland genealogy can be frustrating, especially to those unfamiliar with the places and people concerned.  For best value, we recommend our family history package – 3 hours of research and copies of relevant family sheets and rental records.   Our team’s extensive knowledge of our resources mean we can guide you through this process, but please note that time spent on genealogy does not guarantee the finding of desired information.

Clan Donald USA’s DNA project is among the largest family-based genetic genealogy projects in the world. See their website for further details.

Before your visit

To care for our collections we have developed ‘Conditions of use’ which outline our search room rules. We will provide help during your visit, but to find out more in advance you can download the conditions from this page.