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    Innerpeffray, the first public lending library in Scotland..

     

    Innerpeffray Library shelves Voyages & Travels © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray Library shelves Voyages & Travels © 2007 Scotiana

    Hi everybody,

    Yesterday we received this  lovely message from Lara Haggerty, Library Manager & Keeper of Books at the Innerpeffray Library,  in Perthshire:

    Hello Janice, Mairiuna and Jean-Claude

    I enjoyed reading your website and the journeys through literary Scotland  and I wanted to invite you to visit The Library of Innerpeffray – perhaps when you are next travelling here on September?

    Innerpeffray is literally a library in the middle of nowhere, a magical place to visit.  Founded in 1680 the library is now museum where you can touch the past, as every book is available to be handled and read, and every borrower is recorded from 1747 to 1968.  The collection spans three centuries and the books cover a vast range of subjects from history to philosophy, medicine to witchcraft, science to cookery.

    This year we welcome an amazing collection of Scottish First Editions – from the earliest Scottish printed books to the late 18th century, Scotland’s literary heritage is yours to hold if you visit.

    I hope you can come and see for yourself, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Best regards

    Lara

    Lara Haggerty

     

    books banner

     

    Many thanks to Lara for her kind invitation. We’ll certainly push again the door of this magic place next time we go to Scotland, looking forward to re-visit in her company the Innerpeffray library, a book sanctuary …

    Below is an extract of their very interesting website:

    The Library collection is rich and varied one, with books from the 16th and 17th centuries to the present day. With subjects as varied as witchcraft, animals, farming and medicine, books about European history and a 17th century atlas, and the unique opportunity to actually hold and read the historic volumes, make this a bibliophile’s paradise with something for everyone to discover.

    Many of the early books from the Founders’ original library of around 400 volumes reveal him to be a man of wide interests including history, law, politics, gardening, and the pursuits of a gentlemen such as honour and hunting, as well as, of course, religious contemplation and discussion. The oldest book is from 1503, and the early books include treasures such as:

    Poisson, Pierre Belon , Paris 1555
    Cosmographie, by Sebastian Munster 1575
    Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed, London 1577
    Henry VIII Great Bible, 1539
    La Bible, Sedan 1633 Belonging to James Graham, First Marquis of Montrose

     

     

    Innerpeffray library sign © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray library sign © 2007 Scotiana

    Lara’s message did ring a bell for we  already visited this ‘magical’ place in 2007 (truly magical).

    Innerpeffray Library adjoining 16 th Collegiate Chapel Wikipedia

    Innerpeffray Library adjoining 16 th Collegiate Chapel Wikipedia

    Then, the library was managed by Anne and Colin Edgar. Below are a few extracts from an article paying tribute to their work in the library from 2005 to 2009 and introducing  Lara and Ralph Haggerty, the new librarians.

    The pair [Anne and Colin] arrived at the small but perfectly formed library just outside Crieff in September 2005 with the remit to take over the duties of the librarian.

    However, the conscientious couple have done more than that and will leave behind them a legacy of informative writing.

    In their time there Anne and Colin, helped by Nancy Millar from Braco, have produced a comprehensive catalogue for their successors and the governors.

    ……………………

    Anne’s background as a historian and librarian also led her to write booklets for visitors on St Mary’s Chapel, which is attached to the library, the Lords Madertie and Captain Robert Hay Drummond, Earl of Kinnoul and patron of the library (he also built the school). She has also compiled a book documenting all the gravestones in the chapel yard.

    Colin says his aim during their tenure was to give visitors a quality experience and memory to take away with them and he is proud to have promoted school visits to the library and its inclusion in the snowdrop festival – not to mention his hands-on involvement in seeing that the pot holes leading up the drive were fixed.

    ………………………..

    Lara brings with her a range of skills and has a successful track record in marketing and education. She has a degree in English literature and theatre from Glasgow University and over 17 years’ experience as an arts manager, including the founding of Wee Stories Theatre.

    Ralph is a musical director who has worked for many of Scotland’s leading theatre companies. He specialises in educational work but his great love has always been music and he also has a keen interest in Scottish history and books.

    Innerpefray Colin Edgar former keeper of the books © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpefray Colin Edgar former keeper of the books © 2007 Scotiana

    There is no doubt that Mr Edgar gave visitors “a quality experience and memory to take away with them”. We’ve been lucky enough to live such experience a few years ago.

    I remember pretty well how cheerfully we were welcomed there by Mr Edgar, a very enthusiastic and erudite gentleman who knew every book displayed (or not) on the shelves and many interesting anecdotes to tell about them. His enthusiasm was infectious and we lingered there  listening to him with great interest, discussing and browsing through the very ancient books.

    Innerpeffray library map of Quebec and Terre Neuve in an ancient book © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray library map of Quebec and Terre Neuve in an ancient book © 2007 Scotiana

    Just have a look at our photos. They perfectly illustrate how Mr Edgar contributed to make our visit a unique and very lively experience there. For example, after asking us where we came from he took down big and very ancient volumes and helped us to locate on their old maps our familiar places  in Quebec and France… an alternative to Google Earth 😉

    Innerpeffray library old book Bordeaux map © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray library – old map of Bordeaux in a very ancient book © 2007 Scotiana

    ‘A museum where you can touch the past’

    Here’s an old 3d engraving of Bordeaux which is very interesting for it shows the city as it used to be with its ramparts and the ‘Château Trompette’ which was destroyed a long long time ago.

