History of the Trust
Hamish Henderson died in 2002, leaving behind a large personal archive of letters, unpublished poems and notebooks from his field collecting. The Hamish Henderson Archive Trust was formed in 2011 by a group of friends of the Henderson family to secure the Archive's fate and make it publicly accessible.
In late 2011 and early 2012, the Trust carried out a full inventory of the Archive and helped apply professional quality storage to some of the more sensitive items. Simultaneously, the Trust continued to pursue its main goal of finding a permanent home for the Archive with an appropriate institution. In August 2013, we announced that the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh's Main Library had purchased and taken possession of the Archive, bringing our main activities to an successful conclusion.
Please note: the Hamish Henderson Archive is now the property of the University of Edinburgh and is held at the Centre for Research Colletions in the Main Library. Any enquiries regarding research access to the Archive should be directed to that institution and not to this Trust.
Our Ongoing Aims
Having fulfilled our main goal, the Trust continues to operate towards enhancing the public knowledge and understanding of the poetry, traditional culture and folklore of Scotland, particularly concerning the life and works of the poet, folklorist, and songwriter Dr Hamish Henderson (1919-2002).
Prof. Frank Bechhofer
Professor Emeritus of Social Research at the University of Edinburgh and part-time Research Fellow in the Institute of Governance. Frank was formerly on the board of Edinburgh Folk Festival. He was Secretary, and his wife, Jean, Chairperson of Edinburgh Folk Club for many years. They also run the Bechhofer Agency, representing some of the folk music scene’s finest acts. Frank proposed Hamish’s honorary doctorate at the University of Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Eberhard ‘Paddy’ Bort is the Academic Coordinator of the Institute of Governance and a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Edinburgh. Originally from Lauffen north of Stuttgart, Germany, since 1999 Paddy has been heavily involved in running Edinburgh Folk Club and the Wee Folk Club. Paddy also founded the Carrying Stream Festival which celebrates the life and work of Hamish every November, which includes the annual Hamish Henderson Lecture at the City Chambers in Edinburgh, partly resulting in the 2010 book, ‘Borne on the Carrying Stream: The Legacy of Hamish Henderson’, collating many of the lectures and new articles on Hamish from a variety of authors.
Steve Byrne, Secretary / Admin
Perhaps best known for his work with the award-winning folksong band Malinky, which he co-founded in 1998, Steve is also a graduate of the School of Scottish Studies. For five years from 2002-2007, he was the Traditional Arts Officer for the City of Edinburgh Council, before departing to work on the landmark Kist o Riches / Tobar an Dualchais project, which digitised and catalogued 12,000 hours’ worth of sound recordings from the School of Scottish Studies Archive. He now works as a performer, freelance researcher, and advocate for traditional arts, and is currently the Chair of the Traditional Music Forum.
Dr Fred Freeman, Treasurer
Honorary Fellow in English at the University of Edinburgh, Fred worked at the School of Scottish Studies alongside Hamish and has been a long time friend of the Hendersons. He is the producer of two seminal collections of the songs of two of our national poets, Burns and Tannahill. The mammoth 13-disc collection The Complete Songs of Robert Burns was produced from 1996-2003, and he is currently on vol. 3 of Tannahill. Both these series engaged a wealth of talents from across the contemporary Scottish folk scene. Fred curated the 2004 Hamish Henderson tribute CD “A’ the Bairns o Adam” released by Greentrax Recordings, and gave the inaugural annual lecture at the first Carrying Stream festival in 2002. Of all the Trustees, Fred has perhaps been the most involved to date in efforts to secure the papers.
Chris Wright, Admin / Web
Chris works for Kist o Riches / Tobar an Dualchais, cataloguing Scots song from the School of Scottish Studies Archive in Edinburgh. Much of his work involves cataloguing tapes of songs and singers recorded by Hamish Henderson from the 1950s-1990s. A traditional singer with a keen interest in song history and the Scots singing tradition, Chris plays in an award-winning duo with singer Lucy Pringle. In addition to his project and musical work, Chris carries out independent research into a variety of areas connected with Scots song. His current research interests include the Poets’ Box, a 19th/20th century broadside publishing shop in Dundee, and the historicity of Scots ballads.