The Book of Deer


During Scotland’s Year of Stories the remarkable 10th-century Book of Deer illuminated manuscript is returning to the North-East of Scotland for the first time in more than 1,000 years. With support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Book of Deer Project community heritage group has secured the loan of this exquisite little book, thought to be Scotland’s oldest surviving manuscript, from Cambridge University Library. Join us as we celebrate its return, and discover its fascinating story through a rich programme of events and activities for all ages in Aberdeenshire and the City of Aberdeen, including an archaeological dig, expert talks, original music, storytelling, creative workshops and an unmissable exhibition.

Full programme details are available here:


The 10th-century Book of Deer is one of Scotland’s greatest treasures. For the first time in a millennium, this remarkable little illuminated manuscript is returning to the North-East of Scotland, on loan from Cambridge University Library. This is a rare opportunity to see what is widely regarded as being the earliest manuscript produced in Scotland.  It contains a series of captivating illustrations, as well as the earliest surviving text in Gaelic. These Gaelic notes, dating from the 12th century, give the volume its title, referring to the monastery of Deer in Aberdeenshire, where the manuscript is thought to have originated.



All images of the Book of Deer reproduced by kind permission of Cambridge University Library.


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