Overview Of Caithness Horizons Museum Collection

Caithness Horizons Collection comprises approximately 8,050 artefacts relating to the following subjects/themes:

Archaeology: This Collection mostly consists of archaeological material from Caithness, although there is a small Collection of material from elsewhere in Scotland and from other countries

Archival Material: Books & Ephemera, Photographs & Photographic Reproductions: This Collection mostly consists of material relating to local people, places and special events

Decorative Art: The Decorative Art Collection is small and contains artefacts made by local craftspeople. The Decorative Art Collection also contains costume and textiles

Ethnology: The Ethnology Collection comprises a small number of objects from Africa and Asia

Fine Art: The Fine Art Collection is made up of prints, drawings, oil and watercolour paintings, many of which have a local connection in terms of subject matter or have been painted by artists that have a connection with Thurso and/or Caithness

Geology & Palaeontology: This Collection consists of rocks, minerals, crystals and fossils. Significant elements of the Geology and Palaeontology Collection are the examples of the fossil fish of Caithness which belong to the Devonian period about 380 million years ago

Natural History: This Collection consists of mounted specimens representative of the birds native to Caithness and migrant species, birds’ eggs, shells and three herbarium Collections

Social & Industrial History: The Social and Industrial History Collection is broad in scope and relates to Thurso in particular and Caithness in general and can broadly be described as covering the following subject areas:

  •  Agriculture
  • Domestic Life
  • Fishing
  • Medals & Tokens
  • Military History
  • Social Life
  • Technology & The Nuclear Industry
  • Thurso Burgh History
  • Trade & Transport
  • Vernacular Furniture

Collections Development Policy

As an Accredited Museum Caithness Horizons has a Collections Development Policy. The Collections Development Policy sets out the principles that will provide the Museum’s governing body and the workforce of the Museum with a framework for responsible and ethical acquisition and disposal of the Collection. It provides clear procedures and decision-making processes common to all Accredited Museums in the United Kingdom.

The Collections Development Policy demonstrates Caithness Horizons approach to the development of its Collection. It provides a basis for open and transparent decision-making and an informed dialogue between the governing body of Caithness Horizons, donors, funding bodies and other stakeholders.

The Collections Development Policy applies to material which Caithness Horizons owns and has accessioned into its Collection or intends to own and accession into its Collection.

The acquisition, management and disposal of the Collection at Caithness Horizons is guided by:

  • The Museum’s constitution and statement of purpose
  • The legal basis on which the Collection is held
  • The public benefit derived from the effective use and management of the Collection
  • An assessment of the needs of the Museum’s Collection
  • The Collections held by other Museums and organisations collecting in the same or related geographic areas or subject fields as Caithness Horizons

For further information about the Museum Collection please contact Joanne Howdle, Curator on 01847 896508 or e-mail

Collections Development Policy

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