The Elphinstone Kist was born of a desire to bring new and fresh writing in North East Scots to the attention of schools. Having made various requests for materials, we found ourselves with an embarrassment of riches: it is marvellous to know that so many people are writing in Scots.
Although the 'Kist' was to be primarily aimed at schools it soon became obvious that the breadth of material submitted should be made available to a much wider public. We have attempted to cover as broad a canvas as possible. The background and contextual material is an attempt to set the work in time and place and to bolster this we have also included work by the many maakers who have contributed to the extensive canon of North East writing over the centuries.
Spelling in 'Doric' is a perennial problem and we decided to accept the spelling adopted by our contributors. Any difficulty with word meanings can be solved by reference to the Scottish National Dictionary.
In addition to verse and prose written by adults we have included verse and prose by children. We have also incorporated information on fiddle music of North East Scotland, the Artistic heritage of the North East and the Ballads & Bothy Ballads which do much to mirror the cultural and social life of the area.
Heartfelt thanks are due to all those who have willingly contributed to the contents of the 'Kist'. There are too many contributers to thank each one individually but we hope that once you have made the acquaintance of these writers you will look for further examples of their work.
No exercise of this nature can succeed without funding and we are extremely grateful to the North East Scotland Heritage Trust and Aberdeen City Council for providing the necessary financial backing. The former Principal of the University of Aberdeen, Prof. C. Duncan Rice, provided the initial impetus and vision for this project. Thanks are also due to Dr. J. G. Roberts, Vice-Principal of the University for his enthusiastic support.
Further thanks are due to the staff at University of Aberdeen's Directorate of Information Systems and Services who were ever patient in providing the technical expertise in creating this website which we so sadly lacked.
We would also like to thank Dr Colin Milton, Associate Director of Elphinstone Institute for his constant advice and encouragement and Dr Ian Russell the Institute's Director, for his invaluable guidance in bringing the project to its fruition.
Les Wheeler, Sheena Blackhall