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Contemporary collecting enables us to link past and present, and to record the deeply personal stories and hidden meanings that people invest in often surprising objects.

This film explores objects that document community buyouts in the islands of Eigg and Ulva. Land ownership has been a contested issue in Scotland for centuries. Community buyouts aim to redistribute Scotland’s land by putting it in the hands of the people who live and work in the local area.

We have collected a drum made and used by writer and activist Alastair McIntosh in the campaign for the Eigg buyout in 1997. From Ulva, we are collecting the iconic ferry signal sign along with a doorknocker from the home of Rebecca and Rhuri Munro. For this family, the doorknocker shifted from a symbol of dilapidation and insecurity to one of regeneration in the moment that ownership of Ulva transferred to the community in June 2018.

These objects will be preserved in the National Collections and are not currently on display.

You can read more about the objects collected in this blog post.

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