    Mr Edgar showing a point of interest to Janice © 2007 Scotiana

    Mr Edgar showing a point of interest to Janice © 2007 Scotiana

    Mr Edgar who was very happy to discuss with French and Canadian visitors (he knew our countries pretty well, and Canada more particularly)

    Innerpeffray library Crieff area Perthshire Highlands of Scotland

    Mr Edgar & Janice Innerpeffray library © 2007 Scotiana

    and he made us read very interesting historical and geographical old pages about our respective countries, Montreal, Paris…

    Mr Edgar showing a point of interest to Mairiuna at Innerpeffray Library © 2007 Scotiana

    Mr Edgar showing a point of interest to Mairiuna at Innerpeffray Library © 2007 Scotiana

    I was particularly happy when, with a big magnifying glass which made our new friend look like Sherlock Holmes (in a way he was…),  Mr Edgar found on a very old map ‘Montrichart’, the little village in Touraine when my grand-mother lived and which is spelt today ‘Montrichard’…

    Innerpeffray library MA et JC © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray library Mairiuna & Jean-Claude browsing pages of ancient books © 2007 Scotiana

    We could have stayed there hours and hours in that ‘magical place’ and in company of such a man ! Fortunately we were then the only visitors (not for long however)…

    Innerpeffray Library Lady Madertie's Bible and bag 1637 © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray Library Lady Madertie’s Bible and bag 1637 © 2007 Scotiana

    There are very ancient books of great value in this library, such as Lady Madertie’s Bible displayed in the above case. The window case label reads:

    ‘This Bible belonged to Lady Madertie, wife of the founder of the library. It would have been carried before her by her page in that scarlet bag with which it is displayed. Lady Madertie was Beatrix Graham, youngest and favourite sister of James Graham, the ‘Great Marquis’ of Montrose.’

    For those interested in history or who would like to know more about the owner of this impressive Bible, below is Lady Madertie ‘s Journal.

     

    Innerpeffray library the upper shelves © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray library the upper shelves © 2007 Scotiana

    We also too pictures and videos of the place, inside and outside. You’d rather not suffer from vertigo if you want to get the job !

    Carl Spitzweg The Bookworm c.1850

    Carl Spitzweg The Bookworm c.1850

    Why are not more gems from our great authors scattered over the country . . . .

    Let every bookworm, when in any fragrant, scarce, old tome he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it.

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    But we had not much time left as we wanted to visit the old collegiate chapel before leaving and we had to leave soon because we wanted to see an ancient cross-slab at Fowlis Wester Parish Kirk, an old church which is worth the visit in itself.

    Innerpeffray the old collegiate church © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray the old collegiate church © 2007 Scotiana

    Here’s the Collegiate Chapel, an old and dark building full of mystery.

    Old Collegiate Chapel information panel © 2007 Scotiana

    There is  a very  useful  panel at the entrance of the old church. Historical Scotland is second to none to introduce places in Scotland…

    Innerpeffray door of the old collegiate chapel © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray door of the old collegiate chapel © 2007 Scotiana

    Here’s the old nail-studded entrance door…

    Innerpeffray the old school  in july © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray the old school in july © 2007 Scotiana

    and the old school, in the quiet atmosphere of a nice july afternoon. The area is very quiet and full of flowers …

    Innerpeffray Library bench © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray Library bench © 2007 Scotiana

    The ideal place to sit down with a book. Don’t you feel so ? I do…

    Innerpeffray gardens library sign © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray gardens © 2007 Scotiana

    Just follow the arrow…

    nnerpeffray library welcome sign © 2007 Scotiana

    Innerpeffray library welcome sign © 2007 Scotiana

    The library is open 😉

    Bonne lecture !

    A bientôt. Mairiuna

     

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    4 comments to Innerpeffray, the first public lending library in Scotland..

    • Ronald Henderson

      At last, after promising myself for 25 years, I paid an afternoon visit to the library and chapel today (31 May) with my son Neil. The staff couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful. They are articulate and obviously well educated it was a true pleasure to meet and talk with them.
      Thanks to all of you. We do intend to visit again and we shall be telling more people about this wee magic corner of Scotland.
      Le gach deagh dhurachd (with every good wish.)

      Ronald Henderson.

      • Hi Mr Henderson, thanks for taking time to comment. It is greatly appreciated. Happy you realized one of your dreams with your son! A few days ago we drove past the sign of this mythical library. Had we had more time, we would have been happy to go back there again.Le gach deagh dhurachd!!! Thanks for the translation 😉 Avec toutes nos amities. Mairiuna

    • Nice to meet you both in the foyer of the Hilswick in Shetland. I’m sure your wee site will give hours of enjoyment.

    • Iain McEwan

      Hello Eddie – sorry for the delay. I’ve been trying to find out a little more about the interesting St. Magnus Bay Hotel at Hillswick,Shetland, where we met that damp and misty evening.

      It’s a wooden building clearly – on concrete foundations – but a pretty big one, for there are 33 bedrooms. It has stood on its present site since around 1902, and is Listed (Category C) on account of its architectural and historical interest.

      I understand that the building was constructed – in large sections – in Norway, and served as the Norwegian national pavilion at the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901. (One of several Glasgow exhibitions around the turn of the century, this took place largely within Kelvingrove Park. The splendid Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum building had just been completed, and served as the ‘Palace of Arts’.)

      The company whose steamships served Orkney and Shetland from the Scottish mainland – Aberdeen and Leith in those days – were interested in developing a Summer holiday trade to augment their year-round ferry services. They bought the huge wooden pavilion and had it transported by sea to Hillswick on St. Magnus Bay, where it soon began its new life as a hotel. Three guineas, we’re told, would buy a week’s stay at the original St. Magnus Hotel, full board and all travel included!

      Kind regards from all of us at Scotiana,
      Iain.

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