Research enquiries

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The heritage of the Scottish shale oil industry is rich and diverse, encompassing aspects of geology, chemistry, engineering, commerce and many other fields of expertise. Shale shaped communities and cultures, and has left a rich legacy of social and family history. We aim to do everything possible to promote awareness and interest in this special heritage, and encourage the further study, research and the sharing of knowledge.

This website provides digital access to much of our collection and archive, and links these resources to articles, research and other content that help explain significance and provide context. We are constantly adding to this body of knowledge. We hope that this web resource will provide many of the building blocks necessary to support your own research and guide your own journey of historical discovery. If, after exploring the site, your questions remain unanswered, please contact us, and we'll see if we are able to help.

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For communities and organisations

If you are part of a community group, or a group with particular interests, we are keen to encourage your historical investigations, or any other works and projects related to the shale oil industry. We're happy to offer advice and guidance, and discuss what more might be achieved by working together. We would might publish the fruits of such work through this website.

We are equally keen to work in partnership with institutions, professional associations, or similar bodies, on relevant projects.

For individuals

If you are an individual with a specific interest associated with the shale oil industry and wish access to archive materials that have yet to be digitised, this may be arranged subject to circumstances and capacity. Where possible, we prefer any extensive programme of study be achieved though participation in our volunteer research programme, and that copies of research and any resulting digitised resources are shared through this web site.

For family historians

If you are researching your family history, it's probably best to sketch out your family tree (perhaps using paid-access websites such as Scotland's People or Ancestry) before looking at the limited resources of our website. Disappointingly few official employment records have survived from the Scottish shale oil industry, most of which have already been transcribed and are available through the search function of this website. We hope however that information provided on places of work, companies, occupations, and community life will help embellish your understanding of how your ancestors lived and worked. If, after studying this on-line material you have any questions, we're very happy to respond to short specific queries by e-mail. We're also happy to hear of your family history, or (on request) share any queries on the public notice board.

However if your query is long, complex, or non-specific, and consequently would involve us in considerable programme of new research, we are only likely to provide a full written respond on a paid basis. This would be agreed in advance and calculated on a time basis.

For authors and professional researchers

All information on this website is provided under a Creative Commons Licence and may be reproduced in non-commercial publications subject to appropriate acknowledgement. For those conducting research from primary sources, access can be arranged to the archive and collection in the same manner as for individuals, subject to agreement on appropriate acknowledgement or any other intellectual copyright issues.

We'd be delighted to support research for the production of commercial media products, however if after initial discussions it is evident that a substantial input of time is being sought from the museum, agreement would then be required on appropriate acknowledgement and, as relevant, a time-based fee.

Our postal address:

Almond Valley Heritage Trust
West Lothian
EH54 7AR

Telephone (+44) 01506 414957, Fax (+44) 01506 497771

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