Highland museums to showcase treasures to a global audience with Smartify

From uncovering Cromarty’s historic links to the transatlantic slave trade, to following a blue plaque walking tour revealing the individuals that made Stromness the town it is today, an incredible range of Highland history is now available worldwide. 

Six Highland museums have been put on the global stage thanks to a partnership between XpoNorth Digital and museum app Smartify.

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Gairloch Museum; Highlanders’ Museum, Cromarty Courthouse Museum, Clyne Heritage Society (Brora Heritage Centre), and Stromness Museum, Orkney, will all now feature on the app. 

Brora Coal Mine by local artist, Vic Rose

The chosen six have been busy preparing to digitise either parts of their collection and now after six months, the  world can access their treasure troves

People will be able to explore Cromarty Courthouse Museum’s Building on a slavery walking tour, while those interested in tracing the lives of the individuals that defined the town of Stromness will be able to enjoy Stromness Museum’s ‘Blue Plaque’ walking tour.

Surgeon John Rae, for example, is put under the spotlight as a prolific explorer who navigated the Arctic in the 1800s, while poet and dramatist George Mackay Brown is featured as an eminent writer whose work was distinctly Orcadian in character.  

The  Highlanders’ Museum has shone a light on their collection’s little discussed colonial past by producing a ‘Hidden Histories’ audio guide. 


Highlanders Alan Cameron of Erracht portrait

Visitors can also use an audio guide to delve into the eclectic local collection at Brora Heritage Centre, which has showcased their highlights ranging from mining tools and medals to ice skates and bricks. 

Gairloch Museum has produced a series of ten mini videos that will be showcased on the Smartify platform. 

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery has developed an audio tour to guide visitors around the star objects of the collection including ‘rondello’, a round fiddle invented by Highland-born musician Alexander Grant.  

Torpedo mechanism from Stromness

‘Months of hard work on the part of the six museums involved has culminated in a milestone moment as the museums’ offerings go live,’ said Nicola Henderson, digital heritage specialist at XpoNorth Digital.

Smartify is available on iOS and Android from the App Store and Google Play respectively. It’s also available on the web via

Read more on Scottish Field’s News pages. 

Plus, don’t miss the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.