Staff & volunteers
Gairloch & District Heritage Company Ltd is responsible for Gairloch Museum. The Board members are all volunteers who live in the parish. We don’t just go to meetings, but are all ‘hands-on’ when it comes to getting the jobs done. You can see who we are and what we do by reading the Minutes in the “Board Matters” section.
Dr Karen Buchanan has been Curator at Gairloch Museum since 2013. She is also a Director and sits on the Museum Board. She is responsible for the Museum’s collections and displays and its events and outreach programmes. Her job also involves aspects of the strategic management of the museum. As a trained archivist and former academic researcher, Karen particularly enjoys researching and documenting the collections and often wishes she had more time to dedicate to this aspect of the job.
Karen has an academic background in Tourism Marketing with a PhD in Consumer Behaviour - both useful in raising the profile of a small, independent museum. Tha i ag ionnsachadh Gàidhlig le Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean. (She is currently undertaking an undergraduate degree with UHI (West Highland College) in Gaelic language and culture and the history of the Highlands and Islands). The course has been invaluable in giving her the contextual knowledge she requires to understand and interpret Gairloch Museum's collection.
In her spare time Karen spins, weaves and knits for the Museum shop. She can often be found wandering the hills of Wester Ross.
Without our army of ever-willing volunteers, the Museum would simply not exist, let alone open. Just for starters, volunteers welcome visitors, order the books, research genealogy queries, help with the record-keeping, translate Gaelic, polish the lighthouse lens, take guided walks, give talks, write booklets, cut the grass … in fact, do absolutely anything and everything, not to forget being the best bakers in town! In the film theatre you can hear some of them share their stories and see their photos of how life has changed since the AAOR was built in the early 1950s.
More than 120 local people helped make the ‘new Museum’ project a success. The efforts were recognised when we were honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Since we opened, many more people have offered their time and energies. If you would like to join us, then please let us know.