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Comunn Eachdraidh Bheàrnaraigh (CEBH)
Berneray Historical Society
Comunn Eachdraidh Bheàrnaraigh (Berneray Historical Society) aims to promote an interest in the history and culture of the people of the island of Berneray in the Sound of Harris, including the Gaelic language. It aims to collect, identify and preserve documents, artefacts and other material of historical value within the area for the benefit of the community and visitors. Membership is open to all who share these interests.
The society was re-formed in 2003 and manages the visitor information centre and historical displays situated in the Nurse's Cottage, Backhill, Berneray. This facility is open to the public Monday to Friday, 11am to 3pm, from June to August. There is free parking, toilets and wi-fi available. The centre is entirely staffed by volunteers, who are always happy to see visitors, so please call in if you are in Berneray. The premises are only five minutes from the ferry terminal.
Here at the historical society we have run a number of projects, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, LEADER, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. These have enabled us to digitise our photographic record, as well as putting a lot of genealogical information into our Brother's Keeper database and uploading data to the Hebridean Connections website. We have also investigated emigrations, created historical trails linked to the Gaelic place names of Berneray, and conducted Gaelic classes for learners at a variety of proficiency levels. We also periodically hold conferences and seminars, as well as historically-themed ceilidhs, focusing on the traditional songs and music of the island.
A number of these projects have involved the creation of publications, copies of which are available to purchase in the Cottage. There is also a good collection of free literature and other information. Admission is by donation, and we really appreciate having your comments in our visitors' book.