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Book of Deer

The Book of Deer is a rare example of a pocket gospel book and is possibly Scotland’s oldest manuscript and includes the earliest surviving example of written Scots Gaelic in the world within its margins.

Book of Deer

As the only pre-Norman manuscript from this area known as “former Pictland” it provides us with a unique insight into the early church, culture and society of this period. Amid the Latin text and the Celtic illuminations there can be found the oldest pieces of Gaelic writing to have survived from early Medieval Scotland.

Aden Country Park is home of the community heritage group, ‘The Book of Deer Project.’ The groups project room is located within the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum and is open for members of the public to visit during museum opening hours.

Book of Deer

In 2022, The Book of Deer Project secured £128,588 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to bring the ancient text back to the area where it is believed to have originated and to celebrate its return. Alongside the exhibition, there is a packed cultural activity programme taking place in Aberdeen City and Shire, delivered through close partnerships with Aberdeen City Council / Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeenshire Council, Cambridge University Library, Cameron Archaeology Ltd, Live Life Aberdeenshire, and the University of Aberdeen.

Book of Deer

On loan from Cambridge University Library, The Book of Deer will be on display at Aberdeen Art Gallery from Saturday 2 July to Sunday 2 October 2022.

A temporary Book of Deer exhibition will be on display within the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum throughout 2022 and 2023. The opening times of the exhibition correlates to Museum opening times, from April until October, Thursday to Sunday, from 11am to 4pm. (last entry at 3.30pm).


Contact Information

To contact the Book of Deer or for further information please visit the Book of Deer website or Facebook page, or alternatively contact us by email:

Email: info@bookofdeer.co.uk