About Us

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Who We Are

We provide museums, heritage development and arts development services in and for Orkney. We care for approximately 140,000 items in our ever-growing collection, this includes artefacts ranging from pre-history, to stories from both World Wars, all the way to present contemporary collections such as Covid-19 pandemic related items, these help us tell you the story of Orkney’s unique history.  

Of that number of items mentioned, roughly 70% are from the recognised nationally significant archaeology collection which not only highlights the importance of the collection, it serves as a reminder of how important Orkney is for researching and understanding our past. 

Orkney Museums

Orkney Museums care for 5 visitor attractions within the County these include; Scapa Flow Museum, St. Magnus Cathedral, Corrigall Farm Museum, Kirbuster Farm Museum and Orkney Museum. This groups of museums exist so that there will always be permanent locations where locals and visitors to Orkney can learn about its history and show off its collections. 

Although we are a part of the council, we have developed this website with the aim to give you a more in-depth overview of our museum sites and our collection, thus making them and it more accessible to everyone. We want to arm you with the knowledge you need to get the most out of our museums, collection and Orkney as a whole. 


The Team

Orkney museums currently has 18 contracted members of staff, these being a mixture of part time and full time, this is not to mention the dozen staff we have on our relief list. Our staff are split into two groups, the customer services staff and the collections staff, without one another we would not be able to provide you the service that we do today. You can read about some of our staff on our Meet The Team section. 

We are primarily funded by Orkney Islands Council, which helps us deliver our excellent core services. This website has been funded by Rural and Island Futures – Islands Team from the Scottish Government. 

Our Mission

The safeguarding, collecting, preserving, conserving and interpretation of Orkney’s Heritage 

Museums and Heritage Partners

We are fortunate to be surrounded by organisations sharing Orkney’s deep and rich history, please find the link to some of them. We work with, help and support these organisations in different ways; be it providing advice in regard to collections or displays; or even working on joint exhibitions. This is done with the common goal of promoting heritage within and out of the county. 

Birsay Heritage Trust
Commonwealth War Graves
Eday Heritage Centre
Flotta Heritage Centre
Fossil and Heritage Centre
Historic Environment Scotland
HMS Tern
Hoy Heritage Centre
Italian Chapel
Longhope Lifeboat Museum
Ness Gun Battery
Orkney Archives and Libraries
Orkney Wireless Museum
Pier Arts Centre
Rousay Heritage Centre
Sanday Heritage Centre
Skaill House
Smiddy Museum
St Magnus Centre
Stromness Museum
Westray Heritage Trust

Our Supporters and Funders

We work with organisation who believe in supporting projects that make a real impact on our museums and communities. Our key supporters and funders include:

National Lottery Heritage Fund

Orkney Islands Council

The Scottish Government

Museums Galleries Scotland


Rural and Islands Future

XpoNorth Digital

Our Media Partners

Orkney.com is a trusted media provider, and works closely with Orkney Museum’s to provide stunning photography of our museums and surrounding areas.

Many of the images across this website are copyrighted to Orkney.com and are used with their permission, often using a selection of talented photographers across their portfolio.

We continue work in partnership with them to ensure all of our museums and collections are captured to show their true beauty within the communities where they showcase integral parts of Orkney’s history.

Stay connected to Orkney Museum's for the latest news, stories, exhibitions, events and visitor information by joining our mailing list.

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