Friday, 11 May 2018

Innerpeffray Library - A Nugget of Gold

After leaving Balquidder, I made my way to Crieff. For a few years now, I have wanted to visit the Innerpeffray Library, and today was the day! And what a treat the visit was. 

The library was started in 1680 by the the land owner, David Drummond, 3rd Lord Madertie. He opened his private book collection to the public, allowing them to borrow his books for free. Drummond's wish was for the free lending of books to continue and as such he endowed money upon his death for this to carry forward. He also donated over 400 of his books. 

In 2013, a wonderful collection was gifted to the library from a woman from America who was a collector of rare books. After visiting the Innerpeffray library, she knew she had found the right home for her extensive collection of rare Scottish books, including several first editions. 

The library's best gem from a genealogical perspective is its Borrower's Register. Here the names and addresses of the borrowers is written, often in their own hand. As well, the names of the books that they borrowed are noted as well. 

Every book in the library is readable. All you have to do is ask. It is incredible to see your ancestor's handwriting in a register, promising to return a book he or she has read, and then to be able to read that book yourself. 

There is a lovely, tranquil reading room tucked into the upstairs corner where you can sit and read.

The library is a rare gem. And it is a register charity. One of the things they are trying to do is repair and conserve some of the older, better loved books in their collection, like this velvet covered 1638 bible which once belonged to Lady Madertie. 

The book bag is also in need of repair as it has been nibbled at by moths over the centuries

Donations to restore this precious item are greatly needed. If you can spare a few pounds, please do so. Donations (of any amount) can be made on the Library's website:

If you have ancestors from the Crieff area, I encourage you to pay a visit to the library. It truly is a gem. And if you don't have ancestors from the area, but are a book lover, join me in my longing to have a sleepover or lock in at the library!

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