Need to promote heritage

Dear Sir,

I read this week’s ‘Opinion’ editorial in the Buchan Observer with much interest.

As a Peterhead woman, and a qualified archivist, I think part of the town’s strategy for the future should involve celebrating our past - specifically, showcasing our heritage more.

It is encouraging to know that talks about a Peterhead heritage centre are in progress, and the Peterhead page on Facebook is a welcome initiative. However, it is my experience that many of the current custodians of the Blue Toon’s heritage are not active enough in promoting it.

There is a wealth of untapped resources out in the Aberdeenshire Heritage store at Mintlaw but many Peterhead people are unaware of the holdings out there. I know for a fact that they have a large collection on Crosse & Blackwell (staff photographs etc). Many of these collections are sitting unused in a million-pound facility, because there is no initiative to involve local people more in researching and using these collections. The town’s Arbuthnot Museum has undergone a recent upgrade, but I’m doubtful whether this physical make-over has been accompanied by a significant rethink about its visitor strategy. Perhaps if local people were more informed about Peterhead’s past they would take more civic pride in their environment.

Museums and archives are there to preserve heritage but they are also there to promote it, something they are presently failing to do.

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