Aberdeenshire's Rich Heritage

Coastal town

Join us in an exciting project showcasing Aberdeenshire's rich cultural heritage around the world. This new £100,000 project will highlight the region's hidden cutural gems and encourage visitors to travel off the beaten track when they come to the North-East. Funded by the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas through LEADER, the Elphinstone Institute and VisitScotland have teamed up for an initiative to collect and collate folklore which will then be used to create film, podcasts or other media, opening up the stories which have long been known in local communities to the wider world.

Dr Fiona-Jane Brown, Co-ordinator of the project would like to work with you to find, celebrate, and record the hidden stars in your local community, founts of knowledge on customs, songs and ballads, traditional crafts, history, games, rhymes, and tales. And would like to invite your group to join us in gathering audio and video interviews for your community and for posterity, some of which may be used in the creation of media resources, films, eBooks, and blogs, for VisitScotland, our project partners and for future academic research.

We will be holding free hands-on training sessions with groups around the Shire to refresh the memories of those already experienced in gathering reminiscences and to give a kick start to those new to the idea. Many of us can already record audio and video on our mobile phones and digital cameras, so much of the training will focus on getting the best out of these devices.

We're looking for all kinds of traditions old and new, from young and old:

  • Stories - funny stories, ghost stories, legends, traditional tales from your area, urban or contemporary legends
  • Rhymes and sayings, related to weather or animals,counting and skipping rhymes, playground chants and games
  • Games and the names for them, e.g. boolies (marbles)
  • Music - traditional instruments, playing and making
  • Dance - ceilidh dancing, Scottish Country Dance, stepping
  • Crafts - traditional and contemporary woolcrafts, like knitting and crochet, quilting, straw-work, weaving, basket-making, lace-making, boatbuilding, carpentry, silversmithing (jewellery)
  • Food - traditional dishes, food for festivals and holidays, rituals about food, origins of dishes
  • Placenames - unusual placenames and the stories that go with them
  • Folk and traditional medicine - cures, plants, rituals, healing wells, clootie wells, etc.
  • Calendar customs - local customs for Easter, Christmas, Hogmanay, Celtic festivals, modern adaptations of traditional customs: what do you do to mark special times of year?
  • Supernatural ideas, experiences, abilities, and rituals
  • Folk religion - local saints' stories, fortune-telling from the Bible
  • Cycle of life - traditions about birth, engagement, marriage, funerals
  • Modern traditions which have come about in the last twenty years, such as online phenomena

To find out more, or to get involved, please get in touch:

Dr Fiona-Jane Brown

Project Co-ordinator
Public Engagement Team
Elphinstone Institute
MacRobert Building
University of Aberdeen
Kings College
AB24 5UA

01224 272996 (Office)

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