This collection was gathered by Angus ‘Ease’ Macleod MBE (1916-2002), who was born 25th August 1916 at no. 8 Calbost in the South Lochs district of the island of Lewis. During his childhood, Calbost was a populous crofting village, but it became deserted over the course of his lifetime.
Angus was passionate about crofting and the way of life it embodied, including the Gaelic language, and was instrumental in the founding of the Scottish Crofters’ Union (now the Scottish Crofting Federation). He was also the driving force behind the Cuimhneachain nan Gaisgeach (Memorials of the Heroes) project which commemorated the land struggles in Lewis in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
His passion for the culture and history of the islands, and in particular for the village of Calbost, led to him collecting a wide range of objects. He began collecting in 1965 as a means of preserving the physical evidence of his people’s history, when he realised the quantity of items which were being discarded, and initially kept the objects in his croft.
These objects form a highly significant social history collection and in 1999 the Calbost Collection was brought into the care and management of Museum nan Eilean. As well as containing all manner of household items and crofting implements, the collection is strong on the subject of Harris Tweed.
Many of the artefacts from this collection can be seen in the main galleries at Museum and Tasglann nan Eilean, Stornoway. His archive can be accessed at Ravenspoint Centre, South Lochs, Lewis.
The Calbost Collection archive held by Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean, accompanies and complements the Calbost Collection.
Below are samples from the collection.