What is the Gaelic Resource Database?

The Gaelic Resource Database (GRD) was established by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Islands Council) in 1990 with Scottish Office funding through Specific Grants for Gaelic.  In 1992 it was expanded to provide an inter-authority role and launched on the internet in 1999 as an expanding database of information on the availability of Gaelic related educational resources.  The work has been developed in consultation with HMI, Specialist Teaching, Curriculum Development and Library Staff.

Educational resources are categorised according to existing National Guidelines where applicable with user feedback contributing to the ongoing checking, updating and cross-referencing process. There are currently approximately 25,000 searchable records available online with more being developed and many existing ones being updated.

The database records offer information on a range of articles on Scottish history, oral tradition, bards, animals, birds, songs, rhymes and riddles for children etc. Many of the rhymes include audio.

The following have kindly granted copyright permission for specified works and the project warmly acknowledges their cooperation, contribution and support: Acair Ltd, An Comunn Gàidhealach, various Comainn Eachdraidh, Gairm Publications, Runrig, Sgoil Eòlais na h-Alba plus many individuals. This has allowed for lyrics and additional stories/historical accounts, etc. to be included in the database records.

Gaelic learning, research and reference resources produced over the past 100 years and more need no longer remain stranded in school cupboards and library archives. Whether produced by specialist teachers, Curriculum Support staff, Local Historical Societies or University Professors, once indexed and uploaded onto the GRD, they can be easily searched for via the Internet – worldwide.

The following are some of the categories indexed on the GRD:

  • An Gàidheal - details of articles etc. in the monthly magazine published by An Comunn Gaidhealach.
  • Bàrdachd, song & hymn books - alphabetical listings of titles in a selection of books. Also details of songs from An Comunn Gàidhealach Mod Booklets.
  • Comainn Eachdraidh – details of articles, photographs etc. published in newsletters.
  • Curriculum resources - details of books, booklets, teaching units & packs, videos, posters, CD's etc. recommended by Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Curriculum Development Staff.
  • Facal air an Fhacal (oral tradition) - database records consisting of Gaelic words, phrases, proverbs, idioms, stories etc.
  • Gaelic bards - brief life histories along with listings of the bards' work and bibliographies. ‘Bàrd Bharabhais’ which was published in 1920 has been rewritten in modern Gaelic and all the stories and bàrdachd are now accessible in database records. There are also records containing previously unpublished bàrdachd.
  • Gairm Periodicals - details of all articles etc. published in the 200 issues.
  • Historical and oral tradition materials taken from the ‘Leabhraichean Leughaidh’ series published in the 1940's by An Comunn Gàidhealach. The language and orthography in these stories have been modernised and the complete stories are included in the database records.
  • Lews Castle College Library - details of all Gaelic related publications (including the Frank Thompson Collection and the Shawbost Collection).
  • Museum nan Eilean - details of resources held.
  • Music - a significant section of the database is allocated to Gaelic music. This includes details of all tracks from over 330 music tapes and CD's (songs, music, rhymes, hymns, psalms etc.) held by Stornoway Library. Lyrics have also been included in many database records along with reference to those published in books.
  • Oral tradition/local history – details of stories/accounts published in a selection of books.
  • Scottish Gaelic Studies - details of all articles in the 19 volumes of Gaelic studies published by Aberdeen University.
  • Stornoway Library - details of publications (lending and reference) relating to Gaelic and Gaeldom.
  • Tocher - details of articles etc. in the volumes published by the School of Scottish Studies.
  • Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness (TGSI) - details of all lectures etc. from volumes 1-54.