Collection Research & Enquiries Policy

1.0       Museum Statement Of Purpose

Caithness Horizons aims to become the key location in Thurso that interprets the story of Thurso and Caithness, for the benefit of the local community and visitors to the area alike.

It will deliver a positive and enlightening programme, covering elements of historical and cultural relevance, and will promote the area as a stimulating and fulfilling place to live as well as to visit.

Caithness Horizons will collect, preserve and interpret the Museum Collection, which represents the cultural heritage of Thurso and Caithness for the learning and enjoyment of the local community and visitors to the area alike.


2.0       Introduction

2.1          Caithness Horizons welcomes enquiries about the Museum, its work and the Collection.

3.0       Enquiries: General

3.1          Caithness Horizons will undertake where possible to give advice and answer general enquiries.

3.2          The Museum is unable to undertake extensive research for enquirers but will try to answer simple queries and advise on likely sources for the information requested.

3.3          Please put your enquiry in writing (letter, fax or e-mail). If you telephone we may ask you to write in as this enables us to respond to questions in order of receipt (the “Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (2002)” only requires us to reply to written requests for information). We will respond in writing within 30 working days of receiving your enquiry.

3.4          Please be specific, provide as much information as possible, and tell us where you have already tried to find the answer to your enquiry as this will save us going over the same ground.

3.5          Do not expect to have your enquiry answered during a visit to the Museum unless you have made a specific appointment to meet a named member of our staff. In common with other professionals Museum staff members are not always available to see casual callers, and arriving unannounced may result in disappointment.

4.0       Enquiries: Family History

4.1          Caithness Horizons does not hold family records and does not have the resources to carry out genealogical research for you.

4.2          Wherever possible Caithness Horizons will help you to find the best place to begin or pursue your research. Please be prepared to contact and/or visit other institutions in order to obtain all of the information that you require. Many enquiries can only be fully answered by visiting the National Archives of Scotland, the British Library, local record offices, and internet sources such as Scotland’s People.

5.0       Enquiries: Artefacts

5.1          If you have an artefact that you think the Museum can help you find more information about then please send a photograph and any information you know about the artefact addressed to the Curator either by post or e-mail.

5.2          Please do not post or drop off at the Museum any artefacts that you would like identified as we will not accept them.

5.3          The Museum will not give a valuation on an artefact nor direct the enquirer to any single dealer to obtain such valuations.

5.4          The Museum will refuse to give any opinion on an artefact where the enquirer does not appear to have legal title to the artefact, which would satisfy the requirements as, laid down for the acquisition of artefacts into the Museum’s Collection.

5.5          Where the Museum has reasonable cause to suspect that an artefact has been stolen, illegally imported or illegally acquired, it shall be the responsibility of the Curator, to notify the police or other appropriate authority without delay.

5.6          The Museum has a Collections Development Policy and collects artefacts which strictly adhere to this policy. Many of our artefacts have been acquired through the kind donation of individuals. If you have an artefact that you believe is of interest to the Museum and would like to enquire about donating it to the Collection, in the first instance please post or e-mail the Curator a photograph of the artefact and as much information as you know about the history of the artefact. On receipt of this information the Curator will contact you to discuss it further. Please do not post artefacts to us as they will not be accepted.

6.0       Enquiries: Requests For Information About The Museum, Its Work & Its Collection

6.1          Enquiries of this type are answered in accordance with the “Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (2002)”.

6.2          Answers too many frequently asked questions are available on the Museum website, such as:

v  When is the Museum open?

v  What is the Museum about?

v  What sort of artefacts do you collect?

6.3          Other information is provided as required in response to written enquiries.

7.0       Research & Publication

7.1          Caithness Horizons is committed to sustaining an active level of research, linked to its Collection. The resulting information will be published in academic journals, on the Museum’s website and where practical in publications developed for Caithness Horizons aimed at both the general and the specialist reader.

7.2          Caithness Horizons will permit others deemed qualified to undertake research on the Collection and publish their results in appropriate academic journals.

8.0       Research & Study Facilities

8.1          Caithness Horizons offers research and study facilities free of charge to bone fide researchers by prior appointment with the Curator during the period when it is open to the public[1].

8.2          The Museum will host visits outside normal opening times by prior arrangement with the Curator.

8.3          The resources available to researchers at Caithness Horizons include:

v  Access to books and publications held by the Museum – by prior appointment only

v  Access to Museum artefacts in storage – by prior appointment only

v  Access to Collection related archival material e.g. catalogue cards – by prior appointment only

9.0       Service Charges

9.1          As the cost of everything is going up, unfortunately we have had to introduce some charges for services that we used to offer free of charge. This is purely to cover our costs.





A4 black and white copy

£0.10 per sheet

A4 colour copy

£0.50 per sheet

A3 black and white copy

£0.75 per sheet

A3 colour copy

£1.50 per sheet



A4 black and white print

£0.10 per sheet

A4 colour print

£0.50 per sheet

A3 black and white print

£0.75 per sheet

A3 colour print

£1.50 per sheet

Telephone Call & Faxes


Telephone calls

£0.10 per minute


£0.30 per sheet

Research Service


Initial 15 minute search


Research first hour – following initial search


Research per hour – after initial hour

£15.00 per hour

Reproduction & Facility Fees


Reproduction fee – Not for profit publication

£5.00 per image

Reproduction fee – Commercial publication

£40.00 per image

Digital Copies


Scanning and copying documents to CD

£1.50 per CD plus post and packaging

Scanning and e-mailing documents

£0.50 per document

Scanning and copying records to USB memory stick

£4.00 plus post and packaging

10.0     Contact Details


Old Town Hall,

High Street,



KW14 8AJ.

Telephone: 01847 896508



[1]Caithness Horizons is open to the public Monday to Saturday from 10.00am until 6.00pm and on Sundays from 11am until 4pm from April to September.

Museum, Exhibition Gallery, Cafe, Shop.

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