In order to preserve some link with the rich Scillonian past, the Museum has a comprehensive collection of oral history videos featuring residents from well known local families.
Back in 1991, whilst attempting to catalogue photographs of island personalities, the need was shown for such memories of island life to be 'put down' before they disappeared with time. Thus the Museum audio/visual archive was born.
The museum is fortunate that geographically the Isles of Scilly cover five inhabited islands plus a number that are uninhabited. With a present-day population of some 2,000 people, made up of a number of families who have lived here for generations, this gives us history in abundance.
We have attempted to record day-to-day life on film, depicting the simple, difficult and fun sides. These are the memories of ordinary folk whom we have encouraged to look back at life as they remember it. Their support for this project has been wonderful. Over time the local community interest has grown and islanders have come forward with photographs and film from their own archives, which have enriched our records.
Subject matter is very varied, though much covers island life, both old and new and information is continually being added. Areas covered include the surrounding sea and its importance to island life as we know it, i.e. wrecks, diving, shipbuilding, occupations, creatures, birds, lighthouses and communication; farming and the flower industry, flora and fauna; outside influences, such as wars and transport and family life. The information amassed is stored on audio cassettes and video tapes.