Marking the Centenary of the Iolaire Tragedy

Museum nan Eilean is preparing an exhibition marking the passing of one hundred years since the tragic sinking of the Iolaire on January 1, 1919. The exhibition will run from October 2018 until March 2019 in the new museum at Lews Castle and is part of a larger series of events by a number of organisations recognising the centenary of the disaster and its impact on the people of the Outer Hebrides.

While there are several artefacts relating to the Iolaire in the museum’s collection already, the museum’s staff would like to remind the public that they are interested in hearing from anybody in possession of objects or papers relating to the tragedy which may be suitable for inclusion in the planned exhibition.

At the present time Museum nan Eilean plans to arrange to display objects as loans from their owners during the exhibition period rather than as permanent additions to the museum collection.

If you are the owner of anything relating to the Iolaire which you think may be suitable for display, please let us know by e-mail or post.  Please include photographs of the object and a full description as well as your contact details.

Please don’t bring any objects or original paperwork to the museum as unfortunately our staff will not be able to accept them for consideration.

The museum’s Exhibition Committee will consider all objects advised to them by the end of January 2018 and will keep in contact with owners to let them know progress.  It will not be possible to display all objects which people suggest but Museum nan Eilean will select a wide range of material which tells the full story of the disaster and its impact.

Information and photographs relating to objects and papers may be sent by e-mail to or by post to Museum nan Eilean, Lews Castle Grounds, Stornoway, HS2 0XS.