Lèirsinn Research Centre


Established in 1992, Lèirsinn Research Centre specializes in research within the Highlands, Islands and Gaelic communities.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI

Lèirsinn Research Centre (Ionad Rannsachaidh Lèirsinn)

Lèirsinn Research Centre is situated at the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI on the Isle of Skye. In the past it has been involved in various kinds of social research including educational and economic projects, but its main current work is the weekly qualitative research of the Gaelic television audience for the BBC and MG Alba which it has been carrying out since 1993. For this project Lèirsinn has a 350-member panel consisting of Gaelic-speakers spread throughout Scotland. Each week, members of the panel receive viewing diaries in which they rate any Gaelic programmes they have seen on the channel. Data received from panel members is collated and feedback given to the BBC and MG ALBA. For more information on the project, please visit the Lèirsinn Research Centre website.

Dictionary of Scottish Gaelic (Faclair na Gàidhlig)

This inter-university initiative by the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI aims to produce an historical dictionary of Scottish Gaelic. It will be compiled on historical principles similar to those applied in the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and the Oxford English Dictionary. Faclair na Gàidhlig was formally established in 2003 and has attracted funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the Carnegie Trust, the Gaelic Language Promotion Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Funding Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council. The project is managed from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI under the direction of Professor Boyd Robertson, Principal of the College and Convener of the Steering Committee. Phase I (2005-08) to create the editorial and textual foundation for the dictionary was carried out at the University of Edinburgh under the direction of Professor Donald Meek and Professor William Gillies of Celtic & Scottish Studies. Phase II will produce a full-text database of Scottish Gaelic from which the dictionary will be compiled. This project is directed by Professor R Ó Maolalaigh of the Department of Celtic, University of Glasgow under the auspices of the Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG) project. Faclair na Gàidhlig is a major long-term project which will produce an essential resource for the Gaelic language. You can find more information on the Faclair na Gàidhlig project website.

Gaelic Place-names of Scotland (Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba)

Place-names are a vital part of Scotland’s culture, which provides us with a lot of information on an area’s history, environment and language. Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba (AÀA - Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland) is the national advisory partnership for Gaelic place-names in Scotland. Its main purpose is to agree correct forms of Gaelic place-names for maps, signs and general use. The project draws on the expertise of its member organisations, local knowledge and historical sources to agree authoritative forms of Gaelic place-names. To ensure consistent spelling AÀA uses established principles such as the Gaelic Orthographic Conventions and a set of guidelines AÀA has produced on Gaelic place-names. The partnership has been working with Ordnance Survey, local councils, roads authorities and other public bodies since 2000 to provide Gaelic place-names for maps, signs and other printed materials. To meet the growing demand for reliable information on Gaelic place-names, AÀA has set up the national Gaelic place-name gazetteer referred to in the National Plan for Gaelic. To browse the gazetteer, or for more information on the project, please visit the Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland website.


Soillse is a research collaboration between the University of the Highlands and Highlands, Aberdeen University, Edinburgh University and the University of Glasgow, and has been established to provide a much enhanced research capacity to inform public policy towards the maintenance and revitalisation of Gaelic language and culture. The challenging objectives that have been set for Soillse to produce world-class research outputs can only be achieved if full cooperation exists between all of the partners that are participating in the project. A central research objective of Soillse is to develop a meaningful partnership with the Gaelic communities of Scotland and elsewhere. For more information on the project, please visit the Soillse website.

Map of Scotland

Key information and contact details

You can find more information at the Institute websites listed below:

Data Analyst, Lèirsinn: Brian MacDonald BSc (Hons)

Office Manager, Lèirsinn: Maria Russell BA, MA (Hons)

Lèirsinn Research Centre website

Email: leirsinn@smo.uhi.ac.uk
T: +44 [0]1471 888 550

Project Co-ordinator, Dictionary of Scottish Gaelic: Lorna Pike

Faclair na Gàidhlig website

Email: lp.smo@uhi.ac.uk
T: +44 [0]1471 888 273

Project Manager, Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland: Eilidh Scammell

Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland website

Email: fios@gaelicplacenames.org
T: +44 [0]1471 888 120

Soillse project team

Soillse website

Email: fios@soillse.ac.uk
T: +44 [0]1471 888559

Fàs, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Sleat, Isle of Skye, IV44 8RQ