Although often overlooked, parts of the North East were in the Gaelic-speaking Gaidhealtachd, latterly in the parishes of Upper Deeside. The last native speaker of Aberdeenshire Gaelic was Mrs Jean Bain of Braemar, who died in 1984. Another important historical link is to the Book of Deer. Compiled at the Celtic Monastery of Deer in Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, the Book is a tenth century manuscript (with twelfth century additions) that provides a unique insight into the early church, culture and society of Scotland, England, and Ireland during this period. It contains some of the oldest examples of Gaelic writing to have survived from Medieval Scotland.
Today there are some 2500 people with knowledge of Gaelic in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. In Aberdeen City, continuous Gaelic education is available from pre-school to degree and postgraduate degree level.
Get Involved in Aberdeen's Gaelic Community
Staff and students at the University of Aberdeen play an important role in the local Gaelic community, through membership and support of Club Gàidhlig Obar Dheathain (Aberdeen Gaelic Club), Còisir Ghàidhlig Obar Dheathain (Aberdeen Gaelic Choir) and the Scottish Culture and Traditions Association (SCAT).
The University plays an important community role through the activities organised by Comann Ceilteach Oilthigh Obar Dheathain (Aberdeen University Celtic Society).