In the Orkney Archive we are very lucky to house his collection of research, stories, poems, photos, oral history, folklore and articles about Orkney life, people and culture. About 86 boxes worth! There is hardly ever an enquiry in the Archive that is not helped or answered by something that Ernest Marwick saved or collected.
To exhibit this collection we could have taken over the entire searchroom, so we decided to concentrate on some of his writing and scholarly pursuits.
He began school in Evie in May 1921 at the age of 5.
Archive Reference: CO5/50/8 Evie Public School Admission and Withdrawal Register
Wilhelmina Rosie, Headmistress of Evie Public School wrote in her report of 1925, "In the infant and junior classes the pupils are making satisfactory progress in the main subjects. Poetry and Reading were delivered in a clear and distinct voice, and Spelling was in most cases quite good...It is noted with approval that most of the pupils are at the stage of advancement which corresponds with their age."
Archive Reference: CO5/50/2 Evie Public School Logbook, 1910-1933
He left school soon after this at the age of 10 due to illness and never went back. After that he taught himself everything he needed to know.
In 1941 he moved to Kirkwall to work in Stevensons bookshop and in 1943 he married Janetta Park from Sanday.
After WW2 he compiled and edited An Anthology of Orkney Verse.
He was a collector of local history and folklore.
This story was passed on through 3 generations before it reached Mr Marwick.
Archive references: D31/1/1/24 Rackwick Tradition and D31/1/2 One of Mr Marwick's History and Folklore folders.
He researched and wrote Sooan Sids for the Orkney Herald from 1954-1961.
Archive references: D31/30/4 Folder of correspondence between EWM and GMB; L7556/3 Ernest Marwick's photograph of George Mackay Brown
He was a poet in his own right.