THE voices of farmers, crofters and fishermen are to speak to the world as a university releases recordings from its Gaelic archive.

More than 40 audio files recorded in Scotland and Canada have been put online by Glasgow University.

They include everything from fairy tales to fishing terminology and stories about dating, with the earliest dating back to the 1970s.

Now the Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG) is seeking the families of those featured in order to reunite them with their relatives’ voices and stories.

Many of those who spoke with researchers have since died, and organisers say success will allow their loved ones to hear the clips for the very first time.

Commenting, professor Rob Ó Maolalaigh, professor of Gaelic and director of DASG, said: “Our archive is a living memory connecting us directly through an oral history of storytelling and song to the traditional Gàidhealtachd of previous generations.”

The team has already tracked down Mary Ann Campbell, the great niece of Donald MacDonald, who features in the archive.

The South Uist man was a published poet and Mary Ann said: “It is lovely and moving to hear Dòmhnall’s voice again.

“He was always very welcoming and looked forward to his many visitors, they used to come from all over the world.

“He was a kind, softly spoken and modest man and never boasted about any of his work.

“His work was often published in the local paper.

“We are fortunate as a family that we now have his book to look at some of his bàrdachd or poetry, it was just unfortunate that is was published after his death.

“He always spoke Gàidhlig to us and, yes, we speak Gàidhlig as a family.”

Now in its 10th year, the British Academy-funded DASG hopes the recordings will encourage more people to learn about Gaelic and its oral traditions, and give something back to the communities in which they were made.

Researchers met with locals in North and South Uist, Scalpay, Harris, Barra, Berneray and Benebecula, while more material was gathered in Campbeltown and Canada.

Some of the material has been come from the newly launched Cluas ri Claisneachd Archive, while more is from the Mòthan Archive.

Meanwhile, the family of Gaelic poet Tormod MacLeòid/Norman MacLeod, also known as Am Bàrd Bochd/The Poor Bard, have donated his life’s work to the DASG.

The collection includes images, songs, tales and folklore collected in the Isle of Lewis by the bard.

Ó Maolalaigh said: “We are deeply honoured that the family of Tormod MacLeòid has decided to donate his papers to the Bàrd’s alma mater, the University of Glasgow.

“It is a reminder where we have come from and celebrates an important part of Scotland’s dùthchas and heritage. All three of Scotland’s indigenous languages – English, Gaelic and Scots are contained within the archive.

“Today the Gaelic language is very much part of modern Scotland.

“From the names of cities and towns we live in which have come from Gaelic like Kilmarnock, Stirling, and Inverness to words like loch, glen, bard, whisky and clan, the language helps put Scotland into context.

“We are delighted to make this audio resource freely available.”

To access the material, visit