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Principal C Duncan Rice opens Book of Deer Centre

Principal C Duncan Rice, from the University of Aberdeen performed the opening ceremony for the new Book of Deer Centre at Aden Country Park on Friday August 23.

The Book of Deer is one of Scotland's most important manuscripts. Academics from the University of Aberdeen's Elphinstone Institute and Celtic Department have contributed both expertise and enthusiasm to the community-based Book of Deer Project established in 1996 to further understanding of the book's historical significance and also to raise its profile.

The book is understood to have been written by the monks of the Columban monastery in Deer, North-east Aberdeenshire around the 9th to 12th centuries. The book contains the gospels, along with illuminations, and most significantly the first examples of written Gaelic in note form. The Gaelic contained in the manuscript forms the longest piece of Gaelic writing to have survived from early Medieval Scotland. The manuscript provides a window on the Medieval inheritance of the North-east of Scotland and demonstrates the sporadic influence of spoken Scottish Gaelic on middle Irish written in Scotland.

At the opening ceremony, Principal Rice, said: "It is wonderfully encouraging to see a community that is prepared to work over many years in the interests of raising public awareness about its cultural past. I am sure it is of great satisfaction to all who have been involved to know that many school children and visitors from the North-east and further afield will come to this centre to learn about the importance of the Book of Deer. The University of Aberdeen increasingly has to operate not just in a national arena but also an international one. But, our links with the local community remain as important as ever, which is why we place a great importance on supporting projects like the Book of Deer."


Notes to Editors

Photograhs from the opening ceremony can be supplied to interested members of the media. Please contact the Public Relations Office on: 01224 272014.

Issued by:

Public Relations Office
External Relations
University of Aberdeen
King's College
Tel: +44 (0)1224 272014  Fax: +44 (0)1224  272086

or contact Angela Begg, tel: 01224 272960, email:

Ref: 1043bookofdeer
August 27, 2002