Not surprisingly, artefacts from crofting agriculture and fishing loom large, and the collection of knitting is excellent, but there are fascinating insights into such topics as medicine, music, wildlife, dialect, dress, communications and domestic technology. The last section recalls the arrival of the oil industry in Shetland and the way in which its impact was carefully managed. Perhaps most dramatic of all is the lofty Boat Hall, in which Shetland traditional boats are suspended; more can usually be seen on the dockside nearby. Traditional boats can also be seen under repair in the adjoining boatshed.
The Shetland Archives, on the first floor, contain a vast collection of historical documents pertaining to Shetland and a library with the most significant books relating to the islands’ history, including academic dissertations and theses. The Archives are used by researchers but there is much to engage the interested visitor.
The museum is open daily between late April and early October. Entry is free and there's a gift shop and cafe on-site. For more information, check the Shetland Museum and Archives website